Menswear retailer to hand over reigns to son after nearly 50 years

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When Ashwin Shah founded his clothing store on Hull’s Anlaby Road in 1971 it mainly catered to followers of the hippie movement.

However, after nearly a half century and countless changes in fashion tastes Mr Shah is handing over the reigns to his son Sumit.

Known by the name of Prem - the Hindi word for love - the store will now change its name to Squared Clothing.

Sumit said: “Prem became established with successive generations of customers and we will keep looking after them.

“But during the 10 years that I’ve have been involved in the business I’ve developed the online service to give us global reach rather than just local reach.

“We send to customers in the States, Canada, Australia and all over Europe and we can deliver within two days.

“A lot of our online customers are people from Hull who have moved away and still want to buy from the shop they grew up with.”

The international element reflects Ashwin’s origins.

Born in Kenya, he moved to London in 1967 but turned his back on the capital when his cousin introduced him to the community spirit of Hull.

He studied law at the University of Hull but dropped out after being distracted, and then inspired, by the hippie phenomenon to move into menswear.

Ashwin said: “Everything is owned by Sumit now but this is still my life. I am past retirement age but I plan to keep working.

“I am very hands-on, first to arrive in the morning, lifting the boxes when the deliveries arrive.

“I can’t sit down and do nothing. I enjoy talking to the people who have been coming here for years.”