The shop that infuriated the fishmonger’s neighbors by starting its own fishmonger’s business is facing another row after switching to a luggage store — enraging the suitcase store on the other side.
The long-established Fish Universe in Tooting, South London, was stunned when the property next door was given the eponymous name Fish World last October.
It sparked a war between the two, with Universe boss Rafa Kashefi, 34, even putting a legal disclaimer in the window warning customers that they were not affiliated.
Fish World closed this month and became Albarakah Goods Luggage and Accessories, finally ending the sea meat melee.
But any hope of peace on the streets has proved short-lived – as Albarakah’s other neighbors are a 15-year-old shop selling suitcases and bags.
Anu Singh Sachdeva, 24, owner of World Super Store, said he was stunned to see the new venture open.
He told MailOnline: ‘This is an absolute kick in the stomach. They are now trying to sell bags and luggage, something we have been selling for 15 years.
“I feel like the way he’s shown things is the same way we’ve done it – it seems like he’s doing the same thing we are.
Anu Singh Sachdeva, 24, owner of World Super Store, said he was stunned by the store
Fish Universe, left, and World Super Store, right, are both furious with the middle store
Mr Singh Sachdeva’s family business has been serving Tooting for the past 15 years alone
Transformed: Fish World has now become Albarakah Goods luggage and accessories
“He told me he wouldn’t copy me and it would be different.
“We have loyal customers who know the difference – they’re just a little stunned that his store keeps changing.
“I hope it goes like Fish World.
“There’s a pub across the street from here and people joke that he’d do one of those next.”
This is the latest twist in a long-running line dating back to October last year.
It started when it opened as Fish World, to the ire of neighbors Fish Universe, which has been open for two decades.
A local resident added, “If you walked by, you could see Universe attracting a lot more customers.”
MailOnline told in November how the fishy row had attracted a lot of attention.
The rivalry had gone as far as the uniforms of the then competing fishmongers.
Fish Universe employees used to wear blue suits with the company name and number on them.
Fish Universe owner Rafa Kashefi, 34, wished the new luggage store the best of luck after it changed roles
At the end of March, Fish Universe’s disclaimer went out the window, hinting that change was on the way
Fish Universe had gone to great lengths to put up a disclaimer against Fish World
Fish Universe claimed that Fish World copied these blue uniforms, but the rival denied the claim
Fish Universe had been in business for nearly 20 years, but claimed it was suffering from rivals
When Fish World opened in October, they used what appeared to be a very similar uniform for their staff.
At the time, it claimed it had done nothing wrong and sold various Jamaican and African seafood and the only reason their outfits were blue was to match the color of water.
Fish Universe ransacked to change all their staff uniforms to red, just to make sure there was no confusion.
And the unusual spat sparked a lot of backlash among community groups who saw the disclaimer in the shop window.
One joked: ‘Can’t believe they opened next door. Very shellfish of them.’
Another added a comment full of puns, stating: ‘They probably love this plaice with their heart and tongue. Looks a bit weird and smells a bit weird, all the shops in the same spawn.’
At the time, Mr Kashefi told MailOnline: “We’ve had about 60 calls from customers asking what’s going on. Every day we get customers who ask us what happened.
‘There used to be a meat shop next door, until they decided a month ago to start selling fish.
‘This is the family business. My cousin started it 20 years ago when the first branch opened in Walthamstow – the next one opened was in Fulham and then we opened.
“We now have other offices in Sutton, Camden, Croydon, Penge and Hounslow.
Fish World said it wasn’t trying to emulate its neighbors and was a completely different business
The two companies were in Tooting, South West London, and both have blue branding
“We had to change all our staff uniforms to red. We have other branches all over London that all still wear blue uniforms, but we’ve had to change ours.
“We work very hard to bring in customers, but what they’ve done just creates confusion. “Some of our customers wonder if they are an extension of us because they wear our old uniform and everything is so similar.
‘We are cheaper than them, we sell ten bass for £10, but they only sell seven bass for the same price.
“We love our business and have great customers. When we opened the shop, there weren’t many others around. We started from scratch, didn’t make much money initially, but worked long hours and worked very hard to build the business into what it is today.
‘In 2015, we had competition from one company, but that stopped six months later. They were not next to us. ‘They had complaints from the municipality and it stank. But this is different.
“The message we have outside helps us. A lot of people have read it and posted it on social media.”
The sign next to the front door warned gamblers that they were a different shop than their neighbors.
The “important customer announcement” reads: “Fish Universe is not associated with Fish World and does not promote, endorse, or support this store.
“In no event shall we be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, incidental, or any damages whatsoever arising out of the use of any Fish World service or product.
‘We are highly qualified fishmongers and are passionate about fish and the environment.
‘Fish Universe opened its doors in December 2014 with the ambition to bring the freshest and best quality fish to our customers in Tooting.
“We have stayed true to our core values and ensure that every product we sell is the freshest, best quality available.
Fish World is not liable for any damage resulting from the use of any Fish World product or service.
“Nor are we responsible for the accuracy of any information or advice given to you (by Fish World).”
Fish World had maintained it had done nothing wrong with an employee who said in November, “We’re a different company with a different landlord.
“We have several suppliers and a lot of our fish is Jamaican and African because people want it. They all don’t.
“Our layout is different and we’re trying to make it something new and different. They think we’re copying them, but we’re not. We’re not doing anything illegal.
‘We are blue because the color is associated with the sea, and most fishmongers are blue or yellow. Universe and World are not the same.
‘I don’t have to address them or ‘refute’ anything they’ve said – everyone has their own business. Our layout is different and we also have different suppliers.
‘We are trying to bring in more business because there is a lot of demand for what we do. We also sell meat and groceries, which they don’t.’