IF YOU'RE a Wrexham resident then there's a very good chance you will have heard of the Anwar name by now.

The business of that name, based in the General Market off Henblas Street, first opened on July 25, 1969.

Now, five decades later, having served generation after generation of Wrexham locals, owner Muhammad Anwar and his son Shabab are running the business together.

Back in 2019, Muhammad celebrated Anwar's 50th anniversary and his 80th birthday at the same time.

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Anwar's sells men's and ladies clothing, everything from jackets, tights and stockings to hi-viz workwear and even specialist socks for diabetic people.

It also stocks a vast selection of Welsh products and Welsh clothing, as well as fancy dress and dance wear.

The Leader recently spoke to Shabab about Anwar's and how the business managed to power through the Covid-19 pandemic to continue on into its 53rd year of trading.

He said: "My father and I run the business, however our main business is property to which only I manage that aspect.

"We are both committed to our stalls in The General Market, Wrexham full time. At one stage we employed 14 staff, however nowadays we manage with a couple of additional staff.

"Unfortunately during Covid we were closed due to restrictions and we do not have a website so we suffered considerably, however we are not the only ones in that position.

The Leader:

PIC: The inconic Anwar business in Wrexham.

"But, once restrictions were removed we were extremely busy again. This was mainly due to our regular customers who have been buying our goods for decades.

"It is a very common talking point that people come to see us and mention how they used to buy from us when they were younger. We very often get three generations of the same family reminiscing about us at the market.

"Our life-long consistent commitment to our customers is paramount to us. We feel that the customer is grateful that they receive such individual attention from us."

Shabab says his dad started as a door-to-door salesman in the sixties, and - due to his kind and trusting nature - he quickly amassed a large customer base.

At that time, Muhammad was living in Wrexham and would walk as far as Worthenbury and Minera to sell clothing.

In time he was able to pass his driving test and bought a small van and from there he grew the business quite substantially, trading at other markets such as Mold, Llanrwst and Ruthin.

The Leader:

PIC: Muhammad Anwar is a familiar face to many in Wrexham.

Shabab added: "He acquired his first stall in The General Market Wrexham in 1969 which was what we now use as a changing room. By 1973, he had acquired three quarters of The General Market! 

"We have been the council's tenant for 53 years and counting. During the early seventies, my father managed to acquire a double stall in the Vegetable Market, which used to be opposite The General Market but is now occupied as a block which has such shops as Yellow and Blue and Alisha's Bridal and Prom shop.

"In the early eighties, my father bought 6 Lord Street, Wrexham which was used as a higher fashion shop which ran successfully until it was closed around the year 2000.

"My father first came to The United Kingdom in the early sixties where he resided in Durham. From there he came to Wrexham to see what Wales had to offer. It became apparent to him that Wrexham was a very busy and stable Market Town thus he settled here.

"Wrexham means everything to my father and to us as a family. Our motto has always been "Serving the Welsh Public since 1969" and that's exactly what we believe, it is even printed on our bags.

"The people of Wrexham and its surroundings have been so hospitable to my Father and to us as a business and a family, it's not something that has been forgotten."