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Locksbottom shop sales down after car goes through window
Trade in a Locksbottom shop has suffered after a BMW smashed through the window last month.
Fewer customers have visited the store, Heaven, as many assumed the place had closed down after it was boarded up for repairs.
One man even thought the premises had been turned into a sex shop.
However, an enterprising employee painted the boards to show the store was still open and pull in the crowds.
The incident occurred on July 23 when a driver of the 5 Series BMW was pulling into a parking space and accidentally accelerated rather than braking.
The front of the car smashed into the window display of the gift and jewellery shop in Crofton Road.
A shop assistant was behind the counter at the time but nobody was hurt.
The damage included the window, brick work, door frame and various pieces of stock.
Manager Angela Saunders, from Sevenoaks, opened the shop nine years ago and it was named one of the five best greeting card shops in London competition only a few months ago.
However Mrs Saunders, 48, is now concerned about the future of the shop.
She said: "Things are tough enough as it without a BMW coming through your window.
"Friends dropped everything to help. Everyone has been so kind although it has been extremely difficult.
Mrs Saunders said around half the number of customers had come in to the store as a result.
"A lot of people thought we had closed and one customer even said he thought we had become a sex shop!"
Mrs Saunders said her employee, Charlotte Foyle, 21, had been "amazing" throughout the ordeal.
Miss Foyle, from Orpington, started as a Saturday girl four years ago and now comes back to work during her University holidays.
The situation got so bad she decided to take action and painted the shop logo onto the boards to let people know it was still open.
It is hoped the mural, of a cherub and the shop's name, along with fairy lights, will attract people's attention.