There was an unusual shopper strolling the aisles of a TK Maxx in Tooting yesterday when Prince Charles made a visit to the budget retailer.
The Prince of Wales was there to meet young workers who had taken part in The Prince’s Trust “Get Into Retail” programme. The course provides specialist training and roles to young people, many of whom stay on as employees in TK Maxx stores.
Charles admitted he had never been to a TK Maxx before and said he was impressed with the layout. Describing the store as “bright” and “luxurious,” he wandered around the retailer’s homewares and clothing sections and spoke with the employees whose lives had been impacted by The Prince’s Trust.
“He walked in and said it was amazing,” said Rachel Crawford, a team leader in the Tooting store who had taken part in The Prince’s Trust’s retail course. “He didn’t expect it to be so bright and so luxurious, the way everything’s displayed. He said it was very fresh. And he liked how the layout of the store looked.”
Crawford added the Prince asked how she dealt with “not so friendly customers” and said she told him: “I kill them with kindness, I give them this smile. He laughed.” She also said she’d love to take Prince Charles to the ladies department to find a nice cashmere scarf or a hat for The Queen.
A massive crowd had gathered outside the store and the Prince of Wales shook hands and spoke to well-wishers as he was guided through the mob to his car. “I’m really worried we’ve stopped all the customers coming in,” he said.
TK Maxx tweeted to mark the occasion, sharing Clarence’s House’s photo. “To celebrate our successful partnership with The @PrincesTrust and their “Get into Retail” programme, a royal guest visited our Tooting store today. What an honour and thank you HRH Prince of Wales.”
Since 2013, the retailer has helped more than 1,000 young people in the Get into Retail programme through their partnership with The Prince’s Trust.