A card store is set to return to Romford just months after its founder announced his retirement.

Arkadia Kardz, run by Graham Walker since 2016, will open again on October 6 until Christmas in Romford Shopping Hall, he announced yesterday (September 25).

Graham, 60, who retired in February this year, said he was buzzing to banter with his old customers again, some of whom had been his first.

"I get a buzz from it," Graham said. "It keeps me young.

"I lost my brother a few weeks ago, he was 64, it makes you think and puts your values in life right," he added.

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The card store founder said the recent loss of his brother made him want to make the most of life.

"I’m all about trying to enjoy life because you don’t know what’s around the corner," he added.

Graham, who has been preparing to open next Friday, flies to Turkey on Wednesday for one last family holiday before what he expects to be a hectic Christmas period.

He said that he loves running his business, but admitted it takes a tremendous effort.

"I'm absolutely shattered with it because it's like I'm on show all the time," he said. "I'm like a performing monkey [...] because it's non-stop and I can't have a day off.

"I won't stop until Christmas Eve," he added.

Graham said Arkadia relies on money made during Christmas and a loyal, in-person customer base.

He planned to open a market stall outside the shopping hall, but was grateful to have been offered his old spot inside.

"I put Christmas music on in late October and everyone is doing their nut," he said. "It's just about having a laugh and having fun when you come into the shop."

Despite planning to retire again after Christmas, Graham refused to rule out a return.

"I hope it's not our last time," he said. "As far as I'm concerned this could go on for ten years."