The owner of one of Hounslow's oldest shops, The Wheelhouse, which is closing after 53 years, has warned it could be too late to save the ailing High Street.
David Wheelhouse, whose grandfather set up the eponymous discount store on the corner of Bell Road in 1955, said rising crime rates and competition from out-of-town shopping centres had left him no choice but to call it a day.
The iconic shop is the latest in a long line of outlets to shut down in recent months and the 48-year-old father-of-three is convinced it won't be the last.
Woolworths, Card Warehouse, Cool Trader and furniture shop Inspirations have already closed and Madhouse and Tchibo, among others, will soon be gone too.
"People just aren't coming to Hounslow anymore," said Mr Wheelhouse. "The town centre's been declining for at least five years and it's gone downhill particularly dramatically in the last few years.
"We lost a lot of customers when Safeway closed four years ago and many people now go to Feltham or the Westfield Centre, in Shepherd's Bush.
"When we close that will be another serious blow to the town centre because we bring in thousands of customers every week from as far af ield as the south coast. If it carries on like this, there won't be any shops left."
Mr Wheelhouse believes Hounslow's prospects are so gloomy it will struggle to attract investors for the long-awaited second phase of development at Key Site One, beside the Blenheim Centre.
Mr Wheelhouse, who began working on the shop floor when he was just 10, claimed crime has become so bad even some people living in Hounslow feel too intimidated to shop in the town centre.
"There's graffiti, broken windows and youths hanging around on street corners, not to mention the shoplifters," he said. "People don't feel safe anymore."
He believes the only way to deter shoplifters, who range in age from 10 to 93 and cost the store an estimated £2,000 a week, is to hand out tougher sentences.
He also claims the council should be doing more to help local traders like him, especially with business rates for his shop and warehouse totalling more than £60,000.
"You would have thought, after 53 years in the town centre, someone from the council would ring to express their concern about another major retailer closing and to see if there's anything they can do to help," he said.
Wheelhouse will remain open until all the stock has been cleared, which will take some weeks.
Mr Wheelhouse will continue to run Frensham Garden Centre, in Surrey, which he said would sell some of the clearance lines for which Wheelhouse is famous, along with its more conventional stock.
"This was a very difficult decision to make and we're very grateful to all our customers who have supported us over the years and to our staff who have worked so hard," he added.
Council leader Peter Thompson said: "It is sad to see more businesses in Hounslow announce their closures. A report on the future of the town centre will be discussed by the executive on February24. This will set out how we can put Hounslow in the best position for when the economy picks up again. It will also look at how we can improve the town centre in the short term, to help traders.
"Should Mr Wheelhouse wish to get in contact with us directly, we will be more than happy to speak to him. We work closely with Hounslow Chamber of Commerce to discuss issues affecting businesses in the borough."