Darshan Singh, 67, a relative, was quoted, as saying: "Gurmail was a gentle man. He was definitely going to pack it in. In the past year or so things had got increasingly difficult."
Gurmail's shop was robbed just days before the hammer-wielding killers, thought to be in their teens, battered him in Cowcliffe, West Yorkshire.
Regulars from a nearby pub sought to stop the attackers from fleeing, but failed.
Detective Superintendent David Pervin said: "He was killed for next to nothing."