Selling fashion magazines in Soho for nearly 34 years, Wardour News is a staple for fashion fans wanting to browse and purchase the latest glossy magazines. If you wanted to find a high end fashion magazine in the capital, Wardour News would be the place to visit. However, the sad news has come out that after 34 years, the popular retailer is closing shop due to the rising prices of rent in the city.
Raj Patel, who co-founded the store with S.M Patel, spoke to Vogue about the store’s closure, saying that ‘It’s very sad that we have to leave but I’m taking with me good things, all my customers, they keep me going. Without the customers I wouldn’t be here. I’m always grateful and thankful’.
Since the news came out, heavy weights in fashion publishing have spoken out in support of the shop.
Speaking to Vogue.co.uk, Edward Enninful, the editor in chief of British Vogue said ‘I remember popping in often when I was growing up. It’s really sad to see it go. It’s the end of an era’.
On Twitter, Dazed Magazine said ‘We’re devastated that @wardour_news is closing after nearly 34 years. It’s been a magazine mecca and Dazed’s longest standing stockist. Make sure you get down before May 25 to leaf through their incredible selection of mags’.
Not only does the closure see the end of a long-standing institution for London’s fashion community, it also marks the damage caused to popular and independent companies by the ever-rising rent prices. Last year saw the closure of the Samuel French Bookshop, a specialist theatre bookshop based in Fitzroy Street. The company closed for business in April 2017, with the management citing an ‘unsustainable rental increase’ as the reason behind the closure of the shop which has been open in London since 1830, and open in its current premises since 1983. Following the closure, the company sold online only, before finding a new home in the Royal Court Theatre in March 2018.
The diversity of London is one of the most fantastic parts of this city, and the independent businesses which line the city’s streets adds to the capital’s unique appeal. The closure of Wardour News marks the end of one of London’s greatest retailers of high end fashion magazines, and perhaps more significantly, the changes in the city which means independent businesses are no longer able to thrive. Clearly there is still a market for high end fashion magazines. Whilst many magazines are making the move to online, and finding considerable success in this new format, magazines such as Vouge and Another Man still reach considerable audiences through their print editions, with Edward Enninful’s take-over of British Vogue and a recent Harry Styles edition of Another Man proving just how popular print magazines still are through their staggering success.
Whether to pick up a copy of your favourite magazine, or to say goodbye to one of London’s most iconic magazine sellers, be sure to visit Wardour News before they close on the 25th May.