A 30% rise in rent has forced London’s 16-year-old Lamb Bookshop to close.
Owners Ben Doran and Harriet Thomas have taken the decision to close for good following the unsustainable increase in rent for the property, on Lamb's Conduit Street, which amounted to around an extra £10,000 a year.
Following the announcement on Twitter this morning (25th March), the store has received an outpouring of condolence and support from people within the trade, which Doran said had been "incredible" and "really nice".
It is the second shop to face a steep recent rise in rent from a landlord. London's Clapham Books on Clapham High Street is in negotiations with its landlord following an unexpected rent hike of £12,000 per annum. The shop is contemplating a move of premises after seven years in its current home.
Doran of The Lamb Bookshop said: "The rent increase was going to make the cost too high for us to carry on—£10,000 is a good proportion of our profit. We received a lot of lunchtime trade from workers, but that has been hit lately after a lot of back office staff from Great Ormond Street Hospital and the nearby police station have lost their jobs in the current cuts. We also have to pay VAT on our rent, which is an unusual situation, but means the rent increase would have been too high for us."
Doran and Thomas have owned the shop for the past three years, but it has stood in Lamb’s Conduit Street for 16. The pair are now holding a 20% discount on all stock to clear the shelves before it closes, which will most likely be over Easter.