North London indie stalwart Muswell Hill Bookshop is to close, following the retirement of its owner, Ivan Beal.
Earlier this year, Beal closed Fagin's Toys, the neighbouring independent toyshop he owned, after 54 years. It is expected the bookshop will shut its doors for good in the next three weeks, as a buyer has not come forward.
Speaking to The Bookseller, manager Tim Robinson explained: "Everybody has known about this for a while, so it's not suddenly come out of the blue, which is good. The owner is nearing 80, and wants to retire, so we're just in the process of closing." The shop is currently having a sale to clear stock.
Robinson added that the shop was not a victim of the coronavirus pandemic, but acknowledged: "We've been here a long time, about 50 years, so it's a bit of a loss for the community."
Fellow independent retailers have shown their support for the shop, with South Gloucester indie company Yellow Lighted Bookshop tweeting: "That's really sad. We send them all our love and hopes for the future."