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Samuel French, one of London's great bookshops, is closing down after 187 years

Andrzej Lukowski

More sad news from the ever-escalating world of London rents: Samuel French, London’s oldest theatrical book shop, is to close its doors after a very respectable 187 years of trading. Founded in 1830, the shop has been on its current Fitzroy Street site since 1983, but rents have surged by more than 200 percent over the last five years – which management have characterised as ‘unsustainable’.

It’s by no means the end for Samuel French, which licenses and publishes plays and already sells four out of five texts online – it will be consolidating its various arms at a new Euston office.

But it’s another unfortunate closure of a characterful business just not cut out for London’s punitive rents – this is why we (still) can’t have nice things.

In other news, there's a campaign to save London's oldest spa from 'bland' redevelopment.

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