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South East London Bookshop Under Offer For Sale

Blackheath, London
Asking Price:
£120,000 Furniture / Fixtures and Inventory / Stock included
Net Profit:

The Bookshop on the Heath Ltd is a long-established bookshop (since 1949) in Blackheath, south-east London. Current turnover is in the region of £80-85,000 with a high gross profit (+/-70,000). The major expense is rent & rates, which together will be around £25,500pa after the current rates revaluation exercise (rent £16,000pa, rates £9,500pa - currently £8,900pa). After that are salaries, leaving a profit before tax of almost £20,000 for 2015-16. Financial years 2014-15 and 2015-16 included an ongoing restocking programme after a change of owner in June 2014.
The lease is registered with the Land Registry and has five years to run from 1 June 2017; it requires that the shop operate as a bookshop but may also sell other items (presently a range of original art, maps, engravings and other ephemera traditionally associated with second-hand bookshops). The landlord lives above the shop, so is readily available.

The premises are currently laid out with three rooms and a corridor area for display & browsing at ground level, with a further three rooms at basement level currently used for storage but which could be used for additional display space, with little reconfiguration. The shop exterior underwent a major repair and repaint three years ago.
The shop has an online presence with that could be significantly developed, and there is scope for development of a fuller direct online presence through an enhanced shop website. The shop is profitable as a traditional walk-in bookshop, currently selling second-hand and antiquarian books. The shop has periodically sold smaller antiques, which have proved popular (part of the shop used to be a separate antique shop). Blackheath is an area with a large number of schools, hence children's books do well and there is scope for including new children's books in the shop stock. The presence of schools may also offer scope for developing a wholesale business, something previous owners have not explored.

The current owner is selling for family reasons but is able to be flexible as to timescale. The next owner will be the seventh owner of the Bookshop, which has a significant local presence and history to build upon.

Property information



Lease Terms:

Currently 8 years commencing 1 June 2014, registered with separate title number at the Land Registry.
Rent review at 4 years (June 2018) but landlord has not increased the rent at all on previous reviews (long-term local resident who is keen to keep the shop as a bookshop). There is a provision requiring that the shop be a bookshop but that can be accompanied by other related items such as original art, prints, maps, engravings, ephemera, small antiques etc.

Leasehold Rent:

£16,000 per annum


The shop enjoys a prominent corner site that offers generous window display area in a prosperous part of south-east London. Limited online presence that could be developed further.

Premises Details:

The premises occupy the ground and basement levels of a Victorian building with mixed retail and residential use. There are three rooms at ground level, with a further corridor area and WC; stairs to basement level with a further three rooms, one of which is fitted with sink and worktop are. All rooms are fully lined with shelving.

Business Operation

Expansion Potential:

There is significant scope for developing the online presence of the bookshop, either by extending the shop's current use of or developing an enhanced website to handle direct online browsing and sales.

Competition / Market:

The shop currently has little direct competition, with only one other bookshop in the London Borough of Lewisham.

Reasons for selling:

Partly family, partly other interests that the current owner wishes to develop and which will increasingly prevent full attention being given to this business.

Trading hours:

Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 11.00-17.30 (closed Wednesdays)
Saturday 10.00-18.00
Sunday 11.00-17.00

Years established:
68 (since 1949)

Other Information

Support & training:

Current owner open to agreeing a handover/training period following purchase so as to establish familiarity with stock and customers.

Furniture / Fixtures value:
£2,500 - included in the asking price
Inventory / Stock value:
£75,000 - included in the asking price
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