Thursday farmers market in Westwood Village. LAO.
Karl Johansson has run the Village Center Newsstand for 20 years, since shortly after he came over from Sweden. He's going to close down by the end of the month, citing "a dramatic drop in profits coupled with rising rent," the UCLA Daily Bruin says.
His newsstand on the corner of Kinross Avenue and Westwood Boulevard is wrapped around a decades-old tree and sandwiched between two empty storefronts.
Over the past few years, the stand’s regular client base has steadily declined....Emptying storefronts in Westwood and a media shift to focus on more online content contributed to the newsstand’s rapid decline of sales, Johansson said. He added that he thinks students had fewer reasons to venture into the Village as UCLA expanded and offered more services on campus.
“I think sometimes, ‘Gosh, the only thing I have done is sell newspapers,’” Johansson said. “But all of those experiences, those people – they are priceless. I wouldn’t give up those 20 years for anything.”
Johansson looked out at the cars rushing down Westwood Boulevard, where he has been one of the few consistencies for the last two decades.
“It has always been Westwood’s newsstand – it has never been my newsstand,” Johansson said. “I am here to take care of it for the Village. I promised to take care of it until it was time to go.”
The newsstand will join the dozens of other businesses that have closed down in Westwood Village in recent years. Though a lot of others have opened, and there is some serious multi-use construction going on at the corner of Gayley and Lindbrook where the National Theatre used to stand.