Westwood Village newsstand to close

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.

More by Kevin Roderick:
LA Observed Notes: 60 Minutes, selling the Coliseum and more
Gil Cedillo, Nick Melvoin win LA runoffs*
LA Observed Notes: Baca goes down, LAX shuffle, media moves
LA Observed Notes: Big TV news, media moves, obits and more
LA Observed Notes: Writers on the verge, Fox, the riots and more
Recent Westside stories on LA Observed:
Back home in a more suspicious Mar Vista
Returning to LA in sticker shock
Two Metro lines for two different LAs
Real estate developers: all aboard Expo
Development wars and malls: Beverly Center and Westside Pavilion
Bel-Air Camera closing
Mystery of the vacant houses
Santa Monica tsunami forecast: everything you should know


LA Observed on Twitter