Hammicks closes as lawyers buy their books online
One of the most recognised legal bookshops in the world is to become a sushi bar after shutting its doors on Friday.
Hammicks, which has had a presence on Chancery Lane for 40 years, has fallen victim to lawyers’ increasing preference for buying their books online.
Peter Lake, business development manager at John Smith and Son Group, which owns Hammicks, said that it “doesn’t make sense for us to use a piece of prime London real estate for processing orders”. He continued:
“Digital in the legal market is also very far advanced. In the past 18 months we have put a lot of energy into making deals with digital suppliers. The vast majority of our business is through accounts with orders placed online, with only 15% coming over the counter.”
According to The Bookseller, the Hammicks site on the corner of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street is to shortly become a branch of the Itsu sushi chain. Legal London’s sushi fans will be well served, with an Itsu already existing at 130 Fleet Street.
Lawyers who like to buy their books over the counter can take solace in the continued existence of Hammicks’ Chancery Lane rival Wildy’s, which this morning took to Twitter in a bid to attract some new customers.
— Wildy's Bookshop (@Wildys) February 16, 2015
Hammicks Legal Information Services first began in 1968, when army officer Charles Hammick set up a general bookshop in Farnham, Surrey. A store in Chancery Lane followed in 1975, with the current Fleet Street shop opening in 1986.