Designer to open Norwich's first indie magazine shop

Alice Pomfret who is opening Norwich's first indie magazine shop, with her partner Josh Smith.

Alice Pomfret who is opening Norwich's first indie magazine shop, with her partner Josh Smith. - Credit: Alice Pomfret

With nine record shops in the city centre, the vinyl revival is well and truly under way in Norwich.

But are magazines the next format of yesteryear to make a return? 

As readers begin to tune out from the internet and return to the physical format, the city is set to get its first indie magazine shop, with Akin opening on the first floor of Atwin in Bridewell Alley in mid to late March.

Some of the magazines Ms Pomfret will be selling at her shop on Bridewell Alley.

Some of the magazines Ms Pomfret will be selling at her shop on Bridewell Alley. - Credit: Alice Pomfret

Owner and magazine designer, Alice Pomfret, decided to open the shop after having nowhere to pick up her favourite independent magazines in the Fine City.

She said: "I've been selling for four years at pop-ups in other people's shops like cafes and clothes shops.

"I'm a magazine designer by trade, it's what I love, I started this because I couldn't find anywhere to buy independent magazines in Norwich.

Atwin on Bridewell Alley in Norwich.

Atwin on Bridewell Alley in Norwich. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

"We had some book shops and newsagents that sold them but nowhere that sold the magazines I wanted.

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"I have my own magazine, Akin, which we publish annually and with this we'll have our own space.

Some the items Ms Pomfret will be selling at her Akin store.

Some the items Ms Pomfret will be selling at her Akin store. - Credit: Alice Pomfret

"Akin is the overarching brand for the magazine, the shop and the monthly Nozza News newsletter which focuses on the Norwich independent scene."

When asked why people were beginning to return to buying magazines, Ms Pomfret said she thought people valued the experience of reading something physical over the online experience where readers are tracked by cookies.

An array of magazine's Ms Pomfret already sells with her Akin pop-ups.

An array of magazine's Ms Pomfret already sells with her Akin pop-ups. - Credit: Alice Pomfret

She added: "I think people want their privacy which obviously when they're reading things online they don't get with cookies and they're tracking what you do which obviously doesn't happen with print.

"Also designers spend lots of time on magazines making them beautiful and to read them is like an experience which you don't get if you just click on a story online.

Akin's pop-up magazine shops.

One of Akin's pop-up magazine shops. - Credit: Alice Pomfret

"We currently sell more than 40 different titles from lots of different subjects, we've got football titles, fashion, food, we've even got a magazine about cheese on order, so we have a wide range."

The shop aims to be a home for Ms Pomfret's lifestyle magazine as well as stocking more than 60 other publications and offering workshops.

Atwin on Bridewell Alley in Norwich.

Atwin on Bridewell Alley in Norwich. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Akin's first two workshops will include a zine making class run by Norwich's Common Threads Press and a collage workshop by Norwich artist Esme.