In the Södermalm district of central Stockholm, surrounded by boutiques, coffee shops, independent bars and green spaces, you’ll find Papercut – a true destination for any magazine-lover. Although it’s a large shop, it’s packed from floor to ceiling with paper-y goods, with entire walls dedicated purely to magazines. This week we spoke with Papercut co-founder Alexander Dahlberg to hear about which titles are doing best in Stockholm.
When and why did you set up Papercut?
Spring 2008. There was nothing like it around. We wanted to create a store that we ourselves wanted to visit: a great blend of magazines, books (and at the time) DVDs and CDs.
How do you lay out the magazines around the shop and how did you decide on that set up?
The magazine business is in a great new flow, it’s constantly in motion, and it’s important to us that we convey this vivid sense of movement and change. This is why we place all the magazines together. We’ve been in the business for a long time, so the layout kind of comes naturally. We consider where we’re going to put each magazine separately because each title is so different: this thinking extends to everything from the physical displays to social media.
Who are your customers?
Curious people with great taste!
What has the biggest challenge been?
In general, reminding people that if shops like ours have a chance in surviving, they need to support us. It’s always nice and very much appreciated to hear how much people love our store, but if people then choose to go home and buy online from “the giants” to save a few pounds, the compliments are worth nothing at the end of the day. It’s a hard one. You don’t want to whine, but you do hope people don’t forget how boring it would be without small concept stores.
What changes have you seen in the magazines since you opened?
In times when you so often hear that ‘print is dead’ it’s been such a pleasure to sell all of these new independent magazines that have established themselves in recent years. I’m thinking of Kinfolk, Inventory, Cereal, Pure Green, The Travel Almanac, Another Escape and Sidetracked, to name a few. There are so many beautiful, well-made and inspiring magazines that they’ve almost become like collector’s items.