brick & mortar

Casa Magazines Has Been Sold

Photo: Happy David

Casa Magazines is officially changing hands. The West Village newsstand, beloved by glossy diehards, has been owned and operated by Mohammed Ahmed since it first opened on 12th Street and 8th Avenue in 1994. But Ahmed, now 73, is ready to retire and sold the shop earlier this year to Iconic Magazines, a small chain of magazine shops in lower Manhattan. “I know it’s time,” Ahmed said of the change in ownership.

The store, which survived the obliteration of print and the pandemic, will remain much the same, says Hemal Sheth of Iconic, who is a friend of Ahmed’s. Shop manager Ali Wasim will continue to run it day to day and the approach to inventory will continue to be fairly obsessive. “It will be in good hands,” Ahmed says.

Photo: Robert K. Chin - Storefronts/Alamy Stock Photo

Casa feels like a rarity in the digital era: a haven for the fashion completists looking for this month’s Vogue Italia, cyclists after a copy of Rouleur, or people just looking for the Sunday edition of the New York Times. The shop still carries more than 2,500 titles, including this magazine, and owes its longevity, at least in part, to Happy David, a friend of Ahmed’s who helped start an Instagram for Casa in 2017. The account helped secure its status as an institution, raising its profile to locals, tourists, and influencers. The effort paid off and Casa became, in addition to print’s last brick-and-mortar gasp, kind of cool. Valentino and Madewell have done events and brand partnerships with the shop, and in 2021, it was featured in the Times’ “Style” section.

Ahmed will miss the “daily routine and the smell and feel of the store,” he says, but is ready to spend time with family. (He will also continue to be involved behind the scenes from time to time.) The mission, Sheth told me last month, is simple: “We are trying to help people buy magazines.”

Casa Magazines Has Been Sold