Soho News International, New York. Three-thousand magazines on Prince Street

Magazines span in volumes at Soho News International – showcasing a diverse set of titles in genres. Esoteric and well-known, catering to the wider sense of audience in the New York City area

Bhavin Sheth, Soho News International’s owner

As per its name, Soho News International is a newsstand located on Prince Street in New York. A newsstand and a convenience store, it is the brainchild of Bhavin Sheth. A purveyor of magazines today, forty-nine-year-old Sheth began his journey in carrying magazines and newspapers when he emigrated from Gujarat, India upon the completion of his business degree in the year 1996. He shares, «I came to the United States twenty-five years ago in search for the American Dream as well as a better chance at solidifying career opportunities»

Upon his arrival in New York, he took up a managerial role in Lafayette Smoke Shop. A corner lot magazine store in the Prince Street area of the Soho District. During his time there, Sheth spent previewing, learning and understanding the protocols that went along with running and managing a magazine and smoke store. He shares his passion for printed materials. Magazines with alluring covers, the feeling of paper and the content within the pages of magazines as well as newspapers. 

Soho News International in New York

Upon the closure of the Lafayette Smoke Shop’s in 2006, Sheth then rooted himself into a shop lot once belonging to a photo store, updating it into what is now known as Soho News. «It was convenient for me at the time. The owner of the lot was selling his store and I insisted on the location being in the Soho area».

Naming the store after the environs was not a choice that took an extended period of time. His love for the Soho area in New York, in fact, best reflected his persistence to champion the neighborhood through his store. «I wanted to celebrate the diverse melting pot and the essence of what the Soho area is about in New York».

Sheth has epitomized Soho News International as one of the go-to magazine stores in the city. Soho News International carries a volumized library of magazines and newspapers alongside their items. Their library of reading materials is an approximate total of three-thousand magazines. The remaining items are newspapers that do not take a significant space in the store. 

Spring Iconic Sweet Shop and Varrick Iconic News

Manning Soho News International is one of the string of businesses attached under Sheth’s name. Having once lived on the island of Manhattan, he now commutes between New Jersey and Manhattan to his businesses. He is, in fact, the owner to Spring Iconic Sweet Shop. A once candy and ice cream store now fashioned into a magazine store situated in the Spring Street neighborhood of New York.

Sheth also holds a newspaper and convenience store in the New York City area known as Varrick Iconic News. «The store in the Spring Street neighborhood, Spring Iconic Sweet Shop, is a walk away from the subway station. This is a high-volume store due to the traffic it pulls in with the commuters. While, Varrick Iconic News is located by a subway station, as well. The store sells newspapers and convenience items for now. I intend to refurbish the location into a magazine store in the near future»

The Prince Street neighborhood

Having been in the area for the span of fifteen years, Soho News International has existed alongside other businesses, with some that have continued to remain in the area till today. Sheth shares that the Prince Street neighborhood is an abode for independent and up and coming business like his. There are, in fact, restaurants, coffee stores and apartment buildings across the area.

A couple of blocks away are stores of renown brands and international eateries. Sheth states, «The Prince Street neighborhood is a community of the youth and those who have been here for years. We are located on the ground floor of a three-story building of a corner lot. It is accessible for our customers». 

Managing three stores is a task Sheth does with his members of staff. Sheth and the store managers across the locations of stores, in fact, take care of the managerial tasks. He shares magazine orders, while select individuals who report back to him handle the daily flow of events. A contrast to when he was starting out and overseeing the tasks by himself. Sheth also chooses and finalizes the curation of magazine titles and publications.

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Lampoon review: Soho News International design

The design of the store was curated by Sheth himself. Left in an open-arrangement concept, magazines are stacked and arranged in every crevice of the store. The lot spans out across seventy-four square meters with an attached basement below ground for excess stock. A select furniture maker in the city provided the shelving units. They hold the publications based on their size and weight. The remainder of stocks are laid out on the floor for access from customers. «We did this for customers to visualize the magazines that we have and to give them an opportunity to decide». 

Magazines span in volumes at Soho News International showcasing a diverse set of titles in genres. The magazines here are both esoteric and well-known, catering to the wider sense of audience in the New York City area. «We carry Vogue in a number of languages. Then, there are hard to find magazines like System, Candy Magazine, The Ark Journal and Cabana that we sell here».

Sheth shares that the library of magazines and newspapers that have grown over time was the result of meeting customers’ needs. A deed he continues holding up, as he states that the thesis of Soho News International is a customer driven business. The establishment is set up to ensure that his customers are satisfied with the service provided and the ability for the establishment to meet their needs.

Soho News International’s products selection

Alongside taking in recommendations, Sheth explains that the curation of titles in the store is a work in progress. While his experience over the years has given him the confidence to know which titles are best suited for his customers, he is open to discovering titles and publications that he is yet to hear about. Admitting that newspapers are now accessible online, Sheth now carries a limited collection of them in Soho News International. 

Titles available are printed and published by New York City-based newspapers and are publications from the locale. Along with serving his set of customers, Soho News International serves a string of offices and modelling agencies across the cities with publications of their choice due to his all-rounded library of magazines. Working alongside a chain of vendors and a direct connection with publishers is how Sheth acquires reading items for his store. 

A step Sheth takes to maintain a healthy stance in the store’s social practices is through his acceptance of up and coming works by independent-publishers. Their efforts to ensure a low-carbon footprint is by reducing wastage and collaborating with New York City’s recycling agencies for the store’s non-perishable items. 

Due to the strains of the pandemic, Sheth was uncertain with the survival of his business. But, with the assistance of the community in the Prince Street neighborhood, Soho and New York City as a whole, he has contrived Soho News International out of the woods. Sheth intends on protracting his efforts to serve his community with literary goods as he does now. 

Soho News International

186 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, United States

It is a newsstand located on Prince Street in New York. Acting as a newsstand and a convenience store for the individuals living in the neighborhood, Soho News International is the brainchild of Bhavin Sheth.

Pravin Nair

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.