It is always our habit to visit local magic shops whenever we get the chance, and this week I made good a promise to my nephew to take him to a magic shop and we paid a visit to the Merchant of Magic who are based in Southwick in Hampshire.
You may well have used their website – and a very large part of their business is done online – but they have a small studio you can visit in Southwick and it is well worth doing so if you are passing. The studio is in a converted stable block and feels light and airy compared to many magic shops I have visited over the years. (The counter doesn’t always look as messy as it does in my picture – but we had been looking at lots of different possible things for my nephew!)
Their website holds an enormous range, which isn’t all available in the shop (they have a warehouse elsewhere) – so it is worth ringing up in advance if you want to see a particular thing to make sure they have it in the shop. Given our own site’s focus on card related magic in particular you will be pleased to know they have an excellent selection of playing cards available in the shop.
In the photo you will see a smiling Ben Williams behind the counter. He, and the rest of the team, are very friendly – happy to chat, share advice and demonstrate magic. We even got given some sweets (which will be familiar to you if you have ever placed a postal order with them!). The staff know their stuff (they have a useful blog on their website) and were very helpful in dealing with our questions and suggesting ideas. In fact, we ended up staying almost twice as long as I had planned. My only negative was that I wasn’t offered a cup of tea – which is always my gold standard in magic shop visits!
Definitely worth popping in if you are in the area. You will get a helpful welcome and will enjoy browsing their great selection. And maybe next time I go I’ll get a cup of tea!