Friday, July 29, 2005

They're losing their businesses...and we're reaping all the benefits.

Two Comic Shops have effectively closed in the recent months with us reaping the benefits of their hardcore customers.
I say "effectively closed" as the one in Stratford no longer stocks new comics as he couldn't maintain a weekly Diamond order, so now he just sells the most disparate disorganised section of back issues I have ever seen. To give an example, the biggest comic section in his shop isn't labelled "Amazing Spider-man" or "Uncanny X-Men" but: "1st Issues - Half Price".
Another comic shop seems to have closed in Bedfordshire, I don't know the name, but we have picked up a very good mail order customer in his absence.

So am I happy that we are picking up new customers? Of course, but then you have to look at why.

The industry is shrinking, at least thats what the evidence says. Marvel are down 11% on the 2nd Quarter 2004, comic shops are still closing down and most of the industry (in fact, most retailers in the UK) are complaining that trade is down on this time last year. Yet my shop is holding steady, if not growing.

If our comic shop closed tomorrow, how many of the 150 people on our pull list, or the 350 speculative Tpb readers would continue reading comics?
I reckon as little as 20% of our readers would continue their habit, making the extra effort to travel, or organise mail order. The rest I think would make the occasional stop off in Ottakers for nostalgia, but otherwise drift away.

With every comic shop that closes in the UK, it means we have a bigger slice of the figurative Comic Industry Pie. It also means the comic Pie shrinks a little.


Robby Reed said...

At a time when numerous crappy DC books sell out weekly, and Marvel's House of M allows the company to regain the number one spot again, it's a little silly to resurrect the old "Comics are dying" thing, don't you think? Comics have been "dying" for a LOOOOOONG time now.

Sid said...

Or, if you read my blog, you'll realise that for the most part I am very optomistic abiout the state of industry. In fact, if you read the blog that you posted your oh-so-sage like comment on, you'll realise that our shop is in a growth spurt.
I don't know what the chip is on your shoulder matey, but you keep coming off as hostile with your two detailed posts examining the breadth of the industry. Sorry if your favourite comic got cancelled or if your life has grown dark, isolated and insular, your youthful spark has extinguished leaving you a passionless husk of the person you once were. Maybe you need to reevaluate why you read comics, or even why you started in the first place. Because it seems to me the only joy you have left is criticising the industry you can't stop talking about.
Be positive: tell me what books you are reading that you recomend, shout the good stuff, don't be so quick to besmirch books you don't like or want to understand. This is your chance to push the stuff you think people should be reading. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

Hmm maybe sid's met his archenemy

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