The store plans continue apace….my dad volunteered to take down a drywall partition that needed to go, and that was very kind of him. I’ve started to remove the carpet, and oh, yeah, the building finally has power! I can see what I’m doing! The air conditioning works! The cyclotron’s acceleration of particles is satisfactory!
And then there’s the other side of the business, where I have to plan out my orders for the shop. Now, just ordering stock to fill shelves and racks so that there’s something there in the store when I open, that’s fine. That’ll be the perennials, the items that always sell, your Walking Deads and your Scott Pilgrims and such, plus the previous month or two’s new funnybook releases that, sure, other stores will have had as new items when they came out, but should be on the shelf and available anyway since not everyone is Johnny on the spot when it comes to New Comics Wednesday and I should probably put a period in this sentence at some point.
It’s the stuff that I’m going to want on the shelves once the store is open for business and I supposedly want to, you know, make some money rather than watch it sprout wings and fly away for such trivialities as “water service” and “a phone line.” When people come into the shop looking for new books, I want to make sure I have those new books to sell. At the same time, I don’t want to overspend and overorder and get stuck with lots of product at a time I especially can’t afford to do so.
There are a couple of things that help. One, I already seem to be lining up a number of comic saver customers for my shop before I even have a proper floor put in, so that gives me an idea of at least a certain minimum of copies I’ll need to have.
Two, there’s my decades of comics retail experience, which will give me, if not the exact numbers I’ll need to order, at least the relative numbers. I know about how well, say, Batman sells, and I know Supergirl sells about a third of that, and Infinity Man and the Forever People sells…well, let’s not talk about that. But you get the idea. It still leaves a little guesswork as to what exact numbers to order, but it’s a start. And if I’m off…well, I’m off. I can always reorder, and hopefully folks will understand that I’m starting afresh and am still in the process of determining what the local market wants.
All I can do is the best I can, and see how it plays out. At the very least I want every customer who walks in to be happy they made the trip…and the first step for that is to make sure I have a floor for them to walk on, so I better get cracking on that.