For the loosest definition of the word “lucky.”

§ May 29th, 2020 § Filed under retailing § 3 Comments

So it’s been a week since I was allowed to reopen my shop to customers, and so far, so good. Everyone’s being careful, maintaining distance and wearing masks, and happily shopping. I’m not quite as busy as I was before the shutdown at the end of March, but I’m still doing fairly good business.

One problem is that I’d been adjusting orders on my comics based on being closed to public access. Being told Thursday of last week that I could open again caught me by surprise, so I don’t have quite the amount of new stock that I would prefer to have for folks browsing the shelves. That’s not to say I had nothing, but my stocked copies on the new arrivals racks were perhaps not as deep as I would have liked. Now as it turns out, and as I noted, I’m not getting the foot traffic I normal get just yet, as folks are gradually getting used to the idea of venturing outside their homes again, but I did have to place a handful of reorders just to make sure I got the demands of the walk-ins I do have covered. It’s a fine line I’m walking here.

Speaking of orders, Diamond’s shipments for these last two weeks have been relatively small, so this week’s New Comics Wednesday was not the usual Big Register Take that I’m generally used to, but that’s okay. My Diamond bills aren’t all that high either, so as long as the sales on the new books pay for themselves, I should be in good shape.

Now the DCs…as you’d likely heard, DC started using alternative distribution outside of Diamond to start getting their books into shops a few weeks prior to Diamond’s reopening. And the distributor I’ve been using I’m mostly happy with. No damages, no shortages, good customer service, bulletproof packing…the only problem is the shipper they’re using. This distributor’s comic shipments are supposed to show up on Monday, so that the DCs may be put out for sale on Tuesday. I think I’ve had one of their boxes actually show up on Monday once. In fact, this week, I didn’t get the new DCs until several hours into my Wednesday. I like the idea of having alternatives to Diamond, but I’m going to have to transition my new DC orders back to Diamond just so there’s a better chances of having my books on time. I’ll likely do reorders and such from the other distributor, but time-sensitive stuff needs time-sensitive service, and I’m just not getting that.

When it comes to the actual racking of the new books, it’s a little trickier I have one shelf on the rack for the “New This Week” books, and the two shelves beneath hold all the books that came out the last week of March (the last Diamond shipment before their shutdown, released a week after I had to close the store’s doors) through New Comics Day of last week (which turned out to be the last day I had to be closed). I plan to continue racking things this way for a could of weeks so that as my customers return, they’ll have an easier time picking out what they have have missed while I was closed and they were away. Thankfully I have sufficient shelving space to accommodate this sort of behavior.

So, all in all, I seem to be doing okay and heading back to at least semi-normal business. I don’t want to say for sure my business made it through this crisis, because it ain’t done yet (and may not be for a while, if the folks demanding they be allowed to be disease vectors get their way) but there’s reason to at least be a tad hopeful.

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IN OTHER SITE NEWS: Okay, there was a typo in Monday’s post title. It’s fixed now. And there are probably typos in this week’s post. COLLECT ‘EM ALL

Also, I did have a post ready to go for Wednesday…but I scheduled it way ahead of time, never bothered to check if it did load, and when I logged into my admin pages, I got a notice that publication failed for whatever reason. But it’s up now in all its glory. …So, two new posts for today! Ain’t you lucky?

3 Responses to “For the loosest definition of the word “lucky.””

  • Thom H. says:

    Good to hear that business is stable if not great. I hope it only continues to improve now that you’re officially open!

    I’m looking forward to shopping at my local store when it opens again next Wednesday (in Chicago). I don’t buy a ton of new stuff, but hoping they have some back issues and/or trades I want so I can throw some money their way.

  • Bruce Baugh says:

    Glad to hear how things are going, and it sounds like a lot of potential trouble isn’t showing up, at least not yet. Here’s hoping it remains absent.

  • Snark Shark says:

    ““New This Week” books”

    You may need a “Things You May Have Missed While We Were Closed for 3 Months” rack!


    Ah, I already have enuff typoz.