Running a Retail Store

I am planning on opening a brick and mortar comic store this year.

Anybody here have experience owning or working in a brick and mortar shop?

I have registered for the ComicsPRO mentoring program but I want to get as much feedback as possible as I put together my business plan.

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Are you selling new release stuff or just older stuff? Buying and trading? I’m just curious. I can ask some comic store owners I’m friends with if they have tips.

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i want to sell back issues and unique pop culture gifts that you wouldn’t necessarily see at other comic shops or places like gamestop.
i’ll also sell new releases but im not going to be ordering every book every wednesday so i’ll need to do a lot of ads and outreach and deals to get subscribers to pre-order their stuff (easier said than done, of course).
but i just cant let a bunch of dead stock accumulate like i’ve seen at so many other stores and it’ll be a small shop with just me there.

what i really want to know is how much of shops’ sales is from customers with pull lists. it’s really tough to try guessing at what my sales figures might be, especially if i’m a small shop which doesn’t have all the new issues each and every week.

No first-hand ownership experience here, but it seems like location/surroundings affect this more than anything. Is it in an area with money for fun things, is it by any schools, is it by anything else a customer might want (restaurant, coffee, grocery), etc. The stores I’ve been to that don’t have anything above going for it seem to have the “mostly pull list” vibes.

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Build a loyal base of customers who put in pre-orders with you and buy some shelf copies for those who aren’t committed to titles with pre-orders (provide incentives to pre-order, X amount = % off perhaps). Don’t chase the ratio variants unless you’re pre-orders qualify you for them. Don’t sell new release comics above cover price for at least a week or two. If a new book goes hot, just pull 1 or 2 off for yourself to sell later at market price but give everyone a fair shot, not everyone is flipping books on eBay to make money, some like to just collect or even read. Limit hot books to 1 per or maybe 3 per customer to deter shelf clearers. After 2 or 3 weeks, allow shelf clearers to buy your inventory up, the point of a brick shop is to move inventory, not sit on it cause you think you can sell on the secondary market for new books.

Definitely make your shop more than a comic book shop to attract other types of customers.


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Avoid doing the membership buy-in thing if you can. “For just $20, you get 10% off new books for the year!” That’s really not a big incentive. My preferred shop gives you 20% off nearly everything in the store just for being a pull list member. And, they let me use League of Comic Geeks to pre-order anything and everything. I spend a LOT of money there because of that discount and ordering flexibility.


awesome, thanks yall. this is all very helpful.

i’ll have to check out league of comic geeks because i want as many ways as possible to promote pre-order stuff and to get accessibility and awareness to customers. do you think it would be effective to make the previews catalog prominently displayed and accessible and have other ways of encouraging people to browse it, as well as pushing comic shop news and maybe having a monitor that displays a constant slideshow of upcoming issues and products?

A friend recently opened a brick and mortar store and his biggest problem is square footage. He has just enough room to display new issues coming out, some pops, action figures and maybe 3 long boxes of back issues. If he buys a collection he can only put out a small amount of it. He doesn’t have room to bring in cards or other types of pop culture inventory. He doesn’t have any storage space beyond a small broom closet either so any excess inventory clogs up his house.

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