Since today is Wednesday, what better time to take a look at where we’ve come from and where we’re going with our comics.
Year in Review
Believe it or not, ordering comics is one of the most difficult aspects of running the store. A lot of people think you just pick your favorite books and stock up on those, but there’s a lot more to it than that, especially in a retail setting.
One of the great things about comics right now is the amount of really good stuff out there. My job as the store owner is not to order the things I like and then tell you why you should like them too. My job is to figure out what it is you like and then make sure I have it and other similar things that you may like as well, whether I like them or not.
The other thing that makes ordering comics very tricky is new books. Since there’s often no established readership or buying patterns, it’s very often just an educated guess how many copies of a new book to pick up. I constantly walk the line between not ordering enough, selling out, and having customers that have to find the book somewhere else while on the other side is over ordering, having a ton left over, and sitting on dead inventory.
Now that I have a full year’s worth of ordering under my belt, I’m starting to really get the hang of it. Ordering now feels like an inexact science instead of blindly throwing darts at a dartboard.
The software we use to track sales and fill boxes/special orders also makes life much easier when looking at trends in titles. It tracks our sell through rate on every series including how many were sold from the shelf, how many to box customers, and how quickly all those copies sold. This is also good news for you guys because it means I’m less likely to under order on popular titles so we always have enough, but I’m also not needlessly tying up inventory in underperforming books so I have that to bring in other cool, new stuff.
The software also manages our boxes for us. We’ve set up over 30 this year. Each month it automatically posts all subscriptions into our monthly order form. Then every week, when we get our shipment on Tuesday, it prints a report with everything we need to pull for our box customers.
The Year in Preview
Speaking of boxes, starting today (October 1st), we’re introducing a new Subscription Rewards program. All now and future subscription/box customers will enjoy a loyalty discount based on how many monthly titles they subscribe to.
Less than 5 titles – 5%
5-14 titles – 10%
15+ titles – 15%
We will also be continuing to expand our selection. We currently carry every Marvel, DC, and Image title along with variant covers. Our selection of other publishers is also constantly growing.
We’ve also got 2 major events coming up this year. Halloween ComicFest is coming up in just a few short weeks. It was successful for us last year despite being just three weeks after we opened, and we’re expecting it to be even bigger this year.
Free Comic Book Day 2014 remains our single best day ever. Bigger than any game release or event weekend. We were completely shocked by how well it went this year and have some big plans to make it one of our most amazing events to date in 2015.
Come on in and get a box set up and start being rewarded on your comics today. Here’s to a great first year and even bigger and better things to come.