Saturday, March 22, 2008

I was asked to describe my store circumstances by another comic retailer in Las Vegas, because I expressed amazement that he would turn down all subscribers who didn't do 10 titles or more. (I accept customers who want only one title....)

What do you think? Is it accurate?

We are 75k in Bend, 150k in metro area, (We were 20k in 1990). 200k tri-county, and sagebrush and pine in every direction for 100 miles beyond that. Wrong side (right side?) of the Cascades. Up until recently, we were 'poverty with a view.' Lately, we've become Aspen aspirations with a Walmart.

Tourist town, July, August and December. Big boom town over the last three years. (Most 'over-priced' housing according the National Bank and CNN/Money Magazine.) Second behind Las Vegas in 'over'-retailed footage, last survey I saw. (Admittedly, a few years back. But I think it may have gotten worse.) No industry to speak of. No four year college, really. No interstate.

Lots of retiree's. Not much urban hip. Now that Trader Joes is opening, I think we have just about everything except Toys R Us.

No competition. Even the 10 year game store, 15 year card shop, and 5 year anime store and 5 year toys store folded this last year. Tough, tough town. I think we're pretty different.

I am in the only walk-in traffic worthy area, 'old' downtown Bend which grew into the 'cool' part of town around me over the last 25 years.

Rents are nearing 3.00 a ft. plus triple net.

Out of control building and costs, and -- so it seems -- soon to be many out of work contractors and bankrupt developers.

I've always had to diversify, both by carrying lots of graphic novels and comics, but also by carrying lots of indy's and mainstream.

Half of my business is everything else -- books, games, toys, cards, etc.

I've emphasized new books and boardgames over the last year or so to take advantage of the new foot-traffic flow.


News Junkie said...

"I wonder how they came up with 140 characters?"

Most phone text messages are limited to 120 to 160 characters. Twitter was developed to integrate with mobile technology.

So I guess you better start shopping for that Blackberry, Dunc.

Duncan McGeary said...

Never! much are they.

No, just kidding. I don't even have a cell phone. As far as I'm concerned, nothings that important.