Thursday, April 3, 2008

O.K. Now that I have an entire quarter to look at, I'm starting to see trends.

January was down quite a bit, February was even, and March....well, I'm not sure it even counts.
Last year was such an anomaly -- huge sales, Christmas sized sales. Not exactly sure why.

Because of Gambit Games leaving the field, I spent most of the first quarter last year spending more money on games than I was actually making. Ditto, new books. So, not surprisingly, sales were down a bit in those two categories.

But the proof is in the cash flow. This is the best management of cash flow I can remember having at this time of year. Even paying off one of my credit cards in full, I haven't had to dip into savings. Nor have I had to starve the store of necessary material. As I've said before, it's more a cut back in the level of increases than an actual cut back.

Biggest surprise to me is that comics account for most of the percentage drop in sales. Makes sense, since they account for half our sales. Some of that is due to customers affected by the housing slowdown, but the biggest part I blame on weak offerings, which is beyond my control.

Last year, there were a number of very strong crossovers. But this year, we are feeling the hangover effect. This may be about to turn around. Marvel just started Secret Invasion, and DC has Final Crisis coming up (after almost of year of really weak offerings....) Not sure whether to be encouraged or discouraged that much of the slowdown is due to weak product.

What about the recession?

Well, if I had to apportion blame, I was say, 1/3 because of cut backs; 1/3 due to weak product; 1/3 due to recession.

Still, I'm still above my original goals; and I'm encouraged that the sales are spread out among all the categories in the store. It really seems to smooth out the bumps.

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