Thursday, November 4, 2010

News of the Weird.

Sometimes it seems as though the promotional world is some weird alternative universe, bearing no reality to my day to day business dealings.

Two struck me today as completely strange.

The first concerns a new Executive Director of Business Development for Diamond Comic Distributers.

“Luke will be creating programs to the class of trade that includes home centers, dollar stores, mass, etc.”

Home centers? Dollar stores?

Good luck with that. Mass market? That's been the dream of the comic publishers and distributor since I started. Hard to see how that's going to happen now, or that it will be ultimately beneficial to any of us.

The second was today's announcement that Border's has closed it's warehouse:

"Borders is closing its 564,000 square foot distribution center in La Vergne, Tennessee, according to the Nashville Post. The shutdown, which will take place on December 23rd, will eliminate 93 jobs, according to the report.

Borders is under significant stress, and is attempting to reduce expenses to return to profitability."

When I first read that, I thought: How do you run a national bookstore without a distribution center?

Second reading -- it doesn't say it's the ONLY distribution center, but....really, how long can this Borders diminution go on?

Ew,ew.....I really have to add a third promotional weird.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, DC announced they were rolling back their comics to a 2.99 price point. Marvel immediately jumped up and down and said, "We too! We too!" but they were damned vague about it.

Today we get a clarification:

"The pricing structure is that for limited series in the Marvel Universe that we roll out, we will price as many of those as we can for $2.99 for a 32 page book."




Thanks for nothing.

Meanwhile, in the real world. I had a woman in from New York, who expressed support for independent bookstores ("I so LOVE the Strand Bookstore," she says.) So we talk books for awhile, and she seems interested in finding a good book and she tells me the books I'm carrying are the kind she likes....

And yet.....and yet....

I could tell it wasn't going to culminate in a sale. Oh, it would have if: 1.) I really sucked up to her and spent at least half an hour going through all the books she might like. And 2.) If I'd played up on her heartstrings, "Yes, independent bookstores are having a rough time...) hint, hint.

I didn't feel like it. We talked casually for awhile, and the moment passed, and I got busy with other customers, and I saw her leave.

I'm just not willing to go that extra step this time -- the sucking up process is distasteful. I want customers to buy the books they want, and if they don't want books...then so be it.

Same thing with discounts. In the past slowdowns, I'd sell a significant portion of my inventory with "deals" or "discounts" but there is a huge element of a short-term two steps forward, long-term three steps back to that process, and again, I don't need to and certainly don't want to sell off my best inventory for less than replacement costs.

Pride goeth before the fall? Perhaps. But if I'm going to make minimum wage, I don't see why I should have to give up my self-respect at the same time.

1 comment:

shopping monkey said...

"But if I'm going to make minimum wage, I don't see why I should have to give up my self-respect at the same time."