The store was in pretty good shape when I got back. The last two days haven't been as difficult as I expected, after being away for so long. So, the guys did a pretty good job.
It is a little more disheveled than I like, but pleasantly so. In fact, I think I can allow a small amount of chaos in the store. But that disorder has to come from an original state of order, not from other chaos. Which means, that I have to put it in order.
Fight The Entropy!
I don't believe anyone really understands the "half-inch" rule: which is how I describe the little bits of disorder adding up to an impression of messiness.
Just between you and me, the impression that things are in order is as important as the things actually being in order. Squaring everything away makes people feel like someone is in charge. Just don't tell anyone, O.K.?
Anyway, most all the stores we visited, including the corporate ones, had more things out of place that I would like. Sometimes that just seemed to fit the personality of the workers -- sometimes it was O.K. But that can so easily spin out of control.
So what did I take away from all my visits?
Most of these stores were ordering way more "extra" copies that I do. My guess is that my variety of titles is considerable more extensive than theirs, per foot.
On the other hand, having multiple copies of the same book highlighted can make them look very appealing. So I'm going to try to find a way to do this in my store more often.
I've just ordered a ton of copies of the classic Batman graphic novels: The Long Halloween, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, and others. Going to create a big display near the register, see how that goes.
I've read all these books, and all of them are at the top of the comic field. It's a great time to read them. (I know, I know...I keep saying movies have no effect, but I'm ever hopeful...)
16 hours ago