My chain of beating last year ends at 14 months.
We were down from last year in September by 13%.
But...and this is a big but....
Last year was a complete anomaly. It actually beat August results, which never, ever happens. The average decline from August to September over the previous 6 years, was 25%.
I was expecting the reason to be -- The New 52, which started last year in September. It was a big deal, lots of new customers in the door. Sure enough, we've seen some decline, but not as bad as I expected. Increases in other categories would have more than offset it.
The decline in comics was about 20%, which I'm not in the least surprised at.
But the biggest decline was in Magic. Why, I don't know. This is a sideline for us, and I'm sort of dependent on the product being hot from factors beyond my control. (Interestingly, we lost two competitors recently, one in downtown Bend and the other in downtown Redmond.) In this case, the latest wave of releases appears to have been weak: the Avacyn and 2013 releases just seemed to die off.
A new wave showed up yesterday, and by all accounts will be one of the strongest ever -- plus, I have a good supply when I'm hearing that it's been allocated. So we'll see if that turns around.
But selling only 1/3rd as much as last year, that kind of hurt.
Four out of seven categories actually beat last year -- graphic novels, toys, games, and books. Compared to 2010, we would've been up 12%.
All of this shows the value of being diversified. Without the games and the books, (added over the last few years) we'd have seen a lot more decline. Toys, I've been working on, and it seems to be paying off. Graphic novels I'm always paying attention to.
So -- Magic sells or doesn't sell, and I just have to adjust.
1.) Comic Books: -20%.
2.) Used Books. Note: Now combined with books.
3.) Cards: -70%. (The smaller the category, the bigger the swings and the less significant.)
4.) Game cards: -70%.
5.) Games: +7%.
6.) Books: +4%.
7.) Toys: +45%.
8.) Graphic Novels: +22%.
3 days ago