Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A "wide range of merchandise" ?

Golden Apple comics is for sale in Los Angeles, if you got a spare $679,000.00 laying around.

The founder of this "iconic" store died a few years ago, and my sense is that it's been more or less going downhill ever since.

What caught my notice was this description: "The Golden Apple was a forward-facing store with a wide range of merchandise..." (Interesting phrasing: "was" a "forward looking"....)

If you look at the actual merchandise, though, it's:

58.3% New comics.
31.7% Graphic Novels.
10% Everything Else.

I suspect that the vast majority of those 90% comics and graphic novels are superhero oriented.

Anyway, as comparison, I checked this December's totals for the same categories in my store:

21.1% New comics.
16.8% Graphic Novels.

62% Everything else. Yes, comics are about 38% or a little more than 1/3rd.

Now THAT'S a description of a store with a "Wide Range."

I think that's the description of a store that is more likely to survive over the long run.

That 38% of sales for comics and graphic novels doesn't represent an actual decline in sales of those two categories -- in fact, we will probably beat last year. I haven't slowed down my support of these two categories at all, indeed the diversity of product has allowed me to continue to buy what I need there, and to up my orders on new comics.

What it shows is that the other categories in the store have increased.

Boardgames are almost exactly equal to new comics this Christmas. Granted -- this is the high water mark for that category.

New books are almost exactly equal to graphic novels this Christmas. Again, a seasonal high water mark.

Sports cards and dvd's accounted for another 5%.
Toys accounted for 7.5%
Card Games accounted for 10%.

This 22.5% of sales is an even bigger argument for diversity -- it's probably what makes the rest of the store work.

Comics and graphic novels will probably come closer to 50% of the total in most months -- and that shows the strengths of my regular clientele. The strength of the other product shows the strength of the foot traffic of the downtown area and of the seasons.

Together, they make for a "diverse" store that has a chance of selling something.


Anonymous said...

About 2 years ago I was in Golden Apple. It was a nice store, but it was all comic stuff and the depth of stock seemed deep to me. I was impressed by that. However, I think they avoided games and other stuff because other stores carried it. It is LA after all.

Heroes Haven

Duncan McGeary said...

Then the article should have used the word "depth" instead of "wide range"; not the same thing at all.

Anyway, that makes sense (or used to make sense when comics old more) to have depth in a large city.

I think all comic stores are going to have to do what small town stores have always done -- have a diverse selection.