Interview With Local Retailer Patrick Godfrey of Velocity Comics on Store Move

When I found out about the upcoming move of downtown Richmond, Virginia, comic store Velocity Comics, I had a few more questions for owner Patrick Godfrey. The store is moving across the street from their current location at 904 West Broad Street as of November 1. First, I wanted to start by confirming the details.

Where should people shop when?

We will be open for normal business through Saturday, October 30th at our current location. Expect some big sales; we want to lighten the load for the move! Then we’ll be closed Sunday, October 31st, and will reopen Monday, November 1st in the new location– just right across the street at 819-A West Broad Street! We will also have a new phone number as of Monday, which is (804) 303-1783.

Why are you moving?

A number of reasons. First, our partners in the space we’re currently in, Brett’s Comics Pile, have decided to focus on online back issue sales and comic conventions. So they will not be joining us in the new spot. Structurally and financially, the new location was too good of an opportunity to pass up, and the idea of being able to design the new space 100% to our desires was also a huge selling point.

Will you still be carrying back issues and merchandise?

While we will have back issues, it will be on a much smaller scale than what was offered by Brett’s Comic Pile. Over time, if the demand is there, we will look into cultivating a larger selection, but Velocity Comics has always been more focused on the bookstore-type model of comic store, with a large percentage of space devoted to trades, graphic novels, and independent publishers.

When there’s demand for ancillary merchandise, we will certainly be carrying extras. Recent examples we’ve carried include the Toon Tumbler glasses and DC Direct figures. Blackest Night buttons were a surprise hit. But as before our focus will be 99% on comics, TPBs, and GNs.

Will you be moving all the shelves and fixtures?

We’re banging out the whole move on Sunday 10/31. I expect it’ll only take a few hours to get everything over there and several more getting everything situated just so. But we’ll be home in plenty of time to watch The Walking Dead debut on AMC. We’ll be shaking things up a bit and leaving a lot of our fixtures behind. I’ve got someone custom-building an island unit that will serve as both employee workspace and shelf space, and the goal is to have no other product-carrying fixtures on the floor– it’s all on the walls. This will be a sleek, uncluttered floor design!

Any good deals for customers?

We are running a number of sales leading up to the move. Currently, our recent overstock boxes (product anywhere from three months to a year or two old) are marked down to $.50 per issue. All books on our manga, art books, and kids’ book racks are half off, and a huge selection of independent GNs are also half off. There are also loads of TPBs marked down to $3 to $5. We’ll be having a 25% off EVERYTHING blowout on Saturday. Fit it around checking out the zombie walk in Carytown if you can!

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