- Posted by Johanna on March 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
J. Caleb Mozzocco was excited to try six new titles yesterday, on new comic book day. However, his store only bothered stocking one of them, the DC superhero one.
Comic shops are in trouble, and this is a big reason. Why should customers have to commit to purchasing in order to sample new titles? Shouldn’t retailers take risks in stocking new products? The answer to that, in many cases, I guess, is that the retailers are creating the kinds of stores they want by restricting their product lines, but the end result is too many potential purchasers are left with shops that serve as DC/Marvel superhero boutiques. If they want to read more widely, their choice is to go outside the direct market.
The store gave him some story about not wanting to risk shelf space on “independent publishers”, but two of the books he was looking for were from Vertigo and Image. Worse, one of the books was an issue that the shop said they’d order for him after they messed up his preorder. They forgot. No wonder so many people are going online to purchase — physical retail locations need to compete on service and providing immediate access to products. If you don’t care about keeping your customers happy, then why should they shop with you? As Mozzocco says,
A lot of us online blowhard types rarely if ever single out shop owners and employees, save for the most vile examples, and focus our venom instead on the big corporate publishes. It makes sense, really — the shop owners are small business men, most of whom got into their small business because of their great love for the same thing we love so much. But it should be said that some of them just aren’t very good at selling comic books to people, and they can be a force pushing people away from comics, if not Comics comics, than certainly comic book comics.
End result is that the store loses $25 worth of business, the publisher loses a customer who might have come back month after month, and the customer gets closer to being fed up with the whole process. Mozzocco did the smart thing; he began shopping elsewhere. At least he had a store choice.