ICv2 speculated that Borders’ demise left an opening for comic shops to capture manga buyers. (A supposition I don’t find very plausible, since some direct market retailers don’t carry manga because they don’t like it or don’t know enough about it to stock it sensibly, and Borders’ departure doesn’t address that lack of knowledge or interest, but anyway…) In response, a Florida retailer said he was seeing a small increase, even though he has “a limited selection available as it is a bit overwhelming and I personally don’t have interest in it.” (See?) He wants manga publishers to provide dedicated displays to stores, which he thinks would help.
In response to that, Brigid Alverson asked “Which manga would entice you to do your shopping in a comic shop?” The answers are not encouraging, since based on the comments at time of writing, customers want:
- Out-of-print manga — not sure where a comic shop is supposed to get this, unless they’re one of those stores that ordered blindly several years ago and still have it gathering dust on their shelves
- Out-of-print manga at below-market prices — if I can get $40 for it on Amazon, why am I going to sell it to you at $10?
- “Expensive special editions that might or might not be worth the cost” — while I appreciate the ability to browse being an attractive factor, if you think it’s not worth the cost, why is the retailer going to assume it’s worth stocking?
- Discounts before they’ll buy — “maybe buy 3 get the 4th free or something”
There are a few good suggestions in the comments, such as the one about the importance of customer service, but the majority of them are unworkable or selfishly cheap. When potential buyers say things like, “if I have to wait [or special order], I’ll get it online,” one understands why retailers may not find this a desirable customer base to chase.