Sunday, February 20, 2011

Raleigh comic book store closing after 24 years

Raleigh comic book store closing after 24 years ::

RALEIGH, N.C. — Comic book fans around the North Carolina State University campus are saying goodbye to a landmark.

Capitol Comics has been a fixture at 3027 Hillsborough St. for 24 years, but the economy and changing tastes have hurt the long-running business, according to manager Russ Garwood.
I've never been to this shop, so it's not a personal loss for me, but it's a shame to lose this kind of business. Sci-fi geeks, collectors, gamers, etc. need a place that has the specialty items no place else carries. I think the challenge, or one of the big ones at least, for these shops must be competing with the Amazons of the world. The owner of Capitol says as much in the article. He can't have the inventory of an Amazon, nor can he do the volume to maintain the razor thin margins it would take to compete on price. These places need to offer something else, something an online merchant can't supply. I'm just not sure what that is.

I stopped in a comic shop out in San Antonio when I was out there recently, it was connected to the lobby of the Alamo Draft House where I went to see True Grit. I didn't end up buying anything because they had nothing Doctor Who or Firefly-related. I would've loved to have picked up  Sonic Screwdriver or a Dalek, or Mal and Wash action figures (assuming such a thing even a exists) ... but there was nothing to be had. Now, to be fair, I understand from the owner they do carry some stuff, but because the Draft House has Doctor Who and Firefly nights, they get picked over by those fans. Bad timing on my part, but I'd think that (knowing that) that's the kind of thing you'd have a larger inventory of then.

Also, that first picture points to another problem. Where's the effing sign? Maybe you don't need one of if you're a trendy nightclub and the point of the place is that only the cool crowd knows how to find it (this is the business acumen I picked up watching Swingers so many times) but if you have a retail storefront, I think it probably helps if passing traffic can figure out what you are, and newcomers can find you.  Just saying.
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