22 November 2016

Well it looks like several of my notes didnt actually post to the website over the past couple of weeks but I will post the ones I can find at the end of this note.

This Friday is Black Friday! Its came up awful quick and now Christmas is only 4 weeks away! Are you ready? I am not. We will be open regular hours at the Division location and since its a national sale type day I guess we will have a special sale as well. I am nothing if not a bandwagon jumper. From 11 to 3 all graphic novels will be 20% off at the Division location only.

The mall store will be opening at 6:00 in the morning and as is the norm, no one will show up to shop until about 9:00. We will be having some as of yet undetermined special. You would think we would know this day is coming up or something. Maybe we will get it down in a year or two in time for our 30th anniversary.

We put out another couple boxes of back issues last week including a bunch of later silver and bronze age stuff including a nice run of Amazing Spider-man.

Local Comic Shop Day was last weekend and the Division location still has some really cool variant cover comics and graphic novels that were made just for the event! We also have one Lying Cat Statue left and a Killer Frost statue left which are both painted considerably different than the mass market version.

As a reminder, both comic book locations have Toy Drive boxes provided by Spokane Fire Department for donated toys and gifts for local children.

Hopefully next week we will have some kind of final word on our new mall lease. Its been an interesting negotiation. At the very least…. -Craig!

The missed notes from the past couple of weeks….
Thanks to everyone who showed up for the sale last week! If you didnt get a card in the mail and are a subscriber, please check the address we have on file in our system. You dont want to miss out on future mailings.

We have a huge shipment of cool new anime and manga related stuff coming in from China this week for the mall store! Lots of stuffed Pokemon and anime and manga related toys and cool stuff! The really odd thing about ordering direct from China is that we can usually get the product within 3 or 4 days but when we order something from Utah, it can take a week. Of course shipments from Utah might be faster if we paid the same $1500 in transport costs….

Division just got their first small shipment of toys for the season. Star Wars, Transformers and even some Nerf! We will rotate a lot of it back to the mall after the shopping season along with most of the mugs and cups making room for more cool stuff we dont carry at the mall location. Hopefully we will be doing more of the rotation of product stuff in the future.

We just got in dozens of new Gundam! It ended up being about 140lbs of the giant robots and when I split them between stores, it still looked pretty empty so I just put in another huge order. I think Division will start carrying a much larger selection on a permanent basis. They are just too cool.

We made it though the election cycle! Only two and a half years until it all starts again! Yay!
We got in massive shipments at the mall of all kinds of geek clothes and hats and mugs and cups and more and more and more. Holy cow my credit cards are melting. Additionally I just ordered a ton of new Gundam (giant robot model kits), Gian Microbes (plush cute deadly disease thingies), 250 more tin signs featuring DC and Marvel characters and a bunch of Wood signs featuring different Marvel and DC characters and cover recreations!
There are a ton of new t-shirts and posters and superhero related toys coming in each day. Literally. tons. By the pallet. Christmas is weird.
Just when all our chickens were counted and hatched with the new store location at the mall, the lease they gave me to sign didn’t have any of the stuff we agreed to on it…. Right now we are at the my lawyer is reviewing the paperwork and making all the additions and changes that the mall originally agreed to in order for me to sign it in the first place stage. I don’t think they will argue too much since they had agreed to it all once upon a time but you never know. On the plus side, they need it signed by December in order to pad their bonus’ for the year so if they do any complaining, it will probably be while they are signing. Maybe I should make some additional changes just to screw with them… A daily bowl of M&Ms with all the red ones picked out or something….
Black Friday….. Yeah we will do something but I am not sure exactly what yet. I should be able to figure it out in the next week or so…. -Craig!

27 October 2016

Our 28th Anniversary Sale is coming up this weekend. Only 3 months late which is actually pretty good for me. One of them took several years. I think we actually had several other anniversary sales before the one we were supposed to have. We did do it eventually though…. Anyway, this Saturday and Sunday only at the Division location its a sale!

If you are a Subscriber, you should have gotten or will be getting a post card in the mail with all the details in the next day or so. If not we will have signs all over the store Saturday morning telling you the details.

Christmas is quickly approaching and the mall is bulking up rather quickly – its a good time to start shopping before the actual chaos of Christmas shopping starts.
If you collect PoP! Funko figures, this week we received a shipment of PX exclusive Batman/Dark Knight in armor! We only have 30 split between the shops so…..

The Division store is going to start bulking up on their toy section this week. We will be taking some of each shipment that comes into the mall store so it will be a steady stream of new cool stuff! The new stuff should go well with all the new statues and other assorted neat stuff that has been showing up.

Halloween is already here! The mall stores will both be handing out candy starting at 6:00 and running to 8:00 or until we run out. Its a nice climate controlled enviroment for you and your younger kids. There are probably about a million kids running through the place store to store but its a nice painless way to keep out of the possible rain on Monday. -Craig!

19 October 2016

The Shadle Hastings is closing today (Tuesday).  The Valley and South Hill locations are going to stick around for another week or two until most of the stuff is gone.

I picked up the rest of their wall book cases which puts us somewhere around 30 which will give us a ton of them for the new Northtown locations.  Probably too many but

its always better than not enough and have to make do with something that looks like crap.

I will be going in today and see if there are any little things I missed.  Hopefully not as our storage problem is getting worse and worse….

We are going to have our late anniversary sale on the 29 and 30th of this month.  There, its in print and its going to happen.  I was trying for the week prior but we had

huge problems with merging dbf files, printers and paper.  Nothing was cooperating and I ran out of time.  Most if not all of those problems should be remedied this week.  If not, the sale goes on anyway and I will blast it out on Facebook and our website.  Both are inefficient since we rely on other peoples algorithm’s but we will make do if necessary.

Anyway a short one again this week as I have to get this in print for the first arrivals on Wednesday morning and that is right….about…..now…..                                                  -Craig!

 

11 October 2016

Books will be 1 day late this week! Again! They should be on the stands by 2:00 Wednesday afternoon. FedEx Freight did not pick our stuff up until Saturday for some reason which throws us a day behind. Diamond, our distributor, is giving us free freight for two weeks which is nice but the books on time would be better…. Diamond is trying to figure out what is going on as they said one is an anomoly but two is a pattern and is worrysome. Hopefully its all fixed this week and everything is back to normal just in time for the snow to disrupt it all again! Anyway, books will be avaiable on the stands by about 2:00 Wednesday afternoon.

Its only 11 Saturdays until Christmas. Black Friday is only 7 away. Time flies way too quick. Of course that means that spring is just around the corner which will be nice.

Sorry for skipping the post last week but I wanted to wait until some paperwork came through and it looks like it has.   The big news I was talking about for the past couple of weeks looks to be the Northtown mall building us a brand new bright and shiny store. There is a major national retailer taking over the entire side of the mall where we are currently located so the power that be have offered to combine two other stores on the same floor into one new mega store with all glass front and lots of light! The square footage of the new store is nearly identical to our current location with the exception of the backrooms being smaller. The only change people will notice is how much cooler the new store is! We will also have an exit to the parking area which will we get to use for our midnight releases and tournaments which will not require people to walk through the empty mall at night. Overall its going to be a really great new store. We are scheduled to open March 1st of next year and should not be closed more than 2 days while we move. Hopefully we will only have to close 1 day but that might be overly optimistic.

I have some ideas that might make a quick move a reality though and thats one of the reasons that I have been buying so many of Hastings fixtures. We will see how well it all works out.

The new mall location will also have a bit of a different product mix and that is something I am working on right now. All the same great stuff we are selling now plus more! More is good and its a product direction we really havent explored before so we will see if it works.

Steven nearly has the Division store graphic novels back in order! There are still a few sections to do but its looking really good and is much more shopable and easier to find stuff which is kinda the whole point of this exercise.

28 September 2016

I am going to pick up the next batch of bookcases from Hastings this week and put them in the Northtown mall location. I may actually try and pick up a bunch of extra ones for a new project that should be solidifying in the next week or two. I will give you all the details when everything is organized and firmly in place.
All the older fixtures have been removed from Division and all the new ones are in place and now its time to get the store back in order. Its been way too long in happening. The new cases look nice and will look great once all the books have been moved into them.
Of course on the other hand I really dont like the new cases that I have the games on. They are inefficient and about a foot too wide each and if I can find anything to replace them with I will.
We got in a bunch of the statues that I mentioned a week or two ago and have started filling one of the front cases which looks much nicer than it had previously. Now we just need more cause more is always better.
Our huge supply order came in last week and we have moved all of it to the center isle to divide the games from the graphic novels. Its much easier to see what we have and what we need to restock. We will have a second huge supply order coming in about a week from now which should have
even more cool stuff!
The Christmas season ordering season is in full swing right now with the mall stocking up huge right now. My credit cards are starting to melt a bit….
We had a Magic pre-release last Friday night for the new set and we broke our attendence record! We had 81 attendees which was suprising since the new set wasnt supposed to be a game changing or revolutionary one. Attendence at all our events have been good lately which is really fantastic with over 30 people each week for Pokemon and YuGioh and even more for their tournaments. The aforementioned deal that I am working on is directly related to the instore gaming we have and should enhance it.
After Christmas at the Division location we will be moving all the cups and mugs and such out of the shop and just bring it back each Christmas season since that is the only time it really sells. That goes for several other item lines that sell only seasonally. That will free up a whole wall for new toys and cool stuff.
Marvel is doing something that I hope catches on and that is their own short box line with original art. Hopefully the prices will come down a bit when DC catches on to the great idea and they are competing a bit. I think with Hastings demise and NECCA not having a good outlet for their art boxes any longer the market will get crowded fast with cool art boxes and they will get cheap.
-Craig!

20 September 2016

Well naturally everything once again has not worked out as planned…. I bought most of the wall bookcases of the South Hill Hastings store a few weeks ago and was told that I could pick them up October 1st. Great! Time to figure out how we would use them and were they would go and maybe do some prepwork and some thought.
Nah, they called last Wednesday and said they were ready to be picked up. They had cleared them off for us and were ready when we were which is a polite way of asking if we were on our way yet or not….
I went up there Thursday morning and talked to the kid working the front counter and he just pointed back to the side wall where they were at and said that he was not allowed to help me due to ‘liability reasons.’ As I had only asked him if they were bolted to the wall or not I was a bit annoyed and explained to him thats not really how ‘liability reasons’ work….
I went to look at the shelves and the assistant manager saw me and asked what was going on and I showed him my paperwork and he said he should have been called when I came in to show me what needed to be done – really nice guy and didnt mention liability reasons a single time…. He opened up the closed cafe area for me to carry stuff through so I wouldnt have to dodge customers. He and the other assistant there who was also incredibly nice switched back and forth being my ‘minder.’ They have to have someone monitor you while you are taking fixures out so you dont accidently take a load of books or movies which makes sense as a dying store is seen as a free for all by some people.
It took me 3 hours of breaking down shelves and loading them in the van to get about 7 fixtures out of there. I took them back to Division and put them up one at a time with Kevin filling them with books from one of our old cases which we then moved and then I put one of the new ones in. It was a few more hours of work but looked great.
I realized that I really liked them so I went back and bought another 6 which I broke down and loaded the next morning. Having figured out how they work, it only took me a bit over an hour to do all those and then back to Division to put them up. Needless to say, I really like them so I went to the Shadle Hastings (the manager there was incredibly nice as well- I really wish we had room for some of their people, they would be a good fit here) and bought another 10 so we could put them in the Northtown mall location. I am having second thoughts now and think that I really need an additional 10 on top of that. I dont think I can have too many at this point. I wish we were close to opening another store as I would just buy another 20 or so…. Its so tempting.
Anyway, the Division store is starting to come together a bit. We have condiderably more room for graphic novels and should be able to display them much better. Our supply section has moved to the center of the shop and we have almost figured out how to use it efficiently. Almost. we will get there. The POP section is set up but the order is a mess as I just had to pull everything off the racks and replace them with cases and put them all back up in about 15 minutes which did nothing for their organization. Hopefully in the next week or so it will be back to tidy.
The Gundam and assorted stuff area is much easier to get through now and make sense of as I replaced all their shelving and made the isles a bit wider. They are still a bit too tight for my liking but much better than they were.
The front glass case in the shop will soon be an additional statue case. I think we have been misusing it for sometime and will fill it with all kinds of eye candy I think starting this week if the shipments show up. Maybe next week.
All this and the Previews orders are due next week for me, this week for you if you would like anything special out of them. I have to find about 16 or so hours in the next week to do the order while trying to get more bookcases from Hastings. For some reason I never seem to catch up with everything. Oh well. enough rambling this week. -Craig!