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.

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!

13 September 2016

The new website is up and works!  Its not anywhere near where I want the finished product but it is functional!  Right now the main page seems to default to the weekly column (which you are probably noticing if that is where you are reading this) which is okay and hopefully we will make regular updates from both stores.  The new this week link sends you to a page where you click a link to Diamond Comics which gives you the entire list of comics for the week along with cover art and breakdowns of the story and details on the writers and artists!  I was hoping to just have the entire thing displayed on the NTW page but clicking one more link is quick and painless.
We will be playing with the backgrounds and rough formatting in the next few weeks to make it more pleasant.  At least to me anyway.  One nice thing is that when it updates it will make a notation on our Facebook page which you can click or ignore but you will see when stuff is happening.
We are on the countdown to our new bookcases somewhere around the beginning of October!  I think we will have a big mess for a couple of days while we move our current cases around to make room for the new ones but once its all set up its going to be nice.  I am also going to expand the supply area and put it more in the center of the shop which should make it much accessible and easier to browse.  It will then become a divider between the graphic novels and the growing game section which is the next project on the list.


    Congratulations to Anna who just got married in Seattle!  And here we all just thought she was going away to play games at PAX over the weekend!
    Well as things never really work out the way the you plan, our new website set up will not work exactly like I wanted it to.  Evidently there is a difference between a WordPress site and a site hosted by WordPress using their software.  The main difference in our case is the one that I got will not accept the cool widget from Diamond which will give you a list of this weeks comics with pictures and descriptions.  I am trying to find a work around as its rather great info.  Hopefully I will be able to do something by tonight or at least a reasonable facsimile.
I think I made some headway on it – the new this week link takes you to a page where you can just click for the new books of the week.  Its a step in the right direction.  If it worked.
    The fixures from Hastings that I bought will be available on or about October 1st and I can finally get the Division store straightened up a bit.  I am really hating the chaotic look.  I like chaos, as long as its orderly and tidy.
We had a regional YuGiOh tournament last weekend and got 99 players from around the northwest and Gabe as usual did a fantastic job keeping it organized and under control.  If it had not been a PAX convention in Seattle weekend I think we would have maxed out at 120 or so.
I screwed up last week and did not order Previews magazine.  Not sure how I missed it as its the first time that has happened in 27 years but I emailed Diamond and I am trying to get an emergency shipment of the catalogs in by this week.
I am going to cut this one a bit short this week as I still have lots of tinkering to do with this website.  lots of fun….   -Craig!

September 1 2016

Since Matt left a year and a half or so ago he has been doing our New This Week lists and updating the website each week in between sips of beer while he lounges naked on a couch made of the crushed dreams of people who brought him in collections and were sure they had just won the comic book lottery.  That has come to an end as of next week.  Not the crushed dreams part, I am sure he will treasure that for an entire lifetime but the continual updating.
Matt has changed positions in his current job moving on up into the realms of management and the timing of our needs don’t jibe with the starting time of his new duties so we are embarking into the never never world of computer stuff.
As my understanding of computer stuff pretty much ends at trying to find where they hide the book marks in my browser I really have no interest in learning HTML or any of that fun stuff and I have decided to try something different and switch the site over to a format that we can tinker with continually without accidentally crashing the whole site and maybe the California power grid too.
Starting next week when you go to our site it will be a bit different—The New This Week link will take you to a complete list of everything that is coming out that week including pictures and descriptions of each book.  You should be able to print out a text version if you wish to create a shopping list.  The column will be set up more like a blog hopefully with semi weekly posts of new products from both comic book locations.  The gaming and event calendar will be on the right of the front page and if you have any interest in whats going on just click it and our Google calendar will enthrall and excite you.
The updates are linked to our Facebook page and should pop up when made.
Anna has built up the framework of the site over the past week and its all based on WordPress so hopefully it wont be too far above my head and I can play with the setup and fine tuning.  Anna has done a great job in getting my three lines of scribbles on a yellow paper turned into a real site and hopefully I wont break it.  We will see. -Craig!