The free comics for Free Comic Book Day have been ordered! The first Saturday in May which is already coming up fast. Just think, its almost spring and we got 6 inches of snow a couple of days ago…
The Instore Comic Convention is coming up rather quick again! Saturday March 4th broadcasting live from Emerald City Comic Con! The format will be the same as last year with live panels and interviews all day. In store we will have at least one tv at the Mall location playing the event and the large tv at Division running it as well.
The mall store will have select items on sale and Division will be having a sale as well with details coming up in a couple of weeks.
When we came to work Monday morning Steven discovered a crack in the ceiling beam which runs from the front to the back of the shop. If you have shopped with us for the past ten years or so, you will understand why that disturbs us a bit more than you think it might. Our last location had a roof that nearly collapsed and the building owner put up a steel ibeam and two building jacks in the middle of the shop for nearly six months while they tried to repair the damage.
The new crack has gotten progressively worse each day and the current building manager says not to worry about it as its not a structural support beam. Possibly. On the plus side, there are only 3 more winters on this lease and hopefully we wont get any of that really heavy snow to test out his prognosis….
The Northtown Mall main office in Chicago called today and told me that they would like to have us open in our new location sometime in April. Its kinda hard to work around a date “like sometime in April” but we will do our best.
Basically we get 30 days from when they finish the build out of our new spot to move everything, get it all set up and open the doors for business. As we have gotten progressively larger with each move, we have acquired much more inventory in each location which makes the store a bit less mobile and we really can’t afford to shut down for a week while we do it. Somehow, once we get the green light, we have to magically close the doors of one spot and open in the new one in no more than two days. One if possible. The one thing we have going for us is that we can load out through our back door and run carts directly to the shiny new shop and I have all those bookcases that I bought from Hastings just waiting for an opportunity to be used.
One thing that we have never done before is do a store without a massive quantity of slotwall which I have to cut, mount and paint which is quite time consuming. This time, we are going to use mostly fixtures which we can just break down and set up, saving us several days and lots of frustration. We will see how that works. I have a feeling we will be open prior to actually being completely ready though.
Another good thing with the new location is that we should be able to put cameras all over the place – that store gets hit so hard with shoplifting that its insane. If they dont catch several people a day you know the store isnt being watched well enough. I think the only place in the mall that is hit more is the candy store….
The excitement for the week, the coin store across the street may or may not have caught fire this week! We heard the alarm going off and watched as two people became more and more frantic and tried to guess what they were doing. We couldn’t figure out if they were trying to break in, looking for a place to pee or were getting frustrated that the pot store in the same parking lot was not open yet.
As we watched, one of them threw a snowball at one of the windows. We are still not quite sure why they did that but within 10 minutes a firetruck showed up. Then another and another and another and a response vehicle. Out came the firehoses and axes and a chainsaw! As all the windows are barred they seemed to have a big problem getting in and tried to chainsaw the window frame which failed.
I think they must have had some luck in getting in the front door as we eventually saw some people inside. Not many as there is only about 50sf that you can move around in there -maybe two firefighters and a hose pumping out 4,000 gallons of water per minute? At any rate the 30 firemen who were eventually on the scene watched the progress of the two guys who could make it into the building and took turns walking around the building and looking in the windows that they had smashed out when they first showed up.
Then, as quickly as they showed up, they vanished. All of them. I am assuming the owner of the building or business finally showed up as someone started drilling in sheets of plywood to cover the window holes. I checked the news that night and I never did see anything mentioning the incident although there was a camera crew there during part of the event. Wow, pretty lame story with no appreciable ending…..