Too... Many... Options...

By | Friday, September 22, 2006 Leave a Comment
I had lunch this afternoon with a friend of mine. He lives in the area where I work, and suggested a small mom-n-pop type shop tucked away in an older strip mall. So we met there and talked about this, that and the other. And we stepped out and he suggested we stop next door to look around for a bit, since I like comics and he likes baseball cards.

I had seen the place as I've been driving home from work, but it looked like a trading card shop, so I was surprised that he mentioned that they had comics. We walked in and, sure enough, the place was littered with old trading cards. Baseball, basketball, football, soccer... It also had a good collection of trading card games, like Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc.

But then I glanced towards the back, and saw the wall was lined -- almost to the point of wallpapered -- with old comics. And, as we meandered towards the back, I saw the usual assortment of statuettes, action figures, long boxes, and new comics. The back half of the store was a bona-fide comic book shop!

Now, we didn't have long before we had to go back to our respective jobs, so I didn't get a proper look at their selection, but I found it incredibly surprising that there were TWO comic book shops within five or ten miles of each other for a relatively suburban area. I would expect that, for an area that really isn't THAT crammed with people, there wouldn't be enough support for two separate comic shops. Especially since I know that there's ANOTHER one -- the shop I used to frequent -- only about 15-20 minutes north of the both of them!

I see this as a positive sign that the comic industry is doing better. More sales of individual comics generally translates to more shops. More shops translates to more differentiation. More differentiation translates to more selection and better service. Overall, it's a win/win for everyone.

Provided that the shops are well managed, of course!

Now, the down side is that I'm going to have to go through this second nearby shop and drop even more cash on back issues they have in stock! But, you know, that's a problem I'm happy to have right now.
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