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Comics Retailer Struggles at Comic-Con

San Diego Comic Con Report 2


I will begin by stating that we are not (at least for now...) succeeding in meeting our minimum financial requirements at this year's San Diego show. In some regards this is not surprising, as we needed to have a steady $1,200 per hour passing through our cash registers during all 41 hours of the convention, simply for us to cover our costs of setting up our seven huge booths. That was such a lofty cash flow requirement that I had significant doubts that we could reach that level, even before we arrived in San Diego. On the other side of the coin, however, we DID exceed that $1,200/hour requirement during the Denver Comic-Con last month, so I had a cautious optimism that we would also succeed here. Especially in light of the fact that our convention inventory was vastly improved during the intervening six weeks between those two shows.

So, what has changed here in San Diego? In a word: exclusives. At the Denver show there were a similar number of comics dealers present as here in San Diego, but almost no publishers and/or toy and game manufacturers. The absence of those publisher and manufacturer booths in Denver may seem a detriment to many fans, but it made all the difference for us. That is because having our most valued suppliers in the same exhibit hall kills our sales. Simply put, the very organizations that we most support are those who can cause us the most harm when they create exclusive products that can only be purchased through their own booths at shows. Not only do they divert revenues into their own pockets, but they also diminish our standing in the fan community by making us appear incomplete.

Stashed in: Monetization, books, Comics!, Bummer, Content is king.

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It's interesting to hear that their partners unintentionally undermine them. Tough business. 

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