One Year in Business: A Report to our Customers
By: Stacey A. Giulianti, Owner, Lauderdale Comics
Starting a retail business a year ago was a big risk. Especially in a niche area such as comics and games, it was — and is — a labor of love for myself, my family, my management, and my staff. Read the news, and it’s obvious that a huge market shift has taken place in all areas of the retail world. Large retailers are closing stores or going bankrupt. Against these odds, our team decided to start a brand new store, with a new concept, in an area almost 10 miles from the nearest comic shop. What did we learn? Where are we now, after almost a full year in business?
The good news is that we are doing well and are continuing to expand our presence in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the eastern corridor of Broward County. Our competitors have been helpful and supportive, and all of us in the comics business understand that “a rising tide raises all ships.” If you can’t find something at one store, another store will help you obtain it from yet another local store, and thus assist and support each other. We know that we are all in this together.
Of course, as online sales increase in all areas, and as brick-and-mortar retailers close down by the hundreds, it is critical for those who buy and collect comics, toys, and pop culture merchandise commit to supporting their local stores. While we strive to have fair prices on all items, we know that we cannot always compete with the Internet. Nothing, however, can replace the “thrill of discovery” one can achieve by walking into a physical store, perusing the items available, and finding an unexpected gem.
Truly, the ability to talk to a knowledgeable staff-member about new story lines, interesting collectibles, or the latest movie tie-ins, can make all the difference. At a Comics Lounge like Lauderdale Comics, where we encourage browsing, reading, sitting — and even eating a Japanese snack and drinking a freshly made bubble tea — the experience is more than mere “shopping.” It is finding a place to call “home,” even if just for a short part of your day. Our commitment extends to staying open seven days a week, and making it a safe space for those of us who speak “geek.”
True, we offer discounts to those who subscribe (no minimums and no long term commitment), quarterly sales and discounts, and can special order merchandise upon request. We continue to act as a place with a variety of curated geek material, where you can buy what you are looking for as well as bump into items you never expected. In addition to comics, our customers know that we sell graphic novels, trade paperbacks, toys, collectibles, statues, novelties, T-shirts, hats, housewares, role playing games, table top games, and unique items you simply can’t find anywhere else.
We love showing off our beautiful store, and we encourage customers to come and just “hang out” with us. As we have made clear to everyone, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or ideas!
Sure, the first year in business is difficult, and we have all learned a great deal about both comics and retailing — and what the public wants to see at its local shop. We promise to keep trying, keep listening, and keep growing! We hope that you will support us in a BIG way for the rest of 2017 — and beyond!
We look forward to seeing you at Lauderdale Comics — 1929 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (US1 south of the 17th Street Causeway).
Store: (954) 530-6722