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#208031 - 05/31/00 04:12 PM Re: Comics Attitude shop in New Brunswick, NJ closes
John Sokol Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/99
Posts: 7
Loc: New Jersey
Tony,

I had forgotten about MC Comics (Old Bridge) - They have a very nice selection on the shelf. I may move my business there.

Adventure Planet (Somerville) has been up and coming since the change in ownership, but it still hasn't reached "indy friendly" in my book. They are very convenient for me, so I will check them out as well.

Boyhood Dreams (Dunellen) seems to be primarily men-in-tights books.

I'm also considering JC Comics in Plainfield. They seem to have a nice selection.

In all, I am VERY sad that Comic Attitudes closed. They seemed to be doing everything right. I've lost some of my enthusiasm for the comics because of this.

John
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#208032 - 06/02/00 01:04 AM Re: Comics Attitude shop in New Brunswick, NJ closes
TonyDiGerolamo Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/98
Posts: 404
Loc: Laurel Springs, NJ USA
Sokol:

You bring up an interesting point. Why do comics fans so closely associate their interest in comics with the store they shop in? I rent from several different video stores and I don't lose interest in movies when one of them closes. I don't lose interest in books when a library or book store closes. You're not the only one, I've seen it happen a dozen times.

Store closes. Some fans move on to other stores, but some choose that point to get out of the medium.

On one hand, I feel that the comraderie between comics fans, retailers and publishers is great. You walk into a shop or a con, everyone speaks your language. Often you have instant repor with a comics fans.

However, I think this same comraderie works against fans, retailers and publishers when someone knew arrives. Publishers especially need to be sensitive to the fact that every issue they make may be picked up by someone new. Too often, I think we forget about the potential new fans outside of comics and alienate them.

I think it's sad Comic Attitudes closed, but they obviously were doing something wrong. In RETAIL, you must think with your head, not your heart. It's the big name publishers that need more heart and less--- Well, you know what I mean.

In the entertainment business, you must take risk and forge new trails. In retail, you count books, see what's selling and adjust your inventory. Yeah, you have to try new stuff, but so do all retailers. That's just part of business.

I think too many retailers are fanboys with a great love of the hobby and very little business sense. Don't get me wrong, I like them. They're nice people and buy Jersey Devils and The Travelers. But too many of them work second jobs to support their store. Too many of them are getting slammed by enormous freight charges, late books, disappointing relaunches and sales gimmicks that haven't worked in 8 years.

They're struggling and I wish them the best, but I'm sure not going to fault them if they give up shelf space for Pokemon or NASCAR.

-Tony D
The Travelers #4 (out this month from Kenzer)
The Travelers #5 (in Previews NOW)
Jersey Devil #11 (out this month from SJRP) http://www.netcom.com/~thefix/sjrp.html

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#208033 - 06/02/00 05:48 PM Re: Comics Attitude shop in New Brunswick, NJ closes
John Sokol Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/99
Posts: 7
Loc: New Jersey
Tony:

Very true.

I guess my disappointment is due to the fact the CA carried everything I wanted, were convenient and friendly. The shops I've been visiting either don't carry everything or they are not convenient to ME.

I enjoy comics, but not to the point of inconvenience. I enjoy other stuff too.

I'm going to "test drive" some shops for a couple of months and see where I end up. who knows, it could be fun.

Sokol
_________________________
Tired of all those old trades you'll never read again cluttering up your shelf? Visit Sequential Swap and trade them for "new to you" trades.

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#208034 - 06/02/00 10:01 PM Re: Comics Attitude shop in New Brunswick, NJ closes
jwasserman Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/99
Posts: 44
Loc: Brooklyn, originally
My guess is that Comic Attitudes' problem had a lot to do with location. It had four locations. One was in Staten Island, NY. This was one county over from Middlesex County, NJ where there were two locations. The fourth was in Westchester County, NY, quite a distance from the others. It must have been a logistical nightmare administrating such a far flung empire with so few outposts.

I can only talk about the Middlesex County, NJ locations. The one that just closed was in an odd shopping mall in New Brunswick. While the town is the county seat and home for the state university, New Brunswick just cannot lure shoppers. The failing shopping mall in question never lured a department store, so it was retrofitted and turned inside out. The storefronts now face the outside instead of facing inward. However, Comic Attitudes' storefront was up a ramp, one floor above street level and probably above drivers' eye level. Furthermore, the landlord's "upscale" notion of renting to pricey restaurants and shops eventually forced Comic Attitudes out.

The other Middlesex County location was in the newly-rebuilt Menlo Park Mall. Unfortunately the shop itself was located in one of the mall's short, stubby arms and was slightly off the beaten path. True, it was close to the _rear_ parking lot entrance, but it never saw a high level of foot traffic. ((Many of the other stores in these arms of the mall remain vacant after six years since the mall opened.)) Couple that with small square footage and a mall's usual demand for a percentage of sales and you have a untenable situation.

-JHW

------------------
-Jeffrey H. Wasserman
Visitors to my website are always welcome!
http://www.homestead.com/JachSpake/JachSpake.html
_________________________
-Jeffrey H. Wasserman
Visitors to my website are always welcome!
http://www.homestead.com/JachSpake/JachSpake.html

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#208035 - 06/03/00 12:19 AM Re: Comics Attitude shop in New Brunswick, NJ closes
Jim Hanley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/19/99
Posts: 1313
Loc: NYC
Percentage rent is not a problem, it's when you don't do enough business to be in percentage rent that the problems occur.

A mall store must generate significant profits in order to finance the build-out. If you don't do enough business to be in percentage rent, the chances of paying for the other expenses are remote.

The major problem that we experienced with mall landlords was the fact that, as a small tenant, you get to negotiate with leasing agents who get beat up by the national chains every day. By the time they get to you, there is a "take it, or leave it" attitude that makes for tough negotiations. Also, the way to tell a leasing agent is lying to you is that you see her lips move.

As I alluded to a few days back, too many would be chain store operators think that you open a bunch of stores and then you become The Gap.

It's a much more complicated task than that.

[This message has been edited by Jim Hanley (edited 06-03-2000).]
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#208036 - 06/05/00 12:36 PM Re: Comics Attitude shop in New Brunswick, NJ closes
Von Allan Offline
Junior member

Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 27
Loc: Canada
Yes, I completely agree. I've managed one independent bookstore (in a small, two store operation) for the past 6 years (just 'retiring' recently). 'My' store was street front but our sister was in a small mall. Dealing with the agents of that mall was a trick. They have no loyalties and unfortunately accept no culpability (in our case many of the key stores that created a walk through in the mall have moved on due to frustration with the mall when their leases came up instead of renewing) and can really be a drain on one's mental (and financial) resources! I do not miss that aspect of the business at all.
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#208037 - 07/05/03 03:09 AM Re: Comics Attitude shop in New Brunswick, NJ closes
Jim Hanley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/19/99
Posts: 1313
Loc: NYC
Bump.
_________________________
"I love him like a brother. David Greenglass." -- Woody Allen - Crimes & Misdemeanors

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#596584 - 03/20/12 04:45 PM Re: Comics Attitude shop in New Brunswick, NJ closes [Re: Jim Hanley]
jwasserman Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/99
Posts: 44
Loc: Brooklyn, originally
Well, this topic hasn't had any postings in almost nine years!

I'm just writing to mention that another comics shop, The Fallout Shelter, has opened and closed in New Brunswick. It started on a side street shop below street level, hence its name, and then moved to busy George Street itself, albeit a little bit too far from the main shopping district.

The shop recently moved across the Raritan River to Highland Park, NJ on its main street, Route 27. It's a big and well-stocked shop.

If the shop had better locations in New Brunswick it might've stayed there for the many reasons I outlined in my earlier posts.
_________________________
-Jeffrey H. Wasserman
Visitors to my website are always welcome!
http://www.homestead.com/JachSpake/JachSpake.html

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#596587 - 03/20/12 10:10 PM Re: Comics Attitude shop in New Brunswick, NJ closes [Re: jwasserman]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Thanks for the update, sad as it is. Interesting thread!

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