Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Proud Lion 2.0 - engage

Picture the scene. You've worked hard - very hard - to move a business from one premises into another with as little downtime as possible. As a comic shop, you have new products out every week without fail, monthly instalments of engrossing sequential storytelling that your customers are keen to purchase. Unlike other stores that may contain seasonal ranges of stock that refresh every few months, with restocks as required, under ideal circumstances your little enterprise cannot close for more than a few days. But that's fine, because you and a fine crew of good friends and comrades have achieved what you set out to do and you have settled into a new homestead.

Your erstwhile comic supplier - they who are the sole physical American comic supplier in the US and UK (not counting lovely indies!) - have one task. Get the comics to you. Now you leave it a little late to inform them of the move, bracing yourself for the possible impact of something going awry, forcing you to stay put in the old location for a week or so longer. But with deft negotiation, you arrange for the delivery to be upgraded to an earlier timed delivery and redirected to the new address. This is a boon, as the delivery normally arrives on Tuesday, street-dated for Wednesday (giving you plenty of time to check it all off and get organised ahead of the day of release), but this week it's delayed until Wednesday for Wednesday (in a frankly frustrating example of milking the disruption of the Easter holidays for two weeks rather than just one!). So arriving two hours earlier would be of great help.

Sadly, it still goes to the old address, and is five minutes late to boot. 

Head.

Desk.

This is what happened to us today. Thankfully, we had the foresight to position Rae at the old shop in case of such an eventuality. We couldn't allow the delivery to sail off back to the depot on today of all days. Not on Rex Manning Day. The delivery was shipped over to the new shop via taxi, but we'd already lost a chunk of time.

Additionally, the new shop layout is lovely - I'm really pleased with it. But I used to have fantastic cubby behind the counter at the old shop and whilst it may have looked like a mess to most, it was organised chaos and I knew where most things were. I'm still finding a home for a lot of the essentials in the new place, creating a certain amount of lag today our day. Not to mention the lack of a physical internet connection is going to drive me nuts over the next few weeks (though we have a plan in place for that).

Thankfully, everyone today was wonderful. Thank you to everyone who popped in and said hi. Many kind words were proffered which was a delight.

The store was vibrant, despite the rattled chaotic ramblings of the large man behind the counter and the occasional rookie mistakes. You were all very forgiving, for which I was most grateful. I had naively assumed the hardest graft was behind me and today would be business usual. How I laugh at my foolishness now!

It's all uphill from here. Tomorrow will give me a chance to catch up and we'll get better organised over the next few weeks. I'm even starting to feel less exhausted as you might be able to tell from this more verbose, less decorated blog post!

For the tl;dr crowd, here are the cliff notes. Shiny new store. Frustrations with delivery SNAFU and lack of reel internets. Epic first day though. Everybody rocks. Everything is awesome. Big smiley face.

Ben Fardon is slowly catching up on correspondence. Your email/Facebook message/tweet is very important to him and your missive will be answered shortly.

13 comments:

  1. Hi, I never visited your old store, but I plan to come over from Gloucester to visit your new one soon, hopefully this Saturday. At the age of 39, I have only recently discovered the joys of comics and graphic novels!

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    1. That's great! It's Free Comic Book Day this Saturday so it's the perfect time to pop in. :)

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  2. I can't wait to check out the new place! Closer to me too which is a bonus :)

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  3. Yeah, I saw that. How does it work? A bit like the comics equivalent of Record Store Day but free?

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    1. Basically, yes! Lots of specially printed free comics available on the day including stuff from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and more. Full details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/348229701982609/

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    2. Sounds brilliant! Is there any qualifying criteria, or a limit on what you can take?

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    3. We do ask that you limit it to one copy of each title. So you can have one of everything, but not multiple copies. Gives other people the fairest chance of getting free comics too.

      There's no qualifying criteria other than need to come to the shop on Saturday! Though we do ask customers to remember that these free comics cost us money, they aren't free to us, so if you do spot something you fancy buying we'd be very grateful! But it's certainly not a requirement. :)

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  4. Seems perfectly reasonable. I'm sure I'll be buying something. Have you got the new Amazing Spidey #1 btw?

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    1. Yes indeed. On the shelves right now.

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  5. Coming tomorrow for my first trip to a comic book store ever! Hoping to get my first ever comic book!

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  6. Excellent! I hope you have a great day. :)

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  7. I enjoyed my visit to your new store on Saturday (along with half the local population it seemed :) ) - will definitely be visiting again, I'm not from Cheltenham but drive from Swindon to Gloucester regularly and you're conveniently on the way :D

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  8. That's wonderful! Hope to see you again soon. :)

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