Articles & E-books

Starting Your Own Pop Culture/Comics Store

Posted: May 23, 2005 03:31 PM

A brief introduction to the issues you should consider if you are thinking of opening your own store.

Many of you would like to own and operate their own pop culture/comics shop. The combination of being your own boss, being able to work with products that you enjoy and having economic stability is a very attractive concept.

Even in today's market this is a viable concept, although more capital and attention to business details are needed in order to achieve a successful store. The days of opening a store with $2,000 and your personal comics collection are gone forever, even if you're opening in a rural area.

As a rough rule of thumb, here is what you can expect to spend for the following scenarios to open a successful store:

Part of this amount is needed cover the losses you'll experience while your store becomes known in your market area. As a rule of thumb, a comics shop generates 40-55% of its eventual mature sales volume in its first year of operation. Depending on the nature of its site, maturation takes between 30 to 60 months.

The process for deciding whether to open a store should cover the following issues:

* Can my market area support another store?
* Who are the existing competitors?  What are their strengths
   and weaknesses?  Have they left a niche that I can exploit?
* What are the demographic characteristics of the area?  Is the
   population young and unmarried, young families, established
   families, empty nesters or students?  Is the area poor, blue-
   collar, technical-professional or upscale?
* What's the transportation net like?  Are there central areas
   where people habitually go to shop or play? 
* Where are the major enclosed shopping malls and the larger
   strip centers?  Which ones attract large numbers of shoppers,
   which are marginal or dying?  Can I find affordable space
   in or near the more successful centers?
* Do I have adequate parking and visibility for a potential site?
* Is it easier to get to my potential site for customers who are
   going to work or who are returning home?
* How large a space can I afford for the merchandise lines I am
   going to carry at the beginning?
* Is the space I'm thinking of leasing easy or difficult in terms of
   displaying merchandise?
* How many months will it take for me to hit operational break-
   even at the locations I am considering?
* Are the average daily sales I need for 'break even' practical?

These and other issues are critical to the success or failure of a new business.

We help new retailers identify the strongest potential areas within their targeted metro area, identify suitable shopping centers within these areas, produce sales estimates for hypothetical stores within these areas, help develop suitable merchandise mixes and space allocation for the actual store, and analyze the suitability of actual locations where space is available.

Contact us for additional information. Your first 30 minute consultation is free of charge and without obligation.