Quick Hits 5/20

*Who needs Diamond, Baker & Taylor or even the publishers themselves when we have Amazon? Amazon pulled this the following day, but not before it came within a hair of passing the latest book featured on Oprah and The Da Vinci Code on the day the film opened. They then followed that up by offering Absolute Sandman (retail $99.99) for $14.99. Through Diamond Absolute Sandman would cost $65 wholesale (with the best possible discount). Clearly these orders will be cancelled or else Amazon will be taking a bath on these two books, but retailers certainly weren't going to chance being left out. Many stores, MacGuffin included, ordered multiple copies of both of these on the off chance that the price holds up (some ordered upwards of 50 copies). Most, I think, are hoping that it doesn't because it could wreak havoc with the market for these books. Absolute New Frontier would seem to be particularly susceptible to a flooding of the market, especially since it was the first and more publicized of the offers. More damaging still would be a situation like this upsetting the market for Absolute Sandman, which should be a perennial seller. My guess, though, is that all that will come of it is someone at Amazon getting reminded to double check their data entry.

UPDATE: As of Saturday evening, Amazon has cancelled all orders for these books, making the above no more than a theoretical exercise. I'm curious if anyone will decide to make a fuss about this and what sort of lengths Amazon would go to appease them.

*James Sime's latest Comic Pimp column is up at CBR and he spins of from last weeks interview into the arena of store display, specifically regarding genre racking. I've gone on about why we genre rack at MacGuffin, but the best advice he offers is this:

Because in my experience re-merchandising your store might very well be hard work, but it's awesome for sales. Even if you decide to just change things back the way they were after a few months. Shuffling your product about keeps it fresh, and keeps people seeing new things they might have missed. And if people hate it, guess what? You can always put it back the way it was and your customers will be twice as happy as they were before you changed things.
The key is to maintain a certain sense of order and familiarity while constantly changing the specific items that the customer sees. Every month or two we switch the order in which faced series are stacked. In other words, Y: The Last Man is faced out on the bookshelf. One month the top book will be volume one, and the next month we'll switch it so that whatever latest volume we have is stock is on top. Couple that with incorporating books into their categories when they come off of the New Release bookcase and each bookcase rarely looks the same from month to month (and when they do we try to alternate those titles that are faced versus those that are spined). Let's face it, our industry trains consumers to frequent the same places at regular intervals and its easy to become so familiar with a store's layout and inventory that it blends into the background. This is another reason that we are considering eliminating our new release wall altogether and racking those titles in with previous week's releases once we have the space to do so.


Blogger The Comic Book Insider said...

Fan of your posts - could you post an updated photo of the shop now that you have more stock. Would like to see how the shop has changed.


2:34 PM  

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