“Heroes, Villains, and Me” is a periodic article on Geeky KOOL by Larry Litle about the world of comic books and my reaction to it. “Heroes, Villains, and Me” is not a comic book review article. I will write about current events, speculation and rumors, or my own wacky thoughts about the world of comic books and related stuff.
The Coronavirus disease aka COVID-19 has shut down much of life as we know it. It is playing havoc with small businesses since many people are staying in and not shopping. Some cities are completely shut down. The small business disruption includes your local comic shops.
I had a discussion about this with my local comic shop, Nameless City Board Games and Comics. Owner Rob Wood shared with me how things are going for them. Rob and I used good judgement and practiced social distancing while discussing things in his shop and picking up my comics.
Springfield, MO has came out requiring no more than 10 at any gathering and closed the seated areas of restaurants. Currently business are allowed to be open but have to be cautious of the number of people and to clean their facilities well.
Rob stated that Nameless City will remain open as long as they are allowed but will have shorter hours. Their game nights and tournaments are canceled but are allowing small groups to hang out and play games as long as they don’t get close to the magic 10 number in the store. They are adjusting the number of comics they are ordering but are still ordering comics for their subscribers. The number of extra comics to be on the shelves have been cut significantly.
Rob told me that business has been affected but not severely. People are coming in and getting their comics and games. Some of it to help the extra free time at home. Customers are not often staying as long as they have in the past.
Nameless City has added a couple of new services to help out their customers. Any customer not wanting to enter the store can call ahead and get curb side delivery of their comics or games. They are also offering to deliver comics in the Springfield area for a delivery fee. They will even ship them to you if you need. Like most small business owners, Rob has to keep adjusting their business plan to best meet his customers needs during this uncertain time of the Covid 19 virus pandemic.
When I asked Rob about extra cleaning, he smiled and told me they have been doing a lot cleaning but this is very normal for their store. He makes sure to keep things very clean all the time. He did tell me that his wife is now disinfecting the light switches every night and that is new. They are also keeping the binders of Magic and other cards out of the hands of the customers and having the staff keep a hold of them to show the cards.
With the changes Nameless City has made, Ron is positive that their business will survive and eventually thrive. Things could change if Springfield decides to go on full shut down of only essential businesses like St Louis and many other cities have done.
If you are comic subscriber, you should check with your local store to see what they are doing. They probably have plan in place to meet you needs like curbside or delivery. Check with them to see what they need from you as the customer to keep things from getting disrupted.
Most local comic stores are not dead yet because of the Coronavirus but it is not helping. Check with your store to see what their plan is and how you can support them.