Thursday, January 09, 2020

Thank You... and a Hopeful Look Ahead

THANK YOU to all our Flying Colors Faithful helping to keep Flying Colors in business by shopping here on a regular basis.

Everything we do at Flying Colors begins with our gratitude to you for buying your Comics & Other Cool Stuff here.

Can we ask a favor? We'd LOVE your help in bringing more of your comics-loving friends and family into our shop.

* You know Flying Colors is well stocked.

* You know our FlyCo Retailing Brigade gives you top-notch service and great recommendations.

* You know Flying Colors has something engaging for readers of all ages and interests.

The thing is, community businesses like Flying Colors are getting to be more rare by the day. Drive through any shopping centers and you won't find many local businesses that actually sell stuff. Sure, there are a ton of fast food and other eating places, there are massage parlors, nail, wax and tattoo places and service centers for phones and other digital devices. And there are plenty of chain stores.

But there aren't many "Mom & Pop" shops selling actual merchandise.

National statistics for the 2019 holiday shopping season show overall retail sales were up 3.4%... and online sales were up 18.8%. That means shopping in physical stores was likely flat to down.

We really hate to admit it, but December sales at Flying Colors were off... substantially.

With the rising costs of rent (another increase is hitting us this month) and higher prices on pretty much everything else in the Bay Area, we're facing some difficult decisions ahead. No, we're not going to close anytime soon (it's surely not in the plans, anyway). But we don't want to be forced into finding a lower cost location or any other drastic actions.

We want to be here to serve this community for many more years... but some of that just isn't in our control.

After bringing the community some fun events in 2019 and maintaining the most deeply stocked comic shop around, we're seeing too many people coming into the shop, especially during the holiday season, taking photos of products, so they could price-hunt for them online.

Every time a phone came out to take a photo of a barcode, a Retail Angel had its wings clipped. 😞

If you're reading this, you're probably one of our HEROES, one of our angels, one of our FlyCo Faithful---  a regular shopper who does spend some of your hard-earned cash here. Or maybe you're a fan from a distance.... possibly a former local who no longer shops here but wants to stay in touch. Maybe you just just like seeing what we post here (we do make an effort to post engaging content).

How can you help?
1) Keep shopping here! If you visit once a month, maybe try to make it twice a month?

2) Give us your advance reservations for comics you don't want to miss, especially if they are from smaller publishers that may not get deep orders otherwise. Our FlyCo Retailing Brigade is happy to help you get just what you want.

3) If you have us holding comics for you on reserve, please come in to get them!

4) If you like what we do here at Flying Colors, please do some social sharing on Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets to invite your friends and family to join us here at Flying Colors.

Please "tag" Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in your social sharing... or tag @FlyCoJoe on Twitter and Instagram. Visit our Facebook page HERE! Hopefully the more reviews and notice we get on social media, the more new faces we'll see in the shop.

5) For teachers and librarians, we invite you to come in and get a stack of FREE Flying Colors 2020 Poster Calendars to pass out in your classroom or at your school or library. We also look forward to helping more teachers and librarians increase the number of comics and graphic novels in your classrooms, schools and libraries.

6) Remember every Wednesday Flying Colors gets a new shipment of Comics & Other Cool Stuff...and we'd love to see you here every week!

7) Watch this space! There's more to come, so please keep following us here and keep visiting us in the shop.

As I said up top, Flying Colors is a business built on gratitude. We are extremely grateful for the support this community is still showing us after more than 31 years.

May the best still be yet to come!
--- Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field

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