Tuesday, June 26, 2018

GameStop Still Trying Too Hard by Selling Comic Books!

While the details regarding GameStop's potential sale are still unknown, the company is operating with business as usual...by adding comic books to their retail lineup. A few weeks back, GameStop announced that they would be looking to add comic books to their shelves with a test program in 40 stores across the U.S.

Gizmodo spoke with director of consumer products Clint Walker to get more insight into why. And why now?

For GameStop, they see an opportunity to grow their business and enter a new market. They feel that the type of customers they currently attract are "collector's." With the growth of Think Geek stores across the country and ease of access to geeky products, the company feels this is natural next step. Their current plan is to start with a small set-up in stores with 1 spinner rack. Every side of the rack will be dedicated to comics with new weekly shipments. No backroom storage. No pre-orders, yet. The test stores will put all of the comics they receive out on the floor and once they sell out, they sell out. There are no immediate plans to offer older volumes/editions of comics, but that could change depending on how well the test works out.

The interview did not mention if trade-ins on comics would be allowed (most likely not, given that they plan to keep this a straight forward test for now), or if rewards customers would earn points with their purchase. But Walker sounds committed to taking this new venture as far as it will go, with testing for multiple quarters and an eventual release to all locations. They have a deal with Marvel and DC distributor Diamond to be the primary resource.

Regarding questions on how GameStop will change their set-up to accommodate the purchase experience for comic book fans, it does not seem like much thought was placed into this. GameStop is GameStop and it's not like the atypical comic shop that tends to cater to only men. Which is nice and could open up more opportunities for others to get into comics without the stigma attached to the retail side. However, it's also GameStop. While it's a bit more welcoming than comic stores, it's still a dude-bro culture. How the stores are designed to enhance the customer experience is key to sales. If GameStop isn't going to commit to the comic book lifestyle that many are accustomed to, they're not going to see growth.

The lack of details, but the arse-ton of passion is par for GameStop. If only they would stick to video games... The comic test will begin at stores in the coming weeks and most likely be centered around Florida and Texas, based on the interview.

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