Bleeding Cool just ran a number of articles looking at twelve comic book stores opening and a number of expansions and re-openings. But it's not always good news. Before Comic Book Day, Josh Roberts of The Comic Cave in Springfield, Missouri, posted the following on Facebook;
Well, it is with a heavy heart that I make this post. Diamond has closed my account. I won't be receiving any more product from them.
The short story is, I have too much debt, not enough sales, and the market is changing/has changed, making it even more difficult for an LCS to operate. There are many factors involved in this, that we can discuss in person, if you are interested.
Unfortunately, that means that The Comic Cave will be going out of business.
I hate it, but I can't stop it at this point. We will start the liquidation on Free Comic Book Day, and continue until we empty out the building, or get kicked out, whichever comes first.
Subscribers – Stop by to get your books and a copy of your sub list and special orders, so you will know where the gap begins. I am proud of the community we built at The Comic Cave. I have made many friends since we opened in 2013, and I hope that everyone has had a great time in the store. I wish I could keep it going, but that is not an option any longer.
Come and take advantage of the liquidation that begins on Free Comic Book Day, and we can talk about the good times!!
Local news site Ozarks Independent reported 'Diamond has a virtual monopoly on distribution of comics, so the closing of the account effectively bars Comic Cave from being able to obtain any new comic books' and that 'the store has been struggling for a number of months due to subscribers who made reservations of comics but then did not come in and pay for the product, leaving owner Roberts to deal with the added expense.'
Ozarks First reports there have been problems with the store since last year. Roberts offered a subscriber program to regulars of the Comic Cave saying "someone can give us a list of the comics they want. And we keep them on file." But that 'very few of his subscribers were making good on their end of these reservations, sticking Roberts with the cost it took to the get the comics in there' and that the store had 'accumulated "thousands" of dollars worth of reserved-but-unpurchased comics and novelties.'
The store's lease comes to an end in July. Complaints about customers who don't pick up their pull boxes have become more common by comic book stores of late, with some retailers publicly posting their issues.
For those of you with pull boxes from your own comic book stores, always a good idea to pick them up when you can. If you want to keep your comic book store.