The first in a new series looking at retailer's stories.
You've earned customer loyalty when they camp out in below freezing temperatures for two days just to be the first to shop at your new store. Greensboro residents Jordan Morris and James Rudder huddled together in a tent Wednesday night to ensure they'll be the first customers at Acme Comics Presents, the latest venture by North Carolina comic book retailing juggernaut Acme Comics.
"Acme's been here for 30 years," Morris said. "Imagine if I could say I was the first person in the shop then. I think this is a chance to be a part of geek history."
Unlike its big brother store, Acme Comics Presents will have a limited stock of comic books and graphic novels when it opens Friday. Instead, shop creators Jermaine Exum and Stephen Mayer are focusing on geek culture by offering clothing, original art prints, creative how-to items and specialty items like guitars featuring some of comics' best loved heroes. It could be the future of comic stores as digital expands.
"We've been very fortunate," said Mayer. "While most retailers have struggled in this economy we've seen growth and excitement about our products. We get new customers – kids and adults – everyday coming into Acme Comics for the first time. Some of them don't buy comic books regularly but they love the culture and want the t-shirts or the posters or the toys, so Acme Comics Presents is just a really natural evolution for us."
Fans of the original shop won't have to travel far to visit Acme Comics Presents. It's located at 2148 Lawndale Drive, just next door to Acme Comics. The shop is smaller, about 1,500 square feet, and will be open 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.Cutlines:
ACP I – L-R – James Rudder and Jordan Morris stand with Acme Comics Presents manager Stephen Mayer in front of the new store. Rudder and Morris camped in front of the store for two days to be the first customers.
ACP II L-R – Jordan Morris and James Rudder camped in freezing weather to be the first customers to shop at Acme Comics Presents.
ACP III L-R – Clerk Griffin Kale and shop manager Stephen Mayer work on make final touches to Acme Comics Presents on the eve of the sho