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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Help Save The Brick and mortar shops! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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New user
Vancouver, WA
31 Posts

Profile of dlemberg
As an owner of a brick and mortar magic shop, my hay is tipped to all the other shop owners around the world. It takes a lot to make it work and make money at this as we compete with the large magic internet stores. Here is something that all the big magic developers out there could do to help the little shop owners. Make all your tricks available to everyone at the same time. When we can't get a hot item at the same time as the giant internet sites we lose big even with our loyal customers. Magic hobbiest can't wait the 30 days to see the secret of the effect or that might be the one trick that a magician thinks will put them on top (we all no there is no such trick). So they order online even though there is a brick and mortar just down the street. Here is my proposal: allow someone to have exclusive right for thirty days online only but let the brick and mortar's have them at the same time.

It you follow this section on the Café, you know everyone has fond memories about the magic shop. Most of the big developers worked in brick and mortars as kids and owe their chops to said shop. Pass this idea on to developers you know and lets start saving the magic shops one by one. A small boost in business would do a lot for these guys. Remember the cool roll outs of new products they had in days gone by, lets bring those days back.

David Lemberg
Dave's Killer Magic Shop
910 Minnehaha St.
Vancouver, Wa 98665

Stop by if you are ever in town!
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Inner circle
1038 Posts

Profile of jugglestruck
On 2012-04-07 20:30, dlemberg wrote:
Remember the cool roll outs of new products they had in days gone by, lets bring those days back.

I hear what you are saying but I don't think this industry is going to go back like that. The internet is an unstopable force that has changed the way we shop and look at magic. Online reviews and touch button purchasing means we venture out less and less. A shame, but that's 'progress'.
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New user
52 Posts

Profile of PeterSteele111
I also own and run a magic shop as well. We are in a heavy foot traffic town but with our 5 stores we are definitely staying relevant here. My store in particular gears towards kids and beginners. We get a lot of people coming in with an interest in magic and we steer them in the right direction to what we think they will like the best and things they can do the easiest. That way it keeps their interest and brings them back year after year. I am also building the online store and website to our business as well. I wish there were some more stores around but sadly we just have to deal with the fact that we need to adapt in order to stay relevant.
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New user
New York
3 Posts

Profile of coppertilley
Just read about another brick and mortar shop that is closing. Williams Magic in Tucson. In the article, the owner said that they always counted on the casual traffic, which has now dried up. The economy sure has changed the future for a lot of businesses, including magic shops.
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Elite user
Chicago area
417 Posts

Profile of krowboom
I wish there were more magic stores also, but let's face it, people want stuff at the cheapest price and most magic tricks have become like commodities. On top of that some internet sites actually have exclusives on some items and most tricks are demonstrated on either their website or on YouTube so it's not like you have to go to a store to see how it's done. Stores in other industries are going through the same thing where people look at the items in a store and then buy online. In addition, online sites themselves are very competitive and all have an unfair advantage in that they don't charge sales tax and many have free shipping if you meet certain requirements.
There doesn't seem to be any effort from distributors and those that create magic to save the few stores that are left and frankly I think what David Lemberg proposes will not accomplish much. Now if stores got new items before internet dealers that might help but lets face it manufacturers go with what's going to give them the most business. I don't think the magic industry is all that big to begin with so if the brick & mortar stores don't establish websites and slug it out they probably won't make it.
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Regular user
132 Posts

Profile of KIDDMAGIC
Store owners also must understand that the whole culture has changed in this new generation in regards to human interaction. A store in which you go and hang out for a while, socialize and learn from the proprietors is outside the youth's lexicon of thinking. Plus, getting something delivered to you is fun like Christmas. I live on the East coast, where life is way too fast paced and complex. I for one, simply don't have the time to run out to a magic store anymore. The world has changed.
Even less known as David Kidd

Baltimore, Md. Curator of

jay leslie
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Southern California
9495 Posts

Profile of jay leslie
I know (not think... I know) one of the major problems why brick and mortars go under is that the owners love magic but not business.

99 percent of the time when I call shops to buy product they have the same two excuses.
#1. "We like to write one check a month, so we buy everything at one place"
#2 "If people call us, asking for your stuff, we might buy one or two of them"

Manufacturers can not make any money by selling one or two of something, per order. There needs to be a minimum order. Constant marketing for one item (unless it's brand new and the flavor of the week) is cost prohibitive considering that distributers make larger orders. Granted, the distributers get a percentage but they have constructed a pipeline of sending 20 new items a week to independent stores. Most operators don't want to take the time to invest in making their own items or to actively seek-out new items on their own, They would rather buy what's being advertised in the magazines and online because it's easier then researching new product. what I'm saying is that part of the reason B&M stored close id due to laziness. The second reason is they are not located in a high foot-traffic tourist area.

Notice how the largest operators advertise a good percentage of their product-line as exclusive. That, right there, is the difference between a company that takes initiative and one that is a push-over.

If a B&M wants to generate more capitol they NEED to sell unique items and/or be in a fantastic location. This is the exact opposite of a business that sits & waits for distributers to tell them what is new and the opposite of most old-time shops that rented a store in the low rent part of town, at the end of the block.

there are sheep and there are sheepherders.
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Regular user
I may not be a millionaire but at least I have
194 Posts

Profile of psychod
Whenever I travel, I always look for a b & m shop in the vicinity. I've found some good ones and some bad ones (just like any other store). Personally, I can read reviews but I really like to see an item demonstrated in front of me. I also like being able to talk to the demonstrator and tell them what I'm looking for and have them let me know if a particular effect will really meet my needs. I used to have a local magic shop and I went at least a few times each month. I certainly spent more than I'd care to admit to my wife! Sadly, the store closed as the owner went in a different direction.

I'd love to patronize more b & m shops but it's getting harder and harder for me to find them. I will keep looking though...
Just adding my 3 cents worth because anybody can add their 2 cents worth...
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Loyal user
240 Posts

Profile of vampiro
Realistically, a bad economy and high gas prices really hurt the general public's ability to
go out and spend and to travel far to buy tricks. I really miss those good old Sat. afternoons hanging out
at the shop.
Magic is great
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Regular user
134 Posts

Profile of Magic is great
I try to make the majority of my purchases from a brick & mortar shop even though there are none around my area. I don't mind paying a little extra to help support them - it's worth it to me plus you get the actual face to face human interaction Smile
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