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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » An end of an era - perhaps a new era of old traditions? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Rick Fisher
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Rick Fisher
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There is a lot of interesting talk about magic shops not surviving. We (FAB Magic in Colon, Michigan) took the leap of faith almost a year ago and have been very pleased with the response we have received.

Our business partner, Marilyn Abbott, Percy Abbott's daughter, remembers when magic was catalogs and shops - one on one relationships between magic dealer and customer. The Internet, although providing many good things, has overwhelmed the bricks and mortar shop. Not only are we dealing with the Internet but with a softer than usual economy. You have to be different in the magic business. The Internet has proven that no one company is "sacred" and there are other places, many places to buy magic and books.

We have made a major commitment to magic and to Colon and most importantly to magicians everywhere to be innovative and customer service oriented. In our opinion if you don't have something new to offer you will die on the vine and your days as a magic dealer will be numbered. Perhaps the Internet has raised the bar so dealers have to be not just sellers of tricks but genuinely in love with helping a customer make the correct purchase and not just for the sake of making a quick buck.

It is this approach that will save the magic shop...a new attitude - one that we all must strive for - There will be more magic shops closing in the next few months and it will be an unfortunate situation. Magicians - be careful what you wish for on price - someday you may just wake up and find there are NO more magic shops to visit. This will not be good for our art.

We are all entertainers and we need people to perform for just like the magic dealer who also is "an entertainer" - he/she needs you to entertain and to sell magic to. Please don't forget the magic shop.
Rick Fisher, President FAB Magic

"One of the largest magic shops in the world!"

www.fabmagic.com
Wizzy
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UK
37 Posts

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Good Luck with your shop, and long may it last.
Being in the UK I will never visit it, but I will have a look at your web site.
If you have something original to offer, why not think about coming over to some Magic Conventions in the UK. We may be small, but we do have some big conventions.
Wizzy
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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Rick,

"You hit the nail on the head!"

A new market has roared it's face and it is killing the shop owner. Not just in magic in many businesses.

Survival will depend on exclusive products, loyalty of the customer and the "new and modern" customer/client relations from the dealer.

I still deal with the dealers that have given me that type of one-to-one relations. It has in a long run saved me money!
Dennis Michael
Dayanara
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Michigan
64 Posts

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For some reason, I have never been able to get near Colon...I never get to that part of the state, I guess. Good luck with the business though, and maybe I'll get there someday.

As far as Las Vegas goes, I think there needs to be some diversity. THREE hotels have the same magic shop chain with the same stuff being sold. Personally, I would rather see ONE of Houdini's Magic Shop & Museum and TWO other, different stores that are each unique in their own way.

Internet may be easy, but it can't hold a deep, veiled mystery like a brick n' mortar building can.
mattneufeld
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Dayanara:

You're exactly right.

--Matt.
donsmagic
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I owned a magic shop in south Florida for 10 years. We carried a lot of unique items. When Doc Eason visited, he said he saw items in my shop that he never saw in any others. Dan Harlan, David Acer, Kerry Pollack, and Paul Harris were also visitors. Since I am a collector of Thayer and P&L, we carried a lot of high quality items. I sold the shop two years ago and I have always felt that what is killing magic shops today are the Internet discounters. Most of them work out of homes and it is very difficult to compete when you have a retail store with a lot more expenses. It wasn't fun working hard demonstrating items only to have people say they could get it "cheaper" on the Internet.
Dougini
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The Beautiful State Of Maine
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Is that you, Don???

You got to PM me; if it's you, I owe you multitudes of gratitude! Don's Magic & Fun Shop closed shortly after it was sold. A sad day for us all.

Every time I drive by the Pelican Plaza, my heart sinks. Where are you now, Don? I'd like to keep in touch!

Doug
Dave V
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Las Vegas, NV
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Quote:
On 2004-05-20 22:05, Dayanara wrote:
As far as Las Vegas goes, I think there needs to be some diversity. THREE hotels have the same magic shop chain with the same stuff being sold.

Dayanara, I think your count is off. It's at least nine Houdini shops, not three. Las Vegas is... different. We do have diversity, but it's in the visitors, not the shops. Where Geno (Munari, the owner of Houdini's Magic) was smart was in saturating the city with well-placed shops. Most tourists don't venture very far from the hotel in which they are staying. If he only had one or two shops, he'd go broke. Instead, his "brick and mortar" shops are flourishing. They're not exactly what I would consider "magic shops," more like novelty shops, but they do sell a complete line of magic as well as the requisite rubber doggie vomit.

The more serious magicians in town go to either Planet Mirth or Denny and Lee's, both virtually invisible to tourists due to having but a single location off the Strip. They survive by having an Internet presence to make up for their lack of foot traffic.

Internet shops aren't bad if used wisely, in their case to supplement their "brick and mortar" stores.

"If you can't beat them, join them!"
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
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