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Tuesday, April 16, 2019 

Still another New York specialty store goes out of business

How many comics stores are left in New York alone? I'm not sure, but soon after the St. Mark's store shut down, another casualty's come about, a store named Chameleon Comics & Cards in Manhattan:
Their glum faces told the story: Chameleon was shutting its doors after nearly 30 years in Manhattan’s Financial District. [...]

The store’s owner, Steve Wu, 50, said business had been declining for years and that he could no longer afford to stay open now that his lease was ending and his landlord was raising the rent significantly.

Mr. Wu would not disclose the exact amount, but said the increase would put his rent well over $10,000 per month for the 500-square-foot shop on Maiden Lane just east of Broadway.

Business, he said, never quite rebounded after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack occurred several blocks away. Also, he added, younger people do not seem to collect comics like older generations did.
Well that's because of something this NYT article doesn't actually mention: horrible story quality discouraging the younger generations from reading various comics at all. Still, if pamphlets are what they're referring to, that's something quite a few retailers don't seem to accept is killing the business too, as the prices are already on the verge of 4-5 dollars or more.

And now, we have to wonder again, how many specialty stores are still run in the Big Apple? I think Jim Hanley's Universe, which I once visited back in 2003, is still in business, but they moved away from the location they once had across from the Empire State Building, and I'm not sure where they're at now. If nearly all specialty stores in NYC close down, due to high rental fees and plummeting customer visits, that'll be a significant blow to the industry, since NYC is - or used to be - such a prominent business hub, comics included. And working in Los Angeles as part of the movie business isn't saving it either.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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