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Sunday, June 28, 2020 

Arkansas comics store closing

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports a specialty store run in Little Rock is shutting down, and the management will be selling only online from that point:
Avvaru and countless others who have patronized the Comic Book Store at 9307 Treasure Hill Road and its North Little Rock counterpart Collector's Edition, 3217 John F. Kennedy Blvd., will have to say goodbye to the bricks-and-mortar iterations when the shops permanently shutter today.

"It's just going to be a place I miss," Avvaru said. "I'm just glad to have the experience and having had that place be a part of my life, however short it was, in hindsight."

Collector's Edition opened in 1982, and the Comic Book Store followed in 1989.

Owner Michael Tierney said that although he is closing both stores, he will continue selling books online and through mail orders.

The decision to move away from brick-and-mortar was influenced by multiple factors, Tierney said. He is an author and is busy with commitments to creative projects, including six books to be completed in the next year.

The lease was nearly up on the Little Rock store, and the coronavirus outbreak significantly reduced foot traffic.

The pandemic also slowed or stopped the publishing and distribution of new titles on a national level, putting stores in a financial bind and causing some to close.

When Tierney put out feelers for a buyer for the North Little Rock building and found one almost immediately, he said it felt like everything aligned to make the transition possible.

"Most of them are going completely out of the industry. I'm not," he said. "I'm still going to keep on doing business. I'm just going to do it a different way."
It sounds like quite a few retailers are aware of the industry's implosion over the years, and concluded it's not adding up to a good investment, which is the fault of poor management mainly at the Big Two these days. Maybe all involved in retailing should consider the time's come to support an alternate industry or two, along with businesses that might be willing one day to buy out corporate owned properties and do whatever possible to make them palatable again. For now, it's a terrible shame all these factors are leading to this whole collapse of business.

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