Looking To The Future
Hey folks. Nick here with an open letter to Capitol Hill community. In the wake of the closure of Zanadu comics in downtown, and the closure of our two-doors-down neighbor the Europub, we have had a number of people inquire about how the store was doing. Some of them are worried we'll shut down, others wondering how we're adapting to the influx of new customers from all of the growth in the area. I thought I would take a moment to talk about how the store's been doing. How we've grown. What challenges we see ahead in the future. And there's also an ask of you - what else can we do? Because at it's heart I have always wanted Phoenix to be a store that supports the comic and gaming community.
Past to Present
I am happy to say that the first 4 years have been really good to us here at Phoenix. We experienced so much rapid and consistent growth through our first three years that we were able to up the number of staff from myself and Keet to a staff of 2 full time and 1 part time employees (plus me!). Our calendar has gotten to the point where it is constantly full of fun and enjoyable events. And we continue to try new things to better serve the community.
The challenge of continued growth has not been without its issues. More employees and the increasing cost of living and doing business in Seattle have meant that we have had to be creative with how we experiment and expand our lines of products and what books we carry. We have tried our best to listen to feedback from our customers and more than once it has paid dividends in the form of new events and new product lines. We have had our share of setbacks; the first quarter of last year was rough enough to necessitate implementation of security cameras (which was followed almost a month later by a break-in). But thanks to the support of the community we have pulled past that and are well positioned for a prosperous future.
Looking to the Future - 2018 and Beyond
As I look out on this year, our fifth year, I see a year that's likely to be a turning point in the store's life. Five years is usually the point where one can look back at a small business and say "yes, this is on the right track, keep on going." The year is still young and we have a lot of ground to cover. I'm going to count on an even closer collaboration of our dedicated staff to find those future opportunities that we don't want to miss out on. And we're going to need support and feedback from you, the community. The store thrives because of so many dedicated individuals that choose to support a friendly inclusive local game store when they could choose an online retailer. As I mentioned earlier, at the end of this little letter is a link to a short survey. If you have a minute or two to fill it out, I would really appreciate it.
Here's a short list of things we're working on in the store that should be coming your way soon:
- - A website revamp to include an online catalogue of our Magic singles
- - More store Merch! T-Shirts, 5th anniversary play-mats and maybe some pins and stickers!
- - More comics and game events including more signings for ECCC (details coming this week) and more signings for Free Comic Book Day!
Staying or Going
Ultimately whether we stay in our current location depends on a number of factors. We're well aware of how much costs are increasing across Seattle, and we've done the math for how those increasing costs could affect us. We have plans to help allay some of those costs through inventory optimization among other things. We're also looking at it as a worst-case scenario and making alternative plans should things on our landlord's side change. We can't say what those plans are in a public letter like this. Just know that we don't want to go anywhere if we don't absolutely have to.
What can you do?
I wrote before that support of the comic and gaming community of Seattle is essential, and I noted that there would be a spot at the end of this little letter to take a survey. Well here it is! Please click the link here to be sent to a short survey. Please note that we are collecting emails for the purposes of tracking response data only. Your email will not be shared or used for any other purpose.