The Diamond Best Practices Awards (BPAs) for comic book stores were voted on at last weekend’s Diamond Retail Summit, for the categories of back issue display, community involvement, in-store signage and store layout. The Diamond nominees can be found here.
Diamond Best Back Issue Display: Winner
Gen X comics
We have been dissatisfied with our past issue displays for probably 25 years. During the pandemic, we finally decided to do something. So I spoke to several other retailers with beautiful displays and decided to use binders for my back problems. I also added shelves above the cabinets to add a splash of color and make them more distinctive. Additionally, I added large panels to the sides of the shelves to draw more attention to the area. Finally, I added shelves for display cases to display my dearest back problems. The change has been dramatic. The area is very visible and shouts “BACK ISSUES HERE” to anyone nearby. Sales of back issues doubled almost immediately. This change impacted the look of the section and we received rave reviews from customers.
Diamond Better community involvement
Famous and funny faces
West Melbourne, Florida
Famous Faces is a store proud of its involvement in the community. Over the past 27 years we have gone from a stand in a flea mall to an 11,000 square foot pop culture hypermarket and it would not have been possible without our community. We love our community so much that we try to be as involved as possible. Before the pandemic Before Covid 19 changed the world, famous faces would be present at every event we were invited to or could make room for in our increasingly busy schedules. If we had the opportunity to put a comic in someone’s hand and introduce ourselves, we would. Movie previews, weekly trivia games (written and facilitated by FFF staff with gift cards and graphic novels as prizes), school events and field trips, community events like Archeology for autism, Zombie Walk, First Responder Day, etc. our monthly schedules. It wasn’t often that we were selling at these events, it was just a way to meet our community and get people interested in comics and say “Hey, there’s a cool place you can hang out. to integrate”. Without fail, in the week following one of these events, we would see entering new faces we met during the event. Not only would we show up at any community event that would have us, but we were giving back to our community in any way. we can. We’ve organized charity events, donated to dozens of Kickstarter projects, donated thousands of dollars in books, toys, graphic novels, and more. by reading. Why? Because we owe it to our community to take care of them as they took care of us. When you find yourself able to do something, you should and we always look for opportunities to do it. During the Pandemic That said, the pandemic has certainly changed the way we interact with our community. We voluntarily closed indoor stores for eight months in 2020, but we never forgot our community. We set up a curbside station and offered curbside contactless pickup during our usual nine hours of operation, delivered comics to locals twice a week at no additional cost, and we launched a huge Facebook Live Selling program to continue bringing comics and collectibles to our community. We’ve even added free bonus sketches drawn by talented local artists based on what they bought. The community greeted us with intense enthusiasm, and several people told us how much joy and stability sales have brought to their lives. It wasn’t just about buying something and supporting a small business, it was about the camaraderie that developed and the distraction from the chaos that made sales successful. We only recently became fully open again, but we are so grateful that we survived the worst thanks to our amazing community. Famous Faces is a community on its own now, and we wouldn’t change that for the world.
The best signage in a Diamond store
BD Challengers + Conversation
The philosophy behind Challengers interior signage is simple: make it easy to read, and less is more. All our signs are printed (and not handwritten), either in store by us or in a local photocopy location. We try to keep the branding on point and that includes frequent use of our logo and lots of red. Signage visible in these photos: We have two 42 “monitors showing what’s new for the week, as well as a weekly outing counter mat for people to check as they call. Each section has a header showing what’s in, and that includes single numbered comics on the walls and graphic novels on the shelves, with characters found on those shelves. Flyers for upcoming events are displayed in the store and are available for folks to pick up at the counter. current previews are on the back of our registry monitor to keep people up to date with some new series they can (hopefully) pre-order. There are plenty more than you can imagine. can’t see, but hope these 4 photos give you an idea of how our interior signage looks like.
Best store layout
Greensboro, North Carolina
We are nearing our 40th year in business here at Acme Comics. With this, the store has gone through many changes. More recently, with social distancing in mind due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to rethink and restructure the entire store flow, even converting what was once a storage room into more than ‘sales area. We’ve made sure everything in the store is clearly labeled and visible as soon as you walk through our front door. This Week’s Comics have a center-highlighted display that takes place 2 Weeks Ago, 3 Weeks Ago, and 4 Weeks Ago, giving customers easy access to a full month of comics in one. space. The use of modular displays in the main room such as shelving and spinning shelving allows us to highlight bestsellers and topical products such as our “Disney +” display. From there, the store flows into our second room which houses our All Ages section, return stock, dedicated publisher shelves, as well as a well-stocked freestanding section and a selection of manga. All of this then leads to the old storage room now “Acme Back-Cave” where we house our vintage and collectible comics. We are extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish. Thanks for your consideration!
Dave Hawksworth Memorial Comic Shop Upgrade Award
The 2021 Dave Hawksworth Memorial Comic Book Store Improvement Award, which gives a local comic book store owner $ 5,000 to use to improve their business, goes to BuyMeToys in Mishawaka, Indiana. The Heying family of BuyMeToys plans to use the prize to create a distinct and stronger graphic novel section in their store, focusing on new audiences and will purchase new shelves and inventory, spanning a display of more forward-oriented comic strip to better capture the attention of new readers