As we’ve reported in the past, the economic recession has hit media and publishing companies hard, with hundreds of layoffs and corporate restructuring at standbys like Warner Bros., MTV, and Random House.
While it’s only going to get worse, with even the most optimistic economists thinking an upswing won’t be possible until at least the latter half of 2009, comic shops have surprisingly weathered the storm pretty well.
According to ICv2, comic shop store counts are only down 2.5%, with overall Diamond Sales down 3%. Of course, the article adds, next month will really be a key point to see the full effects of the economic downturn, as some retailers may decide to make a “clean break” and close up shop as 2009 begins.
Why is this the case, you might wonder. In my opinion, it has to do with the fact that comics already had their meltdown, just over a decade ago. And just as the comic book companies had to be frugal with their numbers and their hiring, I think this trickled down to the retailers, as well.
Because comics are no longer an “investor’s market,” I think retailers have had to be much more careful with their purchasing and their sales, and with fans having typically propped up the comparatively-cheap comics industry during most recessions, it makes sense why the layoffs and closings aren’t matching those of newspapers, publishing houses, or Wall Street.