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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Brick & Mortar Magic Shops, an endangered species? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Review King
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Cinemagician there are still some great shops. Williams Magic in Tucson is awesome. Fully stocked, FRIENDLY owners that know their stuff. Joyous experience.

But the bad ones, have to go.

Chris
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the saddest are, "It might have been"

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cinemagician
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Yes, it seems that I'll have to baord the train to Baltimore to check out Denny and Lee's in order to re-experience what it is like to spend some time in a real B&M. I have not been to Tannens in about 5 or six years. And even then it had gone down hill.

When I got the oppertunity to go there years ago (Tannen's)- it was a great shop and then sometimes I would even get over to Reuben's. I was pretty young but it was fun- some great memories.
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Rick Fisher
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"It not about ego, its about the passion." Marshall Thornside couldn't have said it any better! We, FAB Magic, are in the process of opening our first branch magic shop in Indianapolis. Why? Because there is a real need for magic shops to continue. It IS about tradition....It is about magicians and magic....getting together on a Saturday afternoon and talking magic...the sales will come if marketed properly. No slick sales people just friendly and experienced magicians who work behind the counter because they love magic...like I do...it is the passion that will fuel and drive success. I watch magic shops disappear it seems almost weekly. We have to compete on the internet or we won't survive either. But we also manufacture and distribute magic world wide and keep intact the made in the USA values. I invite you to pay us a visit in Colon,Michigan sometime - while you are at it visit Abbott's too.....two magic shops in a town of 1200 - unheard of??? If it can work here it can work anywhere....nuff said....

Rick Fisher, president, FAB Magic
Rick Fisher, President FAB Magic

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karbonkid
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Aren't there already shops like this in Indianapolis?
Al Angello
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Hey Rick
There may be lots of magic shops in Indianapolis, but I'm sure yours will be the best.
YOUR FRIEND
Al Angello
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Bill Palmer
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I was in Providence, RI for NEMCA. There are a lot of really interesting things to see in Providence. We visited Brown University, which has a HUGE magic library. And we visited the RISD museum, which had some exceptional displays. We could have stayed there an extra week or so.

Although there is no magic shop in Providence, there are a couple of really good ones nearby. Ray Goulet's shop is about an hour from Providence. And Hank Lee's shop is fairly close as well.

Ray's shop is one of the nicest brick and mortar shops there is.
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magicfest
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Chris,
I own a brick and mortar Magic Shop. Ive been performing for 27 years. I don't know you personally, but there are many times a magician comes in who seems to know everything and seems offended that a lowly clerk even speakes to him. You never know who the guy is behind that counter or what HE knows, or what he can share with you. Its about freindship and magicians helping magicians. I have never told my staff to sell regardless of a customers needs. Next time you visit a shop why not try and walk in to share and learn, and just hang out and soak up the great, unreplaceable magic shop atmosphere. Great shops will always be around.
Andy the cardician
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Can a great shop also make great money?
Cards never lie
magicgettogether
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I remember going to my first magic shop in the seventies as a kid, it was called the Magic Emporium in Michigan, Then there was Roy Kissells Fox N Fun shop, used to love watching Roy especially when a kid came in. Romigs in Michigan was great for the eighties, unfortunately all these stores are closed and it happened long before the internet. More recently, Garden City Magic lost its owner Carlos and its future is uncertain as well.

The point I am trying to make is that the internet did not close any of these shops, it was just their time. But I remember every item I purchased from them, it was an experience. Ordering on the internet is necessary today in many circumstances but certainly not an experience. The internet is a tool, nothing more.

The brick and mortar shops will go on as they always have. They'll just have great websites as well.
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Bill Palmer
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I just got back from Europe, and I visited a couple of magic shops while I was there. One of them is Christian Jedinat's shop. He has basically changed over from a partially "brick and mortar" operation to a full internet shop. However, he also does have lectures, he has a magic school, and his new facility in Rösrath also hosts other kinds of seminars. So he has expanded into another type of field. He does not actually encourage drop-in shopping. But if someone he knows is in the vicinity, you can count on having a good time at his place.

Munich used to have two really good magic shops. One, Zauberzentrale München, is now located in Pullach, and is still very much in business. The other, Braunmüller's, is basically out of business. When Rudolf was alive, it was a going concern, but Helga really can't be troubled with it. I visited the shop a long time ago, and was not treated like a serious customer. She was really proud of Michael Jackson's signature in the guest book, though!

I also visited Zauberladen Zürich. This is an excellent shop. Hörbi Kull, the proprietor, could not have been nicer. He was glad to see me, and even opened up a bit early when he saw me arrive ahead of schedule. He will be in business a long time from now. I can tell these things!
"The Swatter"

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Guardian452
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I believe brick and mortar shops are important to the magic community.

you intake a whole new feeling when you enter a magic shop.

I still remember the first magic shop I ever walked into. It was an amazing feeling to actually be inside a REAL magic shop. They are starting to die out thanks to online shops. I'm not saying that they are to blame because I mean, Whats easier..... Clicking a few buttons and entering some numbers to buy a trick, or driving out to a place to buy a trick???


I try to support brick and mortar shops by seeing if they have the product I'm looking for, before I buy it online...sure it might be a little bit more expensive, but I'm willing to pay that price to support a magic shop that you can WALK INTO, BREATH the magic atmosphere and EXPERIENCE the feeling of being inside a shop
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sal
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Quote:
On 2007-05-15 22:41, magicfest wrote:
Chris,
I own a brick and mortar Magic Shop. Ive been performing for 27 years. I don't know you personally, but there are many times a magician comes in who seems to know everything and seems offended that a lowly clerk even speakes to him. You never know who the guy is behind that counter or what HE knows, or what he can share with you. Its about freindship and magicians helping magicians. I have never told my staff to sell regardless of a customers needs. Next time you visit a shop why not try and walk in to share and learn, and just hang out and soak up the great, unreplaceable magic shop atmosphere. Great shops will always be around.

Looks like I got here a little late, But anyway, Would just like to add that I agree- Chris, If you are ever in orlando Performing, please feel free to stop by my Wife and I's Shop in Orlando Fl (Backstage Magic) Maybe you'll have a nice time and hope you don't feel the need to "Pull out your cell phone" (LOL)
scaevola
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I really miss Flosso's shop in new york.
magicsojourn
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After 5 years in Bristol, PA Magic Sojourn is considering closing its doors for good. Will give it a few more months.
John Bodner
Genesis 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you. For to you, and to your seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.
Rocky
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One shop left in Portland Oregon...located in a mall...great selection of fake dog doo doo and inflatable sex dolls. The close up mat on the demo counter has got to be at least thirty years old,but who needs to see nickels to dimes when theres inflatable sex dolls to check out ( especially the ones made with "life-like" plastic).
Moving to the other side of the country,The Mingus Magic Shop in Reading PA. is a quaint shop where the people who work the counter are polite and fun to be around. They always have the customers best interests in mind and keep the shelves stocked with both current and traditional effects...may they continue to represent brick and mortar shops for many years to come!
clarissa35f
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I have Tannen's nearby. About being accosted when I walk in, I have never found that to be the case. I walk in, I give the sales people a smile and a nod, and they smile and nod back, and keep at what they were doing. If I am near books, or DVD's mostly they leave me alone.

By now they know what my interests are, so if something new comes in they will ask if I know about it, but only if I Look toward them with a questioning look in my face... I can swear those sales people are metalists.

I do agree that there is a Cluby hangout type of feel to the place sometimes. And the sales people welcome any oppurtunity to show off, which I have to giggle at, cause the manager will come in, give them a stern look, and backl to stocking shelves they go.

I do spend a LOT of money online because let's face it, there is value online, but only if you KNOW what it is you are gonna get. You get a good sale at an Online shop you might spend $140 and end up with over $200 worth of DVD's or books.

I still support Tannen's sentimental reasons, it was one of My first magic shop experiences, and the sales person led me right, he did not try to sell me something I did not need, he did not pester me with " Oh you know about this? that? that other thing??" Like a Used car salesman on Commission.

I do feel that the B & M stores need to embrace the internet. They cannot stand as a separate entity and hope that people will keep coming to them. They need to make a real case that they offer something Online shops do not, that is worth the travel time and the extra bucks.

I will say One thing about the Tannen's every time they make a recommendation I have never regretted taking it.

Chris BTW, My Hubby and I have a name for the type of store you went to...we call them " May I help you?" type stores. From the moment you walk in the door, and walk around they are at your elbow..."May I help you? may I help you? May I help you?" then they wonder why you walked out with a nasty expression...

Sometimes I want and accept help, sometimes I just want to be left alone to make my own purchasing decisions...when I need help, I know How to get it. And at least in Tannen's they basically leave me alone,... They have come to learn that I know what I want, and I know what is out there.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
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clarissa35f
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Just wanted to comment on something else about B & M shops

FanWun said
Quote:
Still, his most sound advice was this, "You don't need anything else." The kid told John what he had already. Then, John, or I, asked how much time he had on stage. John immediate said, "You really don't need anything else. You have enough already. It's only 15 minutes."


And I can echo that. My experience has been that at least in a store where the staff care more about magic, than in clinching a sale, once they get to know you and your needs they will tell you.." You are fine with what you have, you don't need anymore."

In any other type of business if a salesperson talked a Customer OUT of a purchase , just because it was best for the customer, they would be looking for a Job elsewhere. It has been my experience that this is something in magic shops... the well run ones at least. They will try to sell you quality even if there are more expensive items of lesser quality. They will let you know when you are fine with what you have.

They realize that magicians are loyal. We start shopping somewhere we keep shopping there, even if it means we have to travel longer to get there.

I think this is worth supporting. But I also think they cannot ignore the Internet. Tannen's has a presence on the internet... I think that is a good step, but I think if they are to survive, they need to be more proactive. Not sure how... just thinking outloud I guess.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
JohntheMagician
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Brick and Mortar Shops are a great resource and I’d hate to loose them, but I am sick of hearing B&M Stores complain about internet stores and such. Yes I understand that Online Stores have a lower overhead, but if most B&M stores would get off their backsides and actually get a nice Online E-store they would actually have 1-up on the online only shop, they be selling to 2 markets.

They are a few Magic Shops within an hour and a half of where I live and I visit every one of them. They each have their pros & cons. In the end Brick & Mortar Shops will have to evolve or the will become extinct. Its up to the owners to make it happen.
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tommykay
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Quote:
On 2007-07-02 20:10, Guardian452 wrote:
I believe brick and mortar shops are important to the magic community.


I feel exactly the same way. I buy stuff from the magic shop an hour from my home just because I want him to stay in business. If I keep buying everything online, he'll fold. Then there will be no place to *go* to see magic, get face-to-face advice, etc.

I've never run a magic shop, but I am an entrepreneur, and I disagree with a number of things I've read in this forum.

Your local magic shop is just an ordinary guy who sells stuff to pay the rent. He's not Wal-Mart. He will not have every single effect that YOU think is critical. I mean, some guy thinks the "Skywalker Levitation" is indispensable, and another guy thinks magic shops should carry juggling supplies. Heck, even Tannen's doesn't carry *everything*.

And let's talk practical business. Magic shops get a huge number of lookie-Lous who just finger the merchandise and don't buy. Don't expect him to leap up and start a one-man show for every single customer. Many of his customers are dopes looking for fart spray or fake poop. Then again, the rare actual magician that comes in tends to come off as some kind of magic expert, and that can't be any fun, either. (I've noticed that the number of *children* in magic shops is rapidly dwindling. I worry for the future of this hobby for this reason.) Trust me, he's not making money hand over fist, he's in it for the love of magic, so cut him some slack. Obviously there isn't a ton of money in it, or every city would have several competing shops.

Be glad he's there at all. I can never find a salesperson at Wal-Mart.

If you get a bad salesman, give the owner a call. He can't be in the store every minute. His cash flow is probably pretty thin, so trust me, he wants to know if his salesman is ignoring you.

Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. If your local magic shop closes, I guarantee the local magic club's membership will tumble. We need brick and mortar magic shops. Go in, introduce yourself in a friendly way, and buy something occasionally. If you keep buying everything online, the local guy won't be there at all.

Magic shops tend to be the center of their particular magic community. They are critical to keeping magic alive.
Payne
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Quote:
On 2008-06-17 11:06, JohntheMagician wrote:

. . . but if most B&M stores would get off their backsides and actually get a nice Online E-store they would actually have 1-up on the online only shop, they be selling to 2 markets.



But they will more than likely go the way of the used bookstore as they soon will doscover that the online shop is far more profitable than the B&M shop, especially if they close the expensive to maintain B&M location.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
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