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epsilon97
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Regular user
153 Posts

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Hello all,

I am curious about how many brick and mortar magic shop owners we have here at the Magic Café. Also, is there a forum specifically for owning a magic shop? I do not own one, but I am very curious about the business.
magicHart
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Special user
Las Vegas, Nevada
548 Posts

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Unfortunately, the brick and mortar shops are a dying breed. It's sad but true!
Like any other business they have been forced to close due to the proliferation of on line vendors.
Jim Sparx
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Inner circle
Far Out, Texas
1144 Posts

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MDA, Magic Dealers Association has been around since the early forties. Interestingly, they were founded by a bunch of guys to fight the rampant thievery among unethical dealers and the copycats, all stuff that seems to have shifted to China these days. Don't know if they have a forum.
There is an interesting poll in the 1949-50s Genii magazine, conducted by Robert Orben, that ran for almost a year and consisted of input by dealers and working pros. If you are a Genii subscriber, or a member of the Conjuring Arts Research, you can access the back issues and read this interesting poll about brick and mortar stores and how tough the business really is.
davidpaul$
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2926 Posts

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This brick and mortar magic shop has been around since 1976 with the same owners who you will usually see almost every day. They have quite a history and they can tell you some interesting stories. They know the business inside and out.

http://www.thecuckoosnest.com/zencart/zencart138/

Check out the important links on the right side of the page.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Shannon zhuo
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China
21 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-06-05 07:56, epsilon97 wrote:
Hello all,

I am curious about how many brick and mortar magic shop owners we have here at the Magic Caf�. Also, is there a forum specifically for owning a magic shop? I do not own one, but I am very curious about the business.

Nowadays, more and more companys choose to open online magic shops, I didn't find some forums for owning a magic shop,Magic magazine could be a choice for your reference.Smile
Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well
http://www.redcornermagic.com
Ed_Millis
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Inner circle
Yuma, AZ
2286 Posts

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I'd also recommend you to Williams Magic in Tucson, AZ ( http://www.WilliamsMagic.com ).
It's a father and son enterprise; both are great entertainers as well as businessmen.
And they've managed to weather the various economic storms of the last 20+ years.
Give them a call and ask for Emory.

Ed
The Amazing Pog
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Veteran user
372 Posts

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I wonder what the magic shop scene is like in the uk? I doubt if there's many shops around, and those that do exist will probably all be in large cities. I could be wrong, though. Anyone know what the uk situations like?
'One of the safest ways to make a good performance is to have tricks which work so easily, that mechanics can be forgotten and every attention devoted to presentation' - Corinda
DWRackley
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Chattanooga, TN
1909 Posts

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Interesting question. Was just talking with a B&M owner who’s planning on closing up shop at the end of next month. I don’t know where he got the info, but he says there are just about 250 shops left in the U.S. Two just recently (within the past year) closed in Chattanooga.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Greg Collett
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63 Posts

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Mr. MAGIC in little rock arkansas is also a long time favorite. an excellent shop run by a great guy, Jim Henson.
"He's a miracle waiting for us to happen."
JJKnight
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52 Posts

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I love Jim at Mr. Magic I just wish I could see him more often (sounds so bad I know!). His shop is PACKED!!! I just wish he could get one of us young guys to work on his website I think an online catalogue would compliment his shop perfectly.
DWRackley
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Chattanooga, TN
1909 Posts

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I don’t think it will be too far off topic to ask a question (If so I’m quite sure it’ll be deleted or moved!)

I think we can all acknowledge that price isn’t everything (although it IS very compelling!)
How much time would you spend in a Brick & Mortar shop, under the following circumstances:

  • Nothing but Magic, Mentalism, maybe some Hypnosis, Bizarre and Pendulums
  • Same as above, but also Masks and Makeup, Special Effects, Halloween type stuff
  • Add in stage equipment, Lighting, Sound, Backdrops, Tables (Gimmicked or Otherwise)
  • On site workshop where items could be custom manufactured
  • All of the above plus a stage area, either close-up table or actual riser, regular shows or rentable theatre
  • Free coffee and doughnuts
  • Clearing house (or contact list) for linking area magicians with searching customers


These are all just ideas. You can use my list or add thoughts of your own.
What would it take for you to visit a shop INSTEAD of buying online, assuming it was local (half hour drive or less), and paying possibly higher prices?
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Theodore Lawton
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Inner circle
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I second Ed's advice to check out Williams. I live in Tucson and love going to visit with Emory.

DW- You had me at coffee and doughnuts.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
The Amazing Pog
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I be at that shop quite a bit. I'd go to shows, and pay for them, and buy drinks and food, and I'd purchase items quite often. I reckon you'd see me most weekends and some weekdays or evenings depending upon how far away it was from where I work.
'One of the safest ways to make a good performance is to have tricks which work so easily, that mechanics can be forgotten and every attention devoted to presentation' - Corinda
NexusMagicShop
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Sunny California
434 Posts

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As an online distributor, knowing that Brick and mortars are fading away. I wanted to show some level of support. So I put together a list of Brick and Mortars in the US on my magic forums site. It took along time to put together, but I was introduced into magic thru a brick and mortar. I felt it was the least I can do to support. ---> http://www.backroommagic.com/apps/forums......ocations

If anyone knows of Stores that need to be included or removed please let me know: NexusMagicStore@yahoo.com
I know many have fallen...
Image
Jason of BackroomMagic
www.BackroomMagic.com/| Mobile friendly magic forums and blogs
www.twitter.com/Nexusmagicstore
Wunderground
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Clawson, MI
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What is it about the magic business that makes people have such a negative view? We don't need more than one lowest price online magic shop, and it's not going to be Penguin or Magic Geek or any of the current specialty magic stores. In just a few years the only noteworthy online magic shop will be Amazon as magic becomes just another online commodity. If all the customer cares about is the cost, Amazon will win on price and free shipping. If all an online store can offer is the Murphy's catalog, there doesn't need to be more than one shop.

Once the online shops shake themselves out, people will realize that cheap magic is just that - cheap and unworkable in the real world. At some point you need to realize that your YouTube video just isn't going to cut it.

There's always going to be a need for real world advice. The brick and mortars will survive with unique products, custom creations, training and coaching, and specialty service. (And maybe free doughnuts.)

Actually, right now one of the ways I survive is by buying out failed online shops, but I don't expect that can last.

Wunderground Magic has been around for over 40 years, and the only way we can do that is to adapt. I'd like to believe that there will always be a demand for unique experiences, live entertainment and human interaction, so we focus on those instead of trying to be the cheapest we can be.
Share the Wunder not the secret - Wunderground Magic
satellite23
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424 Posts

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He is not a member on the Café, but Artie Kidwell owns a shop around where I live. I've seen his name pop up a few times on the forum, though. He's a really good guy and magician, tons of experience and interesting stories. One of his workers actually went to the same high school as I do now, and so we have a few things to talk about there. He used to be a member, but I don't think he's very active anymore (username: Sir Pat-Trick-----the trick is in the name).

Mr. Kidwell's shop has recently begun to take the plunge into the worldwide web, I'm not sure how it is because I've never bought anything from the online store.

artiesmagic.com
DWRackley
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Inner circle
Chattanooga, TN
1909 Posts

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Seriously looking into this myself. I don’t think a shop could survive if it didn’t use the web extensively. But the brick & mortar has much to offer that the web (even Skype) just can’t manage, and I’ve seen plenty of ideas (some that draw better than others! Smile ).

Unfortunately, the Internet isn’t the only thing hurting small business (or capitalism in general) right now. The more I studied, the scarier it got; all plans are on hold until after the elections. We may see after that.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
John McLaughlin
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Gloucester, Massachusetts
383 Posts

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Ed Gardner runs Diamond's Magic...which he purchased from Paul Diamond many years ago. It's in Peabody Mass, and has almost as many books and DVDs as Denny has. Ed is a great guy and like most honest dealers will tell you what not to get if he thinks it's above your skill level or not great quality. My favorite part is just like Denny's Shop, once he gets to know you you get to wander around behind the counter on your own. Be prepared for lost of one-liners, Eddie could give Gary Darwin a run for his money!
...NSA John McLaughlin, not CIA John McLaughlin
harris
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Harris Deutsch
8687 Posts

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If you are in the Kansas City area(USA), give me a PM. I can guide you to our 4 shops..

Klamms, U.S. Toys Magic, and Mind Games..

hmm that's 4. I can't remember if Kirk D's shop is still open. He is the computer wiz behind the I.B.M. web stuff as well as purveyor of great props.

Harris
ring 129 and 2100
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
m.ruetz
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Veteran user
Peoria Arizona, USA
378 Posts

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I love these discussions on brick and mortar shops.

Be sure to check out the best World-wide resource on locating brick and mortar shops. Please if you find your favorite shop is not there, or if a listed shop is no longer there, let me know.

http://magicgizmo.com/home/magic-shop-locator/
MagicGizmo: Magic Articles, Classifieds, Videos, and more
http://magicgizmo.com
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