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Profile of syko159
We used to have multiple shops around us. It's sad how it's moving to online shops these days. It was always fun going in and looking at things before buying.
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Inner circle
Harrisburg, PA
1432 Posts

Profile of mmreed
One thing to consider is that the B&Ms are also suffering from a second impact - the decline of customer population.

Magic is a shrinking sector. Kids arent gettign magic kits for gifts like they did in the past, they arent seeing magic shows as often, and simply put - magic is not the entertainment powerhouse it once was...

Just a few decades ago kids raced home to see Doug Hennings specials on TV. They had shows at theaters that were heavily advertised. They had fairs and festivals to see magic

But all fo that is changing as kids spend more time on xboxes and playstations, and the media pushes them only do what is marketed as "cool".

Big fairs that showcased magic are dying - the Great Amercian York fair was among the largestest fairs left today - and this past year it was horribly shrunk in size and quality.

While its easy to blame the internet dealers for the decline, that's simply only one small arm on the octopus of problems dealers face.

Simply put, there arent enough CUSTOMERS to come in to a B&M shop every day to make enough purchases to keep them in business.
THis is why pretty much most shops are owned by a RETIRED person, or someone with a second stream of income. There are not many shops owned and running at a profit that can pay the overhead, and allow an income for the owner.

look it like this

Rent on store $1000
Utils $200
Marketing and Advertsing $100
and those are REALLLY low figures!!
add in $3000 a month salary to get the owner a $36,000 a year salary - which is HORRIBLLY LOW!!!

that's $4300 a month in needed PROFITS... not sales... PROFITS.

lets make it easy and say the dealer has a 50% profit margin.. which is insane, as most margins are 30-40% max. but for ease lets say this owner gets 50%

so that's $8600 a month needed in sales.

Now lets say this dealer is so eager to make it work, he agrees to have the shop open 365 days a year every day...

he only needs to sell $286 worth of magic EVERY DAY to pay the low bills and earn a meager $36k a year.

Realistically, with real overhead, salary needs, and operations - a dealer is looking at at least $350 a day or more needed in sales.

There simply are not enough customers. Online shops definately eat into this, but its like going to the car dealer wanting a car... you show up, and they only have three cars on the lot... and there are 10 people there wanting to buy them.... the problem isn't the 10 people wanting to buy them (dealers)... is that there are only 3 cars (customers) on the lot (magic community) the fix is to grow the lots inventory and selection!!!

so - everyone complaining about B&Ms going out of biz - get more people into magic. Grow it! Find a way to get youth into magic where they STAY once they hit puberty and everyone tells them magic isn't cool or the adult thing to do.
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
Wizard of Oz
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Inner circle
Most people wish I didn't have
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Profile of Wizard of Oz
Very insightful. Thank you.
While I'm sure everything you've said is point on, I do feel very optimistic regarding the current condition of magic. While, as you eloquently state, it may be declining in popularity...from what I've been seeing, magic has never been cooler. If you look at the young magicians coming up, the way they look, the way they act...magic is not a nerdy hobby as it was when I was growing up. Magic then was sequines, silks, fake flowers, gaudy props, bad music, and bad costumes. Now, magic via today's youth, for the most part...has an edge to it.

I'm generalizing of course, and I do sympathize with the dealers who are trying to make ends meet (and miss the shops that are gone), but I look at where magic is heading, and I've never been more excited.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Dr Art
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170 Posts

Profile of Dr Art
It's a tough business to survive in the age of the internet. There are many businesses that can no longer sustain themselves because of the internet. I used to work in a magic store forty years ago and even then it would have had a hard time surviving if it didn't also sell halloween costumes and other props. It made most of its profit for the year on its halloween costume sales.
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Profile of gomerel
Learning magic well is long, lonely work. Not something that Americans are good at anymore.
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Profile of crummens
Magic emporium Tampa fla.
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Tampa, FL
741 Posts

Profile of MagicMattMan
On 2012-11-06 21:48, crummens wrote:
Magic emporium Tampa fla.

The owner of The Magic Emporium in Tampa, FL is Gary Barker and he's on the Café. Hopefully he'll stumbleupon this thread and participate.
"For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, none will suffice." -Joseph Dunninger

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."Hebrews 13:2
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20496 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
Let's hope that you do hear from Gary. He has my recommendation!

In-store retailing in general is a vanishing thing. But I still champion those who demo their wares for real customers in real time. They earn their keep.

The Internet is really for replacement parts (cards, rope, silks, flash paper, etc.). Real magic shops are for MAGIC! My personal experience is that too many of the Internet operations either have no personal knowledge of the wares they sell or are less than honest about their offerings. The buyer had better be very knowledgeable about the specific product considered.

Live lectures are the alternative for many magicians. There you also get to see goods before buying.
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
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Profile of havagrim
Ive only visited one magic shop in all my life, and that was Daytona Magic in yeah, Daytona. Had a great time with Harry Allen and I ended up buying a lot of great stuff that I still use ten years later.
We have (I am quite sure) just one brick and mortar store here in Sweden, and they are not open all the time. Very far from where I live. So here the only option is to deal online. But I know for sure that if I had a shop close by, Id be there as much as I could. And free coffe, I would not say no to that Smile

"The world is my playground"
Magician from Sweden.
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Profile of 55john55
I want to put in a good word for PJ's trick shop as a brick and mortar store. it is in the northwest surburbs of Chicago (formerly Arlington hts. but now probably Wheeling. PJ has been around from at least the early 1970s. It is straightforward shop with a very nice line of merchandise. Thanks PJ (and staff) for your help over the years.
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