SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Small businesses are adjusting to a new way of serving their customers.
May the Fourth is typically a very busy day for comic book stores. Neighborhood Comics is also celebrating their one-year anniversary Monday, but their celebrations look much different than last year.”
“It couldn’t be more different to compare 2019 May the Fourth to 2020 May the Fourth,” Lee Heidel, owner of Neighborhood Comics, said.
Just a year ago they had a bustling shop, but now silence. Their business, like many others, has slowed down because of COVID-19. They are used to foot traffic, students and more but have had to shift to online sales and curbside pick-up to stay in business.
Instead of the big one-year anniversary bash they had planned, Heidel is preparing to get back to business in a small way.
“We think it’s a good idea for our store to slowly reintroduce ourselves and to kind of have a new day one again,” Heidel said.
Their staff will return to work Tuesday for appointment-based shopping. Customers can book a slot online and must wear a mask.
Neighborhood Comics will have sanitizer on hand and conduct extra cleaning to ensure a safe environment while still providing an in-store experience.
“The big benefit of coming into browse is that you get to see and touch and pick up the books yourself. It’s great to have all of this on our website, that’s a wonderful experience, but people can shop on any website to get their books. A big part of comic books is the culture of the store itself, so getting people back in the door even on a limited basis is really important for us to take that next step,” he said.
While the impacts of the past two months and missing out on May the Fourth will be felt for a while to come, Heidel says this slow reopening helps.