‘We are ready for a new start’ | Hutchinson comic book store closing, owners cite economy
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KAKE) – A comic book store in Hutchinson is closing at the end of the year, and the owners said their decision had everything to do with the economy.
Smallville Comics, Gaming, and More has been in business for five years. Owners Cory and Kyrstal Zeferjahn said sales have plummeted over the past six months.
“With the way the economy is going right now, people just don’t have any extra money to have fun with right now,” Kyrstal said.
The store sells comics, magic cards, Funko Pops, board games and more. His last day in his Hutchinson store will be December 23.
“Some people are very sad about it, and some people are like, ‘but if you’re happy, then it’s okay,'” Krystal said.
The Zeferjahns said they also had to raise prices after their distributors raised theirs and stopped offering free shipping. Cory said the store still has over 96,000 comics, 250,000 Magic Cards, 600 Funkos and more available.
“They say it’s going to get worse before it gets better over the next two years, and so that weighed in on our decision,” Cory said.
Customers painted some of the art on the walls of the store. The couple said the community aspect of the store, like when a band comes over to play Dungeons & Dragons every Thursday, will be the hardest to give up.
“We started this so that families, kids, and people would have a place to go and a place to relax and feel welcomed and feel like it was a home environment,” Krystal said.
The Zeferjahns said they know of other small businesses in Kansas that are also closing for the same reason. At this time they have stated that they have no plans to reopen in the near future.
“It would be a really tough time trying to start a business just because of all the extra expenses from distributors, the lack of extra income, and the free money people have to spend,” Cory said.
Cory will continue to sell select items from the online store after it closes. Smallville will also continue to put items on sale through the end of the year in stores, with specials on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday next week.