Saturday, September 16, 2006

Updates - September 15th, 2006

Rome was not built in a day, and nor is our new facility. We've been working very hard recently getting both our new place ready for business as well and keeping up with your regular orders, and it's been quite a challenge!

This week we started the fall Geneon sale a little sooner than we had anticipated as Geneon shipped us our sale inventory a bit early. Order volumes since the sales started have been huge, and I had to call all the folks in that were working on the new place back to HQ to help process the extra orders. Also this week we've seen a dramatic increase in the amount of e-mail inquiries that have been coming in and we've had to par our immediate responses down to mostly store business only. Still, we're making good progress and should be ready to start moving our actual inventory and operations during the first week of October. Several folks have asked about new addresses for mail in payments and such, however nothing is going to change right now and we'll let everyone know when the time comes in a few weeks.

In the news is another group of date changes and a few other interesting tid-bits. First, here are the changes we've been able to confirm so far:

Changed From 9-12 to 9-26
Gundam Seed Destiny 4 DVD

Changed From 9-12 to 11-14
Clockwork Fighters 1 DVD

Changed From 10-17 to 10-24
Elemental Gelade 3 DVD

In addition to these changes, most of Bandai's 9-12 titles are shipping late and are not expected to arrive until early next week. This includes My-Hime Vol #4 which a very large number of you have on pre-order, in many cases holding up other items to ship complete. Rest assured we'll get these shipped as soon as our copies arrive.

Racking is first Pre Assembled in the receiving area and then is lifted up to the mezzanine level for installation in the warehousing area at our new fulfillment center. Our custom installed steel mezzanine from EquipTo was installed by my good friend Robert Lebeck and virtually doubles the floor space available for our pick pull area and allows 85% of all our products to be stocked and pulled without step stool or ladder assistance. This enables orders to be pulled more quickly and accurately.

Geneon let us know that all Toei partner products (Air Master and Slam Dunk) have now been officially discontinued and won't be repressed. For anyone interested we have sale stock on all the Air Master and Slam Dunk DVD volumes that were released last year before the Geneon/Toei distribution deal fell apart.

After comments by me and some other key retailers were published two weeks ago, TokyoPop has announced that they are going to relent a bit on their direct marketing plans for certain manga titles. This is good news as there was also a great deal of fan backlash to their plans and I'm glad to see that they have taken some of that to heart. See the news blurb below for more details. We're not sure yet how the new plans will shape up and TokyoPop still has a long way to go to fix their problems, but this latest development is at least encouraging.

I want to welcome aboard our newest recruit, Jennifer Judd, who joins the pick and order preparation team in the warehouse under Ron's tutelage. Jennifer comes to us with an great background in order fulfillment, retail, and warehouse operations, she's a lot of fun to have around, and we look forward to 'indoctrinating' her into the 'way of the Anime Corner'... :-)

Part of the shipping production area being built out at our new location. The new loose fill dispensers will hold 120 cubic feet of packing material each which means refilling them less often. Less time spent refilling means more orders shipped.

From the IT Desk: We will be conducting platform upgrades on Monday evening 9/18 from 11:00pm to 3:00am (EST). You've probably noticed that the store has been running a bit slow on an intermittent basis recently, especially after the high traffic increase due to the Geneon sale. One of the things that will be worked on will be improved server load balancing that should take care of these recent issues. You will still be able to place orders as normal on our front end during this period, however Gift Certificates and Coupons will not work while the upgrade is in progress.

I'm sure you are all aware of our Geneon Fall sale by now as there is scant an Anime web log or blog that has not picked up on it in the last couple of days. In addition to the sale we actually have had a pretty lite week in terms of new releases, though we did get in two key new titles in Trinity Blood and the final GIT's 2nd Gig DVD. The Limited version of Trinity Blood includes a really neat 'split opening' art box and a set a tarot cards, and the final volume of 2nd Gig is available with a Gorgeous tin art box that we were not expecting considering the original box art Manga video sent us. Ellcia is back out on DVD again after being off the market for over a year. Only a handful of new manga and books this week which actually is a welcome relief) the most notable being the 5th Vampire Hunter D novel and the 2nd Ghost in the Shell SAC book. We have another pretty large figure shipment inbound, but we did already receive the new Hajime Sorayama Silver Bobbed Replicant figure which is pretty expensive but absolutely gorgeous in both size and detail - plus she comes in a sumptuous collectors box to keep her safe.

And you can't imagine how long I've waited to use the word 'sumptuous' here! :-) Have a nice weekend everyone!

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