The internet helps with sales - Rotterdam Zet Door

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15 May 2020

The internet helps with sales

During the corona crisis, comic shop Dick Bos sells more comics than usual through its webshop

The Dick Bos comic shop is twenty-eight years old. After sixteen years in Hillegersberg, the business moved to Overschie twelve years ago. Owner Henk de Wit is happy that he decided to start a website a long time ago. ‘Thanks to the internet, the store survived the economic crisis. And now it also helps that we have a good webshop. We sell a lot of comics that way. Thanks to the website, I now have customers from all over the world.’

How has the internet helped?

‘I am happy that I followed advice to start a website in 2008. Making it was quite a lot of work. We spent six months filling the database. But it’s been worth all the effort. The internet helped us through the economic crisis. We used to only have customers from Rotterdam and the surrounding area. Thanks to the website, people from all over the Netherlands suddenly bought their comics from me.’

How have you been affected by the corona crisis?

‘I can’t complain because I haven’t been impacted much by the corona crisis. People still come to the store to buy comics. We did have problems getting new comics because countries where many comics come from, such as Belgium and France, were in lockdown. But that wasn’t a big problem for our customers. Most buy old editions that they are missing in their collections.’

Has much changed in recent months?

‘We have taken a number of measures in the store to protect ourselves and the customers. For example, only three visitors can enter at a time. Inside the shop, everyone has to keep a distance of a metre and a half. People adhere to that. The biggest change is that the book signings with comic artists that I regularly organise are cancelled. That’s one of the first things I’m going to do again when the rules are relaxed.’

Do you still benefit from the internet?

‘Even now I’ve noticed the advantage of having a good online store. Sales of comics over the internet have increased in the last two months. People are mainly sitting at home and seek entertainment. I sell comics all over the world. I am now working on an order from New York, for example. The Dutch are all over the world.

Do you have any tips for other entrepreneurs?

‘Make sure you have an online presence. And change with the times. I’ve recently had the website updated. The site can now also be used on mobile phones. More and more people use their phone to look up and buy things on the internet. It was an investment, but I think it was worth it. Thanks to the internet, my business is surviving a crisis for the second time.’

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Text by: Peter den Bok

Photo credits: Iris van den Broek & Dick Bos