In documents filed last week in federal bankruptcy court in Omaha, Nebraska, the retailer lists $45,000 in assets and $919,000 in debt, of which $325,000 is owed to Diamond Comic Distributors.
Signs of trouble with Mail Order Comics became apparent last month when customers began complaining on the store’s now-deleted Facebook page about unfulfilled orders and website troubles. Discount Comic Book Service quickly stepped in to fulfill all orders.
According to an undated “success stories” profile on the U.S. Small Business Administration website, Mitch Meyer bought the Comic Book Supermarket brick-and-mortar store and its attached warehouse business Mail Order Comics in early 2011, with some help from his parents. Soon the Gretna, Nebraska, business was bringing in a reported $1.9 million in revenues and touting itself as the fifth-largest distributor of Marvel comics; one retailer in Argentina spent between $8,000 and $10,000 a month with MOC.
But Meyer, who owned a 25 percent stake in the company, explains to the Omaha World-Herald that online sales dropped by half late last year, leaving expensive new books unsold. And then that Argentine retailer suddenly reduced orders before stopping them all together. Add to that increased shipping costs and the company’s forced move from its location to make way for redevelopment.
“A lot of our regular customers were ordering half as much,” Meyer tells the newspaper. “It was a steady downward trend. Perhaps it had to do with the economy and discretionary spending.”