St. Louis comic store Star Clipper is closing its doors after 27 years.
Owners Ben and A.J. Trujillo, who bought the shop in 2001, delivered the news to customers in a message sent this morning.
"The personal and professional experience of managing Star Clipper has been the most important of our lives," the wrote. "We were lucky to inherit the legacy from wise people ahead of their time, grow with the medium, and love the job. But the time has come to bring Star Clipper to a natural conclusion."
In an interview with St. Louis Magazine, Ben Trujillo pointed to a number of factors in the store's closing.
“The decision’s been a long time coming,” he said. “It’s been bandied about for almost two years. The economy tanked in 2008, and we weathered that fairly well. There’ve been changes in the demographics of the area and in comic readers in general, which has made things unpredictable, as we buy products on an unreturnable basis. And with the social things happening in St. Louis, those’ve impacted business, as well. It’s sad to be the people who are shutting it down, but we feel a great sense of ownership and don’t necessarily see someone else’s custodianship here.”
The Trujillos will begin liquidating inventory on Saturday, and will receive new comics only through the end of the month.
Star Clipper won the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award in 1999, and was named the region's best comic book store nine times in the Riverfront Times' annual Best of St. Louis issue.