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Austin Comic Shop Goes Curbside to Keep Customers Coming at Any Distance

"Ty will run them out to you!"

One of the biggest problems retailers around the world are facing during the COVID-19 crisis is how to stay operational and maintain a level of service for those customers who need supplies.

After two weeks with shelves devoid of rubbing alcohol, disinfectant, hand soap, and toilet paper, grocery stores are taking drastic measures to make sure they can offer the public what they need.

Some grocery stores in Austin, for instance, have reduced their opening hours to allow for a full restocking of shelves for the next day. Some Instacart shoppers have reported that store management are letting only a certain number of customers indoors - when one person leaves the checkout late, for instance, another one is admitted inside. This is in response to three coronavirus confirmations in the county, and a Saturday mandate that gatherings of more than 250 people (even Sunday church services) are forbidden until further notice.

But of course, the most important question remains -- how is this affecting your local comic and gaming stores?

Austin Books & Comics is the anchor store of a strip center in the Texas capital city almost entirely devoted to geekery - there's a TTRPG shop next door, a boba tea shop next to it, etc. They're responding to the needs of customers craving both serialized superhero stories and six feet minimum of breathing space by offering curbside delivery.

How it works is charmingly mild-tech: you can either email your order or visit and submit a list of the items you want. You then drive to the shop, whereupon arrival you call the store's main phone number and Ty (or presumably anyone else who works at the shop will run to your vehicle so you can swipe your card through the Square device or Venmo.

Ty bravely demonstrates the "we'll run them out to you" part of the plan in the photos posted to the shop's Facebook page Saturday afternoon.

Whether your Favorite Local Shop offers such valiant customer service options or not, we highly suggest you give your local stores your business if you can spare a few bucks and feel comfortable venturing outside, especially at such a time where local stores could be dealt a fatal blow if quarantines and occupancy restrictions continue beyond a few weeks.

Kudos to Austin Books and Comics for doing what they can to keep the geekery flowing.

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