The start of a new year brings many things to the table. As we look back on our accomplishments we forge ahead to new goals and dreams. Last year one of my personal goals was to give up cigarettes. It’s been a year and a day since my last one. That was a tough one to overcome. 2008 was a difficult year every which way. In October, I lost my father. While it was somewhat expected, it’s something every son and daughter never want to think about. Every three months Rose and I take a trip into the city for my oncology appointment. So far I’m managing to avoid Chemo. While treatment is inevitable at some point, I feel great. The non-smoking weight, as I like to call it, seems to have stockpiled on almost overnight! More cardio and lifting and better eating! That’s this year’s goal! I did it before; I can do it again!
2008 brought on the recession which has affected us all in one way or another. Anyone in the magic biz who tells you their business has not been touched is simply lying! We were forced to do some lay-offs and revamp our strategies. The tough part about that, besides the obvious, is that I am very close with everyone that worked here and miss their company everyday.
Over the years The Trickery has accomplished some amazing goals, too. We were the first magic shop to run on-line video demos. We developed the first magic video site on the Internet dedicated strictly to magic. It’s still there at ShowTheatre.com. I believe we are still the only magic shop that has a separate database for mobile phone users. We’ve marketed a vast array of wondrous items, many of them collectible. We have the most incredible technologies far superior to any magic site thanks to Digital Cheetah. We’ve built an inventory of over 3000 items, 95% of them stocked. We’ve also made many good friends through The Trickery. Lots of accomplishments over the years!
And now, 16 years later, we’re changing our business model. It’s not something you will notice overnight. In fact, it’s been happening for the last 8 months. We’ve been phasing out the majority of our inventory. We no longer rely on the jobbers to supply us with our wares. Yes, we have phased out the middleman! In doing so, much of the inventory we offered will no longer be available. Two lines that are being discontinued are Mikame and Mark Mason’s JB Magic. Over the years we’ve sold tens of thousands of dollars from just these two lines alone. Now that they are offered to everyone at 20% off their market price (which BTW has risen quite a bit), it simply doesn’t make sense for us to carry them any longer now that their name and value has cheapened.
So what is our new business model? It’s simple! Our plan is to carry only the better quality props and items along with selected value-added products. We will continue to offer select lines like CW, Viking, Magic Wagon, Harries, Tony Clark, Bob Solari, etc. We have also been building our own brand and plan to expand on this by 200%!
Currently, our older exclusives are first priority. We have our Mysterious Mini Card Boxes and Mysterious Coin Box currently in mass production. Several brand new items to the magic market are now undergoing the R&D needed to bring these gems to life this year. We are working on the funding to produce close to 50 incredible items!
We look forward to an exciting 2009 and wish all of our fans and friends a happy and healthy New Year!
Always my best,
Howard A. Baltus, CEO