If you Google "comic book merchandise," the first site you'll see is SuperHeroStuff.com
, growing in Pennsylvania faster than a speeding bullet.
The company just made its 30th hire, about doubling its workforce every year. Now the company expects to hire seasonal and possibly more full-time help for the Halloween-to-Christmas rush.
Co-owner Brian Welch reports that revenues have been growing steadily by 50 to 60% annually. Last year, SuperHeroStuff.com moved to expanded quarters at the South Heidelberg Industrial Park. It is also venturing into wholesale operations with a new, full-time sales rep. And the company is fast growing its social media presence, with nearly 135,000 "likes" on Facebook. Welch ascribes the company's growth to the many movies based on comic books and a growing nostalgia for super heroes.
SuperHeroStuff.com began in a Portland, Oregon basement in 1999. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Welch and his father were running a small e-commerce venture dealing in action heroes. In 2007, Welch and partner Jon Belzer acquired SuperHeroStuff.com and set to work ramping up the website and, critically, boosting inventory and customer service.
Today, Belzer maintains an office in Washington State. But the real action is in South Heidelberg, where the company has its 10,000-square-foot warehouse, fulfilling orders for T-shirts (the core business), toys, jewelry, license plates – everything except comic books themselves – for heroes from Aquaman to Zatanna.
It's a point of pride that no hero or villain is too obscure for SuperHeroStuff.com and that every hire has to pass a comic book knowledge test. (Zatanna has magical powers and an on again/off again relationship with the Justice League. Just so you'll know.)
Source: Brian Welch, SuperHeroStuff.com
Writer: Elise Vider