Rockhead’s Comics & Games, a Kenosha comics and gaming emporium for 47 years, will close within the next several weeks, the victim of declining sales and changing consumer shopping habits.
Owner Levi Schneiderwent is selling the store’s games and comics at a discount and is expected to close the business as soon as the inventory is exhausted and the building that is owned by his brother is sold.
Store manager Jesse Calhoun said there are more than 65,000 comics in the inventory. The store is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The building, 2328 Roosevelt Road, is listed on the real estate market for $379,000.
Rockhead’s had long been the go-to place in Kenosha for comics fans and gamers. It also offers collectibles, action figures, posters and pop culture memorabilia.
However, over the past few years, the customer based dwindled, as customers found other forms of entertainment or began shopping online. Many comics are now available in e-editions that can be downloaded to tablets or phones.
“What happened to us is like what happened to other types of brick-and-mortar stores,” Schneiderwent said.
“... People are turning to digital. The younger people aren’t looking to own. They read the comic online.”
Gamers also are turning away from table-top games and pursuing online platforms, where they can plug in from their living rooms and connect with other gamers around the world.
Through the years, Rockhead’s has had several owners. Schiderwent has owned the company for the past two years. His brother, Allen, the building owner, previously owned the company.
During his ownership, Schneiderwent tried promotions to attract new customers, including last summer’s comic readership program for age 7-14. He said he would give a kid a free comic and would give them another if they wrote an essay.
He said he also worked with the Kenosha Unified School District.
“The idea was to get kids reading and also to grow some future customers,” he said.