There’s not many places in the city I live in that have anime stores unfortunately.
However! There is a pretty good manga selection in my city. Nowhere near as good as the photos I see from people online visiting Barnes and Nobles (we don’t have any in my country…) but there is good selection from a chain bookstore that’s in my state. They have series such as Demon Slayer, My Hero Academia, Death Note, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, the first few volumes of series such as Noragami, Black Torch, Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War and lots of Junji Ito’s works.
Because of this, I find that most people just buy merch and manga they see from the places that are easily accessible, and the few stores in not so convenient locations do get customers but they have a lot more online selection than in store selection.
People tend to go online mostly then for merch and if they are after a wider range of manga. Sites like BookDepository are very good since it’s free shipping (and Australia has such high shipping rates so this is a great option for us!) with niche manga and more volumes and Booktopia tends to also be a good option for many people since it sells a wide range of box sets.
Buying merch tends to then be done online using Australian sites that pop up when you google. As I said, there’s some good Australian shops such as Shumi Shop which opened in Perth and Let’s Go Akamaru! in South East Queensland.
So really, there’s good online options but I wish there was more in store options so we can get the experience of buying in store…
But what about you all? Do you have anime stores where you live? Or do you mostly have to shop online?