From the Command Deck

Behind the counter, finally!  The game store is finally a reality.  It is no longer a head ache of managing contractors, getting paint all over me, putting together steel pipes and handling stock 17 times just to get it priced and in the system.  It is real and after the first day I just want to give out my impressions.

Community

This is what games are to me.  I opened the store largely because the other game store that beat us to it is about selling and not community.  There is one table in their store that can’t be used sitting down without blocking the customers.  The only other community they inolve with is Magic the Gathering, holding a tournament about twice a month.  They open retail hours and have short hours on a Saturday and no hours on a Sunday.

So how does Games On Board operate?  We are open 7 days a week from 11 through to late every day.  I have three tables in the store, two with opened games on them for people to play if they want (currently Cogz and X Wing).  I spend time playing the games with my staff and helping customers get a quick start into the games on the tables.  I do not require anything apart from good behaviour for people to use those tables.  Every night we have an event that people can get involved in.  Last night it was Magic, tonight Cards Against Humanity and Sunday it will be X-Wing.

Prices and stock

I understand that retailers struggle today because of the online shopping boom.  I really do get that and I see it in reality where there are companies that sell to retailers, but charge the recommended retail on their own online store forcing us to be higher and therefore not competetive.  Cards Against Humanity is the perfect example of this.  I once went to a store and cried black and blue about the cost of their Cards Against Humanity.  Now I sell it I understand that the price was just the recommended retail based on the wholesale price offered to us.

But while that is a problem, there is also some discrepancy when it comes to some games.  Games that I sell under a hundred have tight margins.  I try to keep under recommended retail price by a couple of dollars but that is not always entirely possible.  But then you get the games that are over the $100 mark and the markups for recommended retail price go silly.  I just see no rhyme or reason to it.  I refuse to make more than $30 on anything in sale and for the more expensive games this has meant that I am beating the recommended retail at times by $40 or more.  Insanity.

The Feels

I have never been happier in my work.  There were many times yesterday after opening the doors where I just could not have stopped smiling if I tried.  From playing Fluxx for the first time with some strangers to the influx of people at 8:30 who played X-Wing and watched the Magic tournament.  From shaking hands with all the local gamers that had come along to wish us well.  Also, the surprise delivery of a massive gift basket from my Father and Step-Mother to wish us the very best.  It made the entire eight month lead up and some of the devastating lows of that all worthwhile.

So, that is it for the moment.  Below I have included some videos of the build.  I hope you enjoy them.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments


  1. Be very proud of yourselves, it has all come together beautifully!

    Reply

  2. Congrats on the store Mark. I know how much work and planning goes into your own business. It’s a big effort and highly stressful. So cudos.

    I would disagree on your opposition though having been in their store. They have multiple game tables and are supporting many games and have demo stuff happening. He also was talking all about community and stuff just like you. Hopefully you targeting things they have first three nights wasn’t deliberate as a store fight only hurts the gamers and maybe brings down both stores. Finding ways to work together if you really have a different focus would be better for all. Although talking to thm And seeing what you say here makes me believe the stores are very similar. Also be careful if you say stuff about them to people. Negative comments hurt you more than them. Hope all goes well

    Reply

  3. Congratulations! The store looks marvellous!

    Reply

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