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FluidSpace
24-03-2010, 00:51
So I know that a lot of the GW store have been moving to one man store and cutting there hours. But after a long break of not going to my local store, I decided to stop on by today. I got there only to find out that they to had made the move.. :(:mad:
To me, table top gaming is more then just a product to be sold. Its a community that needs to be nurtured and taken care of. This is not what GW is doing.

Now one of my "dream" jobs / jobs that I seriously contemplate doing sometimes, is opening my own game store. With the recent behavior of GW as of late, it makes me think even more and harder about opening my own store.
(Though probably not anytime soon). I know opening a store takes a lot of up front money, lots of time and other odds and ends that need to be dealt with. But I fell that this is something that I could easily find my self doing for a very long time.

Now, my question to you is this.
If you had the perfect opportunity to open your own store, what would it be like? What all would you sell? What would be the name of your store? Would you try and go chain store or would you stay local? Would you sell things other then table top games? Basically, what would be your ideal/perfect game store?

Condottiere
24-03-2010, 03:18
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=249929

Duke Georgal
24-03-2010, 11:41
I had the perfect opportunity to open my own store about ten years ago. I came into a substantial amount of money, and my wife was not working. My youngest daughter was in elementary school, so there was some free time available.

I was going to buy an existing hobby shop for $100,000.00.

This store was sliding downhill, but it had a loyal stream of dedicated gamers that called it home, and that is something money cannot buy. I planned to spend $50,000.00 to refurbish the store.

So, I did not have to take out a loan, and did not need to hire but one employee because my wife would run the store while my daughter was in school.

Then we sat down and did the numbers.

Guess what... selling plastic models for $35.00 (at that time) per box is no way to run a business. We would need to sell 10-15 regiment boxes per day just to break even. That was with no loan to repay and just one part time kid to run the register 4-5 hours per day. I could not find a way to make it work.

We ended up buying a second hand consignment store instead for just $40,000.00 then fixed it up a bit and sold it for a profit a couple years later.

Owning a hobby shop is a true dream job, but there are easier ways to turn a living profit.

Wil Grand
24-03-2010, 12:30
To me, table top gaming is more then just a product to be sold. Its a community that needs to be nurtured and taken care of. This is not what GW is doing.

Indeed but....


after a long break of not going to my local store, I decided to stop on by today. I got there only to find out that they to had made the move.. :(:mad:

Do you see the connection here?

Arbas
24-03-2010, 12:38
I had the perfect opportunity to open my own store about ten years ago. I came into a substantial amount of money, and my wife was not working. My youngest daughter was in elementary school, so there was some free time available.

I was going to buy an existing hobby shop for $100,000.00.

This store was sliding downhill, but it had a loyal stream of dedicated gamers that called it home, and that is something money cannot buy. I planned to spend $50,000.00 to refurbish the store.

So, I did not have to take out a loan, and did not need to hire but one employee because my wife would run the store while my daughter was in school.

Then we sat down and did the numbers.

Guess what... selling plastic models for $35.00 (at that time) per box is no way to run a business. We would need to sell 10-15 regiment boxes per day just to break even. That was with no loan to repay and just one part time kid to run the register 4-5 hours per day. I could not find a way to make it work.

We ended up buying a second hand consignment store instead for just $40,000.00 then fixed it up a bit and sold it for a profit a couple years later.

Owning a hobby shop is a true dream job, but there are easier ways to turn a living profit.

We were in a similar position in the mid 90s and came to much the same conclusion - however during the initial inquiries with different suppliers and companys I did amass a fair few free samples so it wasn't a complete waste of time :)

rich1231
24-03-2010, 12:40
There are huge overheads in opening a store, and then adding lots of services. No matter how much time you have. Those services have a cost. If you go in without your eyes open to the risks you will be bankrupt.

Game stores do not make owners rich. They are a huge amount of work. As are online stores.

blongbling
24-03-2010, 13:57
what Richard said. GW manages to operate its chain of stores due to the money it makes as a manufacturer with several routes to market.

kermit
24-03-2010, 16:19
I think all above posts are correct... if you are only going to run a miniature store... then you could have problems.

But, I can tell you if you diversify a little, you will make lots of money. Why I say this, I am the bookkeeper for my local gaming store... in a "city" of 25,000 and the owner is making money. Don't get me wrong, he could be making more money if he made some different decisions... but he is making money none the less.

What does he have... knowledgable and personable staff... That is the first and foremost best decision he has made. People like to come in and be social with his staff... his staff bring in their friends to game at his store. He has completely "owned" the community for the last 10+ years... but has only owned his own store for the last 4+.

Now here is what he offers:

- 20 Computers with all the big names of games on them
- 4 Tables for gaming... 2 - 8X4 & 2 - 4X4 tables
- A range of board games
- Trade paperbacks (Comics) - Also does single issues on special order
- swords - with special orders
- RPG books - D&D being the big one, with all other titles available through special order
- Shirts - doesn't sell too well
- Posters - always changing what is available
- Puzzles - I don't always agree with this one, but it brings in a different sector of the public
- Hockey Memorabilia - Canadian teams... but we are in Canada!
- GW - 40K and Fantasy - pretty much full ranges with special orders for things he doesn't have
- Hockey Cards
- Magic the Gathering - he is printing money here... lots of support and weekly league
- Other CCG's
- Commissions - he will sell anything in the store for anyone... for a price

And... the biggest...

FOOD - This was the most brilliant choice he made. With all the tournaments and the all day gamers he has, he sells tons of food. In stead of the gamers leaving to get food, they just order what he has... great idea. He also gets people coming in at lunch time to buy food and chat about their Magic decks or their WoW exploits...
Food includes:
- A small deepfryer - French Fries, Chicken Strips, Chicken Burgers, Poutine, Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Onion Rings
- Hot Dog machine
- Nachos with warm cheese
- Coca Cola products
- Energy drinks - another money printing decision
- Chocolate bars
- Chips and other pre packaged items

There are many other little things that he does that makes his store really good. I haven't given you a complete description of everything, but I hope I have given the idea of diversification helps make a complete and successful store.

I hope you are able follow your dreams and and look into this idea of yours. Yes it will cost a lot of money up front... but, it can be successful.

Havesome
24-03-2010, 17:53
From what Kermit posted it sounds like a store really needs to diversify to be able to succeed. It makes sense. Most dedicated comic stores have long since went out of business and I would guess the same is happening for game stores, and it sounds like selling Magic the Gathering is a must.

rich1231
24-03-2010, 18:40
Guys many of the Warseer members are not US based, a Game store in the UK or Europe has a completetly different Biz model required to prosper.

spetswalshe
24-03-2010, 19:17
Sounds like Kermit has the right idea, Canadian or no. Setting up a brick-and-mortar store all but requires you to diversify - either in the 'hobby' niche, with kits and trains and suchlike, or the 'hip' niche, with comics, posters, film memorabilia, action figures, that kind of thing. And I'd say CCGs are pretty much a no-brainer, too. The established stores I've visited focus on the 'hobby' part, and are essentially hobby stores that also stock GW, Flames of War and maybe one other; the only store I know that stocked comics and the like eventually transitioned into being a fully-blown Forbidden Planet-type, with the GW kits taken off the shelves (they were a bit too nerdy to attract the cardigan-wearing tight-trousered hipster clientele).

The store Kermit's referring to seems to be on the right track - less a place whose primary aim is to sell but a place to hang out and game (with the selling occuring as a natural process - like a bookstore with a coffe shop in it). Simply selling things on the high street is enormously risky now; a brick-and-mortar store is never going to be able to compete with online prices - particularly in the case of models, which aren't something people tend to need immediately - and the 'community' feel is going to be lessed by the impact of boards like this one.

GomezAddams
24-03-2010, 20:47
Not so Rich. Fanboy3 in Manchester sounds very much like the store Kermit describes (although, to be frank, the smell is... well.. papa nurgle would be proud lets put it that way), and they've only recently branched into GW. Its a fairly large shop and offers the complete hordes, warmachine, wyrd and infinity lines as well as board games, puzzles, RPGs, and a dozen others.

Where I am now, theres spirit games, which caters very much for what I consider to be the older gamers. Lots of historicals, lots and lots of draws crammed with miniatures, RPGs, card games the list goes on. They've been going years from what I can gather, and whilst there opinion of games workshop and confrontation isnt great, they do offer a fantastic service and very competitive prices.

Different strokes for different folks, but clearly it can work in different ways without necessarily diversifying into a cafe.

EldarWonderland
25-03-2010, 13:29
In Yorkshire I'm quite lucky to be just over an hour's drive from the Wargames Emporium in Sheffield City Centre.

I go there whenever I can as it has a wide variety of gaming systems and lots of second hand goodies.

I recommend it.

CaliforniaGamer
25-03-2010, 20:35
Kermit, that post is very insightful. I have known many gas station owners and everyone admits the snack bar is where the money is, the gas being the way to bring people to the snacks..

what if you built a gaming shop around the food/drink? Like a hamburger joint or a modified diner? anyone know if thats been done? Also anyone ever heard of gaming shop with a full liquor lic? (that is my dream, whiskey shots+'hammer tournaments)

Llew
25-03-2010, 21:04
I can only imagine how fun some in-depth rules discussions would become, fueled by a little alcohol. And having drunks around a lot of delicate miniatures is a dream come true. ;)

I think the snack bar is a good idea if you can stick to low-prep, low-cost, high margin items.

Generally speaking though, running a game store requires a wide variety of product, really good business sense and a lot of discipline. If you love gaming, I probably wouldn't think that was enough reason to try to get your own store going.

CaliforniaGamer
25-03-2010, 21:21
Not stoned drunk, but buzzed gaming improves sports/rules debate in my experience aplenty.

I cant imagine a more natural accoutrement to Warhammer than Beer and Whiskey (with perhaps some peanuts/chips thrown in). In fact its got to the point when I start throwing dice, I naturally reach for a drink now which makes tournaments a bit of an inconvenience when fermented/distilled beverages arent to be readily found.

Perhaps a gaming shop within a distillery/brewery.

starlight
25-03-2010, 21:22
From experience, mixing liquor with gaming requires two things for success:

1) careful planning
2) hardcore enforcement of the rules

Potential concerns... First of all, you exclude a huge section of the gaming public (the underage ones), and second, you open yourself up to *huge* liabilities with regards to the behaviour of people on the premises and after they leave. Most people don't get that if you serve someone booze, you are responsible for them until they make it safely to their next place (home, the next bar, etc). All of this is assuming you can get a liquor license in the first place...

One offs at a private club are one thing, but as part of a solvent business...? Likely just another nail in the coffin...and most hobby businesses are poorly enough run as it is... :(


Heed the kermit... :)

CaliforniaGamer
25-03-2010, 21:28
From experience, mixing liquor with gaming requires two things for success:

1) careful planning
2) hardcore enforcement of the rules

Potential concerns... First of all, you exclude a huge section of the gaming public (the underage ones), and second, you open yourself up to *huge* liabilities with regards to the behaviour of people on the premises and after they leave. Most people don't get that if you serve someone booze, you are responsible for them until they make it safely to their next place (home, the next bar, etc). All of this is assuming you can get a liquor license in the first place...

One offs at a private club are one thing, but as part of a solvent business...? Likely just another nail in the coffin...and most hobby businesses are poorly enough run as it is... :(


Heed the kermit... :)

How would this be different than any random pub in thousands of cities and villages?

Im not sure you would neccessary need to exclude non-drinking age people, you would just need to follow the rules. I believe alcohol can be served IF you also serve food, at least in California. An example of this would be pool hall with youngsters which has beer service and perhaps a nachos dish.

rich1231
25-03-2010, 21:45
Licencing laws in the UK can be difficult. The Police guidance when reviewing licenced premises is to avoid mixing underage persons and alcohol.

Would you base a business on something that could be removed overnight?

starlight
25-03-2010, 21:51
In no particular order, based on my experience:

1) Random pubs don't have kids in them (by definition a pub has an adults-only license, kids aren't allowed in *at all*). A *pub-style restaurant* is a different matter.
2) Pubs (and the like) make their money on *the booze*, they don't have it as a sideline.
3) Generally the *all ages* licenses are harder to get and subject to greater scrutiny than adult only licenses, *especially* if it isn't an actual restaurant.
4) Generally it's expected that the food bill will be comparable to the liquor bill, so a plate of nachos for a dozen people can be frowned upon (depending on the inspector).
5) Staff costs and restrictions are higher due to age, legal, and training requirements.
6) Security costs are higher, as are insurance costs.
7) Very few businesses have a higher failure rate than pubs/bars due to poor management who try to treat it like their local hangout rather than their business.
8) Financing is *much* harder to get.
9) Parents will be a *lot* less likely to allow their kids to come by...eliminating future growth.
10) the list does go on...


The simple reality is that hobby shops are hard businesses to make a go of at the best of times, simply because most people haven't got a clue how to run a business and they try to run their store like the neighbourhood club...and six months later they're wondering why the rent isn't getting paid. Throw in something like booze without a *very* stable business model underneath it and you're begging for a calamity... :(

You're *far* better off to get a strong, stable store running and after things look good for a year or so and you have a few months of cash reserve in the bank, *then* consider applying for a one-off adults-only special-event liquor license for a tournament/etc. After you've done that successfully several times, (and you have a good relationship with the local inspectors) apply for a special-event all-ages license. When you've done *that* successfully several times (and continuing to do the adult-only ones as well), *THEN* consider applying for a permanent license.

This way you'll have a good track record with the local inspectors (and hopefully their support), you'll have had time to train up all of your staff and make sure the inspectors are familiar with both your staff and their training, and it'll be *...just another step...* rather than having to prove everything cold to people who don't know you from a hole in the ground...

Although I still think it's a bad idea...

kermit
25-03-2010, 21:56
Liquor... that would be something I would recommend that a small store would stay away from. With all the points above... it would be way too risky to dabble with that. I couldn't imagine losing my business because I let some alcohol in...

But...

With that said... there have been a few occasions where the owner has shut the store down and only opened the business for some special people. There has been a Christmas parties down there, but that was only staff members and their respective dates. He also has a VIP night where his VIP's get to come in and the doors are locked. What is consumed either through drink or smoke is not talked about as only trusted people are present.

Also, with Canadian laws as starlight has pointed out... there is always money available, for taxi fares, to every person to make sure they do not drive unless sober. CYA right there!

EDIT: starlight beat me with his BIG post!... so... heed the starlight...

starlight
25-03-2010, 22:06
It's not just Canadian laws. If you serve booze at work in Canada *or* the US, you are *required* to ensure the person has access to safe transport home. If you serve booze as a business you are *required* to ensure the person does not leave intoxicated to the point of public drunkenness. The bartender/server is *required* to stop selling a person if they are visibly drunk.

As the director/owner of the business *YOU* are legally responsible for what happens at your business. One stupid mistake could cost you the entire business. :(

Thus the additional costs for training, insurance, etc... :(

Stick with the special event licenses for one-offs and focus on the core of the business...

ObiWan
25-03-2010, 22:27
I think we all agree liquor it's not worth it :D

starlight
25-03-2010, 22:29
Liquor + party = usually good times :)

Liquor + business = usually recipe for disaster :eek:


Keep you business separate from your (booze related) fun and life is simpler... :D

CaliforniaGamer
25-03-2010, 22:51
Guys I realize there are challenges, but Im not proposing putting a gaming shop on an orbiting space station...

Hmmmm:
We are the last remaining stockists of the fabled Bugman’s XXXXXX after the destruction of Bugman’s Brewery by raiding goblins, but we also serve a wide range of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, locally brewed guest ales, coffee and tea, right through to healthier options such as fruit juices and smoothies. We sell a selection of drinks to cater from the youngest beardlings to the more seasoned amongst us.

...OMG there is alcohol AND warhammer at GW HQ! There is even a small chance one could get a pitcher of Bugman and play Warhammer...at the same time (gasp).
And the cops arent there carting away executives even. Well there must be 24-7 security and taxis rimming the property? Okay there is security (just found it): Bugman's has a large car park for ease of access which is monitored by CCTV and a 24 hours security team to give you peace of mind. .. Well at least kids arent allowed at Warhammer World, right? Nope... the English have no laws! :)

Just checked out the menu:
http://warhammerworld.typepad.com/BM_Menu_09_B.pdf

You can actually get pancakes and eggs with beer for lunch! yum!

sigur
25-03-2010, 22:56
Yeah, I guess that alcohol is just a bad idea. I also really don't like the snack bar idea much. I know that there are some opportunities there but I really don't think that greasy, fried food mixes well with the wares in your store. I mean, there probably will be grease and whatnot stains all over the pieces (not even beginning to think about greasy food mixed with miniature gaming).

Apart from that, gaming stores, if they don't happen to be in cities of only 20,000 people, tend to be in areas with fast food joints all around them so the food thing probably is very dependant on the location. Also, getting licenced as a fresh food vendor is a whole new thing that's connected with its own difficulties. A soda machine, some candy or crisps (aaaaargh, greasy fatty fingers on painted miniatures :cries: ) surely is a good and lucrative thing but I wouldn't go as far as to add cooking or even selling sandwiches.

I think you should focus on running a stable gaming/hobby store rather than a place to hang out. Of couse, the community is everything in this business (from what I gathered) and you definately should support it and offer a place for gaming of all kinds and people staying a bit beyond their shopping, chatting with the staff and among each other but, as others said, it shouldn't become a place to "hang out" all day. Rather than letting that happen, diversification is important. I think that board games of all kinds are always a good idea. Offer a broad selection of classics, party games, family games, and so on and make sure your staff is proficient with the games. Try to be a specialist store for games in general. If you have gaming tables, tabletop games have a great visual appeal so if people come in to get games for the family or something, they immediately get interested in the tabletop stuff. You need something to draw in a broad audience as well as the real gamers.

As others said before, trading card games seem to be quite a cash cow, having a selection of popular fantasy novel series can't be wrong as well and so on.

EmperorNorton
25-03-2010, 23:17
Just checked out the menu:
http://warhammerworld.typepad.com/BM_Menu_09_B.pdf

I'm positively shocked that their prices seem very reasonable. :D

CaliforniaGamer
25-03-2010, 23:40
The menu is pretty killer now that I read it. Im mean where can you get Indian food, bacon n eggs, a brie-bacon sandwich AND micro brewed beer? And play Warhammer?!
That has to be Heaven on Earth. I would live there.

the belly buster LOL- Warhammer double burger topped with onion rings, bacon, mushrooms and chicken? How do you top a burger with chicken?

I guess I dont want my own personal store, I want Warhammer World.

Duke Georgal
26-03-2010, 01:18
What if you built a gaming shop around the food/drink? Like a hamburger joint or a modified diner? anyone know if thats been done? Also anyone ever heard of gaming shop with a full liquor lic? (that is my dream, whiskey shots+'hammer tournaments)

Back in 1979 when I spent a Summer in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, there was a sandwich shop I believe was called "Byronez" or something like that. They had a wall of AD&D supplies and encouraged roll players to hang out there and eat, drink, and roll dice.

This was long before Warhammer. Maybe the proximity to Lousiana State University had something to do with it.

yabbadabba
26-03-2010, 01:21
I would say anybody looking at this needs to plan very very carefully and think very hard about the whole thing especially if you are planning to do this as a hobbyist. I think the pitfalls are not all obvious.

Wintertooth
26-03-2010, 03:06
I would say anybody looking at this needs to plan very very carefully and think very hard about the whole thing especially if you are planning to do this as a hobbyist. I think the pitfalls are not all obvious.

Agreed. All-day Breakfast and beer for lunch is serious business.

burning crome
26-03-2010, 03:48
The best business model I think would work would be to Buy/rent a indusial unit and run it as a club. Run it out of hours (so you could still have a normal job possible) and get licensed. Selling beer will make you more money then little toy men will ever will. You can sell lines on the side. If well equipped (with good boards and terrain painting area)war games will happy pay some sort of joining fee. People will happy travel but some where near public transport for you merry games to get home on would me good. If it was here (UK) there plenty of large pubs going out of business just off the beaten track but still within good transport zones just out of town.

Pacorko
26-03-2010, 05:42
You want a industrial unit to run a business? Just do raves in it and that' be that. Fawgheddabaud them lil' lead men, the buggers!

Seriously, most hopefuls here sound like they are people who want to have a "really big club for the gang to hang around in and get tons of minis for nearly free".

If it's only your love for the hobby that's moving you to make your "dream store/game club" a reality, it's time to stop dreaming and get thinking about making a sound business real. If you can't make the ends match, you really have no business running a hobby store--even with a great selection of fantastic wines, matured cheeses, and lotsa cheetos and pepsi for the lil'uns.

azraelezekiel
26-03-2010, 08:40
I worked with a GW manager (great guy but got shafted) about 20 years ago in Sheffield, UK.
The store had just moved to it's current location and there was a vacant unit next door.
His plan was to lease the unit next door as a cafe/gaming club where gamers could congregate after being kicked out of the GW store as was/is the norm on a regular basis.

Never got off the ground, due to some ***** hawk stitching him up and him and all the staff losing their jobs.
Sort of went off the hobby for a few years after that and definitely put me off ever working in or owning a gaming store.

SandQueen
26-03-2010, 09:42
If I had a store, not that I would want one really, I'd try to sell something other than Wargaming paraphenalia. Maybe like....shoes.

People like shoes. They buy shoes alot. Kids need shoes for school, men need new shoes after the old ones wear out, and women need shoes all the time. So why not merge that with wargaming? Go there to pick up some delicious new pumps and then get some game for the kids, that way you feel like a good parent. Then what's this? your kids get really interested in the game and want to do it more? Well you just head back there to get them some stuff and what's this? Some peep-toe heels on sale? FANTASTIC

I'm sorry but even with my relativelly new found and fervant interest in gaming in the lon run I'll still blow more money of stylish footwear than models. Putting both in the same place would save me money on gas though and make me buy more of both. Because wheneever I snag some new flip-flops or cute boots I could grab a fire prism or some guardians.

Wil Grand
26-03-2010, 11:21
Where I live every bike shop cuts keys and sells GW. One even has a wide range or Airfix, dragon and tamiya kits. Basically, selling models and having games nights isn't a business, selling bikes and doing repairs is the business, the models are a few shelves in the corner that make money you wouldn't have gotten previously since the two things don't compete with a persons money.

maximu160490
26-03-2010, 15:06
Yes - Warhammer world was amazing when i went. Ok it was bloodbowl GT but as long as we were using plastic glasses we could take beer to our games.

Rather odd turning up with your team in one hand and a beer in the other.

Lewis
26-03-2010, 15:55
The guy who runs Darksphere games in London runs a discount mailorder minature business and has now expanded into a very small bricks and mortar concern. That seems to be the way to go to me, but then discount stuff is an increasingly crowded market. I think those of you outside major UK urban areas may have a different attitude to rent than those inside them.

Mawchild
27-03-2010, 02:21
I've thought about this a few times and generally I come to the same conclusion. For a games store to be profitable it needs several things.

Good Staff.
A committed and dedicated number of regulars who help create a good atmosphere.
A reasonable catchment area/footfall.

Most importantly it should not expect to make a lot of money on the sales of minis alone. Therefore it needs to make money from peripherals and incidentals with high mark ups. I will never understand why stores don't sell soft drinks. A fridge with bottles of minerals and water would be hugely profitable.

My ideal would be a store that is a regular coffee shop with an upstairs that is a gaming store. The coffee shop would be a cool place to hang out and would have a small book section for novels, fantasy and sci fi artwork on the walls would also be for sale. The gamestore would be upstairs with a couple of tables and would sell GW stuff but also tshirts, dice and stuff bought cheap over the net, plus RPGs . Maybe one or two exceptionally painted or converted minis brought from e-bay. All of which would be suitably marked up.
Whilst the coffee shop would help supplement the gamestore the two would provide customers for each other.

starlight
27-03-2010, 02:36
Be very careful with that idea... Certainly the games side would spill over into the coffeshop side...but don't be banking on much traffic the other way...

Pacorko
27-03-2010, 05:48
Then, you fail to realise you'd be running two businesses, and you have just mentioned the worst thing that can happen in such a scenario: one puts cash for the other which means neither does much of it, and one simply isn't a business.

That layout is one more recipe for surefire disaster. If it wasn't, I just don't know why Hard Rock Cafe isn't selling musical instruments and Harleys, too! I mean their crowd certainly must share those interests! We know they dig the paraphernalia, right? And those burgers and hurricanes are insanely overpriced, so the patrons surely have dough to spend... :rolleyes:

If anyone insists on having food and drinks pn their store, it has to be simple food, simple drinks with simple numbers to run all in-store. Even it's a fridge and nukeable junk on a corner, it still has to be part of the store and very easy to handle... not another very different setup with added costs.

Mawchild
27-03-2010, 09:39
I agree but then a coffee shop is pretty much as simple as it gets. Drinks n cookies. The point is the markups are massive and the two go well together. Games nights and tournies can be held during the coffee shops off peak hours like sundays and evenings with minimal disruption. Allowing you to effectively utilise space that would be unavailable to the average LGS with out incurring extra costs. Its a niche within a niche but one that could be exploited commercially with enough vision, hard graft and a little luck.

Of course as in all things location is key.

isaac
27-03-2010, 15:25
If you had to both, a coffee shop would be best. Simple and effective, attracts new customers. You could also branch out there with internet and other side things.

Plus it makes it a hangout that sells stuff while people are hanging out.

Having worked in businesses where a coffeeshop was added, people came for coffee and left with more than that.

CaliforniaGamer
27-03-2010, 18:44
I cant believe I didnt think of the coffee shop angle. That is a fairly no brainer for all day tournaments: caffiene and prepackaged food items.

Would have an espresso type bar with this? Or just brewed coffees? The espresso bar would add 1 additional person to the employee list but could be shutdown when major in store events arent occurring saving on costs.

isaac
27-03-2010, 19:21
Everything you want is simple and quick. Soda in cans, brewed coffee, snacks, etc. as a basic thing, set up to the side with some tables.

Unless you want to go for less supplement and more adjoining, then build it up with espresso bar and more elaborate items.

But don't mark it too far up, otherwise it won't sell and you will have extra stock.

For some great advice I would look at the RPG.net columns (there are two great ones, many of the lessons go for any store, though especially for gaming stores of course).

Also this is a great story which talks about a store and the mistakes which brought it down.

(It is sad and a downer though)

Pt. 1: There Will Be Games
http://www.gameshark.com/features/437/p_0/Cracked-LCD-40-There-Will-Be-Games-Pt-1.htm

Pt. 2: Money is Not Our God
http://www.gameshark.com/features/444/Cracked-LCD-42-There-Will-Be-Games-Pt-2.htm

Pt. 3: I Built My Dreams Around You
http://www.gameshark.com/features/450/Cracked-LCD-44-There-Will-Be-Games-Pt-3.htm

Pt. 4: Tyranny and the Hired Hand
http://www.gameshark.com/features/456/p_0/Cracked-LCD-46-There-Will-Be-Games-Part-4.htm

Pt. 5: But is it Heaven or Las Vegas
http://www.gameshark.com/features/465/p_0/Cracked-LCD-48-There-Will-Be-Games-Part-V-.htm

Pt. 6: The Change Will Do You Good
http://www.gameshark.com/features/469/p_0/Cracked-LCD-50-There-Will-Be-Games-Part-VI.htm

Pt. 7: Endless Summer of the Damned
http://www.gameshark.com/features/475/Cracked-LCD-52-There-Will-Be-Games-Part-VII.htm

Pt. 8: Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)
http://www.gameshark.com/features/480/Cracked-LCD-54-There-Will-Be-Games-Part-VIII.htm

Pt. 9: Police & Thieves
http://www.gameshark.com/features/485/p_0/Cracked-LCD-56-There-Will-Be-Games-Part-IX.htm

Pt. 10: Waiting for the End of the World
http://www.gameshark.com/features/487/p_0/Cracked-LCD-58-There-Will-Be-Games-Part-X.htm

Epilogue: Where Are Your Friends Tonight?
http://www.gameshark.com/features/492/p_0/Cracked-LCD-60-There-Will-Be-Games-Epilogue.htm

ICLRK625
27-03-2010, 20:36
Those articles are fantastic, thanks a ton Isaac.

Schmapdi
27-03-2010, 21:51
Yes, very entertaining and depressing. Kudos.

isaac
27-03-2010, 23:48
Sorry, but everyone who wants to open a store should read those, be wary of partners/loans and focus on what really matters.

What can you not get online? Community to play RPGs, Boardgames, wargame and cards. Sure you can play them online, but it is not the same. If you make it a hangout and good prices (discounted) players will come, stay and spend.

Give them reason to come AND spend, getting only one will fail.

Also people don't like cold and corporate stores with pushy GW salesmen ;)

starlight
28-03-2010, 01:56
If you make it a hangout and good prices (discounted) players will come, stay and spend.

Give them reason to come AND spend, getting only one will fail.

I'll disagree in parts here...

a) it's one thing to *make it a hangout* which is a bad idea, and quite another thing to have gaming space people can hang out in, which *can* be a very good idea, if done well. You don't want people getting the idea that it's okay to *hang out* in the retail part of the store, but having an active gaming area can be very complimentary... Just keep in mind that there are differences.

b) Discounted prices as part of normal operations are bad for business (or at least they make it much harder to succeed). Do not listen to this sort of advice, especially when it comes from customers because it generally comes from people who will put you out of business. Listen to your accountant, talk with your accountant at least monthly (more like weekly in the first six to twelve months) and heed their advice. The goal is to give excellent *value* for whatever price you charge, not to discount your prices into bankruptcy. Most suppliers will give you 40% off retail. That 40% is all you have to work with to pay all of your bills. A 10% *discount* is actually a *25%* reduction in your profit margin.

c) It's not about getting only one, because lots of online places are succeeding just through selling, without offering a place to come to... However, it's all about getting loyal customers. Regulars are what will keep you in business. Do what you can within your budget to keep your regulars loyal...and be honest with them when they're asking for things that will put you under. Be ready to say *No.* when they ask for too much, but offer incentives for the heavy hitters. Encourage people to spend more and bring friends who will do likewise by rewarding them. Offer memberships/incentives to people who support your store.

Melvaius
28-03-2010, 04:10
@ Isaac, man there something distressingly beautiful about those articles, i think in one way or the other we can all relate to that. Also good fpr ne1 wanting to start up a hobby store. Thanks a compelling read!

isaac
28-03-2010, 10:16
Hey Starlight,

a. Sorry, I should have been more clear there. But the key point is an active sense of community/loyalty to the store

b. Well the key thing is, you have a competitor "across the street" who is going to discount it and many provide cheap or free shipping. Though it IS important to not forget that discounts eat into your margin, I did forget to say that (sorry).

c. Yeah, I not was talking about online stores, which are a different business model.
But getting loyal customers is important, regulars will stick with their store if you give them some reason too. You get them to come (because it is a great local shop) and they spend (because you offer a discount off MSRP, so they get part of the online store benefit, but the local community store advantage).

@Melvaius

I know, I was cheering for the guy and happy to see the success, but I knew it would not last long and the sad end was inevitable. It also shows how great a local gaming store is for the community and why people love them.

blongbling
29-03-2010, 16:43
on the other side you can create a hangout, sell food and booze and make money, there is a place in Warsaw that is called the Paradox Cafe that does this very well and hosts all sorts of events including book readings, GT after parties, etc and it sells toy soldiers :)

http://www.paradox-cafe.pl/index.php

if you check out the galleries it shoes some of the stuff you get upto...you many even spot me in my former life running a distributors party in there too :)

CaliforniaGamer
29-03-2010, 17:24
on the other side you can create a hangout, sell food and booze and make money, there is a place in Warsaw that is called the Paradox Cafe that does this very well and hosts all sorts of events including book readings, GT after parties, etc and it sells toy soldiers :)

http://www.paradox-cafe.pl/index.php

if you check out the galleries it shoes some of the stuff you get upto...you many even spot me in my former life running a distributors party in there too :)

That cant be place where Warhammer is played...there are decently attractive chicks in all the photos of the shop. Either these pics are staged or that is the Warhammer promised land spoken of in hushed tones and legend.

Mawchild
29-03-2010, 19:17
Isaac, those were brilliant articles, both a good (I want to say enjoyable but that just doesn't seem appropriate) read and full of good ideas and cautionary tales.

I think that the crux of the matter is this. Opening an LGS can be a rewarding experience in every sense other than financially. If you wanna make big profits look elsewhere but if you do it right you can make enough to be comfortable and also become an integral part of the local community.

The store sells the game but its the sense of belonging and the general vibe that sells the store. You can't expect to make a hard sell but you can create an enviroment where if people want to spend money they think of spending it in the store first and online second. Customer loyalty is never to be underestimated but neither should it ever be taken for granted.

isaac
29-03-2010, 20:29
Thanks, I know they are not enjoyable (except for some excerpts which were heart touching), but it does show why a good FLGS is worth it and why a GW store can never replace it.

sigur
29-03-2010, 22:57
I agree with Starlight's approach. You really have to have very clear objectives (in terms of your store in general as well as strategic goals) as stated in your business plan. Therefore, I'm not too amazed with the approach of making the place a gaming store/café/gaming club/etc. place. If you want to open an LGS, I suggest keeping it that. Be closely involved with the local gaming club, set one up if necessary but your store doesn't necessarily have to be the hang-out place for this club.

One of your greatest assets, as opposed to GW stores, as an LGS is that you can offer what you want. And I'm stessing board- and trading card games again here. If you live in an area that has comicbook fans, stock comicbooks and comicbook hero puppets ( :p ) and so on. Be broad, see what works with your audience, do your market research and be aware of the fact that people who are into fantasy boardgames eventually will take a liking in fantasy tabletop stuff and vice versa.

All things said about online stores is true; and you can't beat or even compete with them with price. You have to go for the additional assets that go with buying at your LGS rather than online; the shopping experience itself, the vibe and the feeling of community, as mentioned above.

Pacorko
30-03-2010, 00:36
Thanks, I know they are not enjoyable (except for some excerpts which were heart touching), but it does show why a good FLGS is worth it and why a GW store can never replace it.

I'm beginning to like and understand both you avatar and where you come from.

That story broke my heart by episodes, as it was posted almost two years ago, and when I saw the links to Mike's retelling, I felt the same emotional melt-down I had those days reading his column.

Great reading about the harsh truths or business and decision-making, and also an ode to dreams that are worthwhile. Cautionary tale, indeed.

For what little use it has: those articles allowed me to focus on things that would have taken my own inititive down, so it's now an idea on hiatus... I will have my store and it will be good business, but it will take time as I'm not counting on my own Dollar Bill or overly-enthusiatic friends/wannabe partners to get it started.

Some dreams are worth fighting for, yes. But those also need to be armoured against forces beyond your control.

I'm working on getting improved armour, now.

Mawchild
30-03-2010, 01:15
Cool cos extra armour only costs 15 points. :D

Good luck more indie stores the better.

rich1231
30-03-2010, 10:28
I have read those posts before.

Surely they are a perfect example of why a proper plan should be put in place if you are opening a low margin niche retailing business. Almost all of the issues could have been predicted and avoided.

The problem is hobbyists want to open a store as it appears to be a dream job but it is a huge effort and the enthusiasm for the hobby wont overcome the non game related and less glamourous tasks required day in and day out. And in the UK signing a lease is a significant undertaking with consequences personally for a new business owner.

Jim30
30-03-2010, 11:21
The guy who runs Darksphere games in London runs a discount mailorder minature business and has now expanded into a very small bricks and mortar concern. That seems to be the way to go to me, but then discount stuff is an increasingly crowded market. I think those of you outside major UK urban areas may have a different attitude to rent than those inside them.

I've been into their store a few times and would surprised if it lasts - too small, no publicity, not even a shop sign. It looks cluttered from the outside, and is on a path that few Londoners go down, and only the odd tourist. To suceed, they need a much better marketing campaign. It says something when the local gaming clubs didnt know they had opened the store.

Best local I saw was in Sunderland (UK), where they had a shop front and then out the back a converted industrial unit which had lots of gaming tables. Keep the retail and the games seperate - nothing is more off putting to potential walk in trade than a shop rammed with sweaty smelly geeks arguing over dice rolls. Yes its the hobby, but its offputting to newcomers!

Lewis
03-04-2010, 10:55
I've been in Darksphere of an afternoon and have been suprised by the amount of footfall that comes past. It does get a lot of tourists walking past as well as people on the way to the train station.

It could do with a sign though, you're right, I totally missed it when I went looking for it first time.

Brandir
01-05-2010, 17:46
I am looking at moving from just trading at shows to opening a real shop. Rich is right - the lease here in the UK is a major undertaking.

The area I am looking at has a few vacant shops. Unfortunately the landlords seem to want people like me to sign a five year lease with no break point and have no flexibility in negotiating rent and when it is paid. One quickly realises why there are so many shop premises that have ben vacant for years.

starlight
01-05-2010, 18:01
As an aside, depending on your local tax laws, in many places if a shop space sits vacant with reasonable efforts to rent the owner can claim the lost rent as a business loss against other incomes...further reducing the incentive to rent... :(

crandall87
03-05-2010, 17:03
I think if GW are finding it hard to afford keeping stores open or paying staff then they should seriously look into franchising their business. Of course there are various pros and cons for doing this but it could be an option worth considering for them.

Brandir
03-05-2010, 17:08
I have discussed the issue of franchising with GW management at AGMs but was met with a blanket 'never'. that was, however, a few years ago. Much of the top level of management has changed since then so who knows what their attitude is nowadays?

starlight
03-05-2010, 18:07
Hopefully it remains the same...at least unless they revisit the entire Trade environment...


I can only imagine how bad it would be if there were three levels of store instead of the current two... :( It's bad enough that many Trade accounts report being treated like second class citizens against GW's company stores...imagine how it would be if they got bumped down to third class below franchise stores... :( ...I can imagine most/all of the Trade department collapsing within 3-6 months... :(

Reinholt
03-05-2010, 18:52
I will only speak briefly here, as if I get going on the topic of starting businesses, I might break the world record for longest post on a GW forum.

The bottom line is this: you have to run it like a business. That means things like raising capital effectively, having a strategic plan, executing correctly and fine-tuning operations, managing inventory, managing staff, minimizing tax burden, selecting good locations, targeting the correct consumer market, building the correct product mix, etc, etc, etc.

There is a lot to consider, and it is very much a non-trivial issue. More so, the overwhelming majority of gamers are people who have zero to minimal business management experience and think they know everything, which is usually a recipe for disaster (ranging in flavor from amusing to tragic).

The bottom line is this: it is very possible to run a highly profitable gaming store. More so, your competition in this area is likely not to be particularly talented (and I am always a fan of preying on the weak when it comes to business). However, you need to approach it as a business, try to avoid personal bias wherever possible (outside input from someone who couldn't care less about gaming is very helpful here), and build not what your dream is, but rather, what will drive a profit for your firm.

Otherwise, it's not a business; it's a charity to yourself, and if you want to do that, make sure you have enough money up front to actually do it and lose all the money you put in.

Night Bearer
03-05-2010, 20:14
Now, my question to you is this.
If you had the perfect opportunity to open your own store, what would it be like? What all would you sell? What would be the name of your store? Would you try and go chain store or would you stay local? Would you sell things other then table top games? Basically, what would be your ideal/perfect game store?
My thoughts of what's inside the store is probably similar to what most here have mentioned - a nice selection of ranges, board games, Magic the Gathering, etc., as well as some vending machines or some form of snackbar.

However, the one thing I keep thinking about whether it could work would be to find an empty/near empty mini-mall (like 3-4 vacant lots), put a game store in one of them and then become a franchisee for 2 or 3 popular chains, for example a Dunkin Donuts, Subway, and a Taco Bell or maybe even a gas station (fex if you had a mini-mall next to a gas station).

The idea would be that, properly run, the chain stores would basically take care of themselves and provide me the excess profit to run the game store. While the game store would hopefully be a profitable business itself, the chain stores would provide a cushion for major expenses that a game store on its own might not be able to handle, plus I wouldn't have all my eggs in one basket.

Of course, the thought of running 2-3 businesses simultaneously is crazy insane. But it feels like such a viable setup to make a stable gaming store in a nice part of town that can afford to stay on top of maintenance and repairs - it just seems like so many indys look really worn and/or are in run down / questionable parts of their city.

starlight
03-05-2010, 20:21
Also crazy expensive for the franchise fees for any decently run/organised system... :shifty:

smicha6551
03-05-2010, 21:14
A brief comment on what I've seen in the US.

Anything involving booze is a NO. Gaming stores attract kids, and kids plus booze=closed store. What GW can do in a restaurant in the UK is great, but that's not the US. Food is fine, but unless you KNOW how to handle food service, by which I mean if you've managed a place, not just worked the fry counter, if it can't come out of a can or a microwave, forget it. Again, anything else is a chance for drama - running a business is hard enough.

Make sure ALL partners are responsible (be harsh on this) and be prepared to work ALL hours the store is open. In fact, I'd suggest NO partners or only other partners as equity partners as you'll oft be dissapointed in other's work habits. If you have ANY issue working 60-70 hour weeks pass, because you're going to be working those sorts of hours. I've done it, most people really haven't (and school+work isn't the same thing). Stick some kid making minimum wage in there unsupervised and you WILL get ripped off, either by him or your customers. You don't need much shrinkage to wipe out your profits. One last thing - GW stores can afford to have you buy GW minis elsewhere and play on their tables - either way GW makes money on them. You need to make sure people spend in your store - you WILL have freeloaders buying miniatures at a discount online and never spending a dime in your location.

Honestly, the only way I'd ever own a game store is if I hit lotto or otherwise run into enough wealth to not have to work. "Minor" issues such as obtaining health insurance (in the US again) will be huge issues as you don't have a large pool of employees. You have to know bookeeping (I'm an accountant so not a problem there), HR, marketing, inventory management, as well as a number of games, many of which will be of little interest (Pokemon?!)

shelfunit.
03-05-2010, 21:17
I've been in Darksphere of an afternoon and have been suprised by the amount of footfall that comes past. It does get a lot of tourists walking past as well as people on the way to the train station.

It could do with a sign though, you're right, I totally missed it when I went looking for it first time.

Same opinion here - I only noticed it because the guy who owned it was opening the shutters as I walked by - great place tho - lots of stock for such a small shop, the guy is knowlegable and good to chat to and they had a load of ancient white dwarfs (back to early 100's) - most of which I snapped up when I was last there - and will hopefully pick up a few more when I head back there on weds!

Emperor's Grace
03-05-2010, 22:12
Yeah, I guess that alcohol is just a bad idea. I also really don't like the snack bar idea much. I know that there are some opportunities there but I really don't think that greasy, fried food mixes well with the wares in your store. I mean, there probably will be grease and whatnot stains all over the pieces (not even beginning to think about greasy food mixed with miniature gaming).

Forget about the food itself, I'd be worried about the fine airborne mist of grease created whilst cooking. It would settle on everything in the store.


Everything you want is simple and quick. Soda in cans, brewed coffee, snacks, etc.
Agreed but add prepackaged and with long (or no) expiration dates


Also this is a great story which talks about a store and the mistakes which brought it down.
Disagree about "great story" to an extent. While I feel for the fellow, I think certain things are a bit skewed in his view. The biggest thing that bugs me is that he saw it as "his" store when he was the only person in the business without money invested ("I had no money to put up whatsoever").

isaac
04-05-2010, 02:59
Snacks was those prepackaged foods

It is a great story, shows the cautionary nature of such endeavors, especially with partners. And even though it IS a business, you need PASSION for it. To make it a local store and not just a place to buy things.

Never said the telling was perfect, but it was informative and touching.

burad
04-05-2010, 23:01
"what would be your ideal/perfect game store? " The Extremely Rare one that actually makes enough for you to make a living at it for a long period of time. From what I have seen, to have a good chance you should probably own the property the store is on. I have seen several stores go belly up when the rent increased to the point they couldn't make it anymore. Two here in the last two years or so.
For those of you brave enough to try, I think Reinholt's advice was right on target.

Mawchild
05-05-2010, 11:47
I think crazy rental costs are a problem everywhere and usurous landlords are the bane of the retail industry in general. Time and again I've seen shops go under due to landlords refusing to drop or freeze rental charges and then see those same premises sit empty for over 18 months.

Case in point my LGS which had a building site in front of it for over a year, had its access limited and when construction was finished on he ridiculous local council scheme to revamp the area they had a big wall in front of them which reduced their visibility from the high street and cut down on random footfall. Would the landlord drop the rent to reflect all this? No and almost two years later the unit sits empty and we still have nowhere handy to game.

Own your property if possible, it immediatly gives the business an asset which unlike all the others will apppreciate over time. Plus it protects you from the greed of landlords.

leadlair
05-05-2010, 14:36
Sorry, but everyone who wants to open a store should read those, be wary of partners/loans and focus on what really matters.

What can you not get online? Community to play RPGs, Boardgames, wargame and cards. Sure you can play them online, but it is not the same. If you make it a hangout and good prices (discounted) players will come, stay and spend.

Give them reason to come AND spend, getting only one will fail.

Also people don't like cold and corporate stores with pushy GW salesmen ;)

I think you took the exact wrong message from all of that. It seems to me everyone in that story was wrong.

You need a friendly place that MAKES MONEY. The author didn't seem to get that making money is what a store is about. Those deep discounts can kill you.

leadlair
05-05-2010, 14:49
Disagree about "great story" to an extent. While I feel for the fellow, I think certain things are a bit skewed in his view. The biggest thing that bugs me is that he saw it as "his" store when he was the only person in the business without money invested ("I had no money to put up whatsoever").

Exactly the feeling I got from the story. It seemed this guy was more into having the FLG and none of the S. I was a little surprised to see that he didn't understand that others didn't want to finance his fun without any return on the investment.

Just seems to me you had one guy who wanted nothing but money, one guy who really was disinterested, and the author who just wanted his dream without thinking about the actual cost.

And I would imagine it gets really hard to pay all those employees and still pay two of the partners a salary they can live on. You had better have pretty deep pockets if that is the case. Sadly just seems another case of poor planning and underfinancing doing in a small business.

Night Bearer
05-05-2010, 15:32
Also crazy expensive for the franchise fees for any decently run/organised system... :shifty:

True, which is why I used Subway and Dunkin Donuts as examples. They both have low failure rates, and Subway's fee is really small compared to the rest:

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/109355/10-most-popular-franchises

Again, just a pipe-dream!

Reinholt
05-05-2010, 15:52
True, which is why I used Subway and Dunkin Donuts as examples. They both have low failure rates, and Subway's fee is really small compared to the rest:

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/109355/10-most-popular-franchises

Again, just a pipe-dream!

I have a hunch that the market for doughnuts, coffee, and sandwiches might be larger and more stable than the market for toy soldiers.

;)

Night Bearer
06-05-2010, 13:38
Well, the idea would be to "double-dip" from my gaming customers! :D

"You know what would keep you awake for this Apocalypse game, right? Coffee, and maybe donuts. If only there was a place nearby - oh look, I opened the door and the delicious smells just waft in of their own accord!" :p

Brandir
06-05-2010, 16:01
Just to hijack the thread a little - I am opening a shop in the UK within the next three months.

What would you want from a new FLGS in your area? What would encourage you to shop there instead of an online discounter?

Remember I am interested in UK gamers only!

Reinholt
06-05-2010, 16:12
Just to hijack the thread a little - I am opening a shop in the UK within the next three months.

What would you want from a new FLGS in your area? What would encourage you to shop there instead of an online discounter?

Remember I am interested in UK gamers only!

As a US gamer, I would like you not to hijack a thread I am participating in already and to go start your own instead.

;)

Night Bearer
06-05-2010, 16:33
Not a UK'er, but I'd think the same basics hold true everywhere:

-stuff in stock. More liable to buy local if it means it's in my grubby hands today. If you have to special order it, I might as well buy it myself for cheaper for the same amount of time.

-nice game room. a nice table with good terrain more than justifies (for me) packing up my army and taking it to a store, socializing with fellow gamer friends, etc. I think most gamers, like me, are the type that they'll buy stuff from you in appreciation for the space you're providing.

-some sort of discount helps. the less the difference between you and an online store, the easier it is to justify buying it at your store, especially if the above are true as well.

The Ape
06-05-2010, 19:18
Just to hijack the thread a little - I am opening a shop in the UK within the next three months.

What would you want from a new FLGS in your area? What would encourage you to shop there instead of an online discounter?

Remember I am interested in UK gamers only!

Where in the UK?

I would like to see a good range of stock, a discount on large purchases of over £100, say 10% or some kind of loyalty card? I know the mark up isnt great and I respect that you need to pay the rent but I think a small discount on large purchases is a way to differentiate your store from GW.

I work in a city with a GW store so I would need a reason to shop at your store. Normally I make impulse buys at that GW store and bulk buys online for the discount. But if I knew I could get a smaller discount but be able to get it from a store rather than faff with picking up packages at 7am in the morning (thanks royal mail) then I would buy from your store.

Slightly cheaper paints and a wide variety of non-GW stuff would also be good.

Hope that is useful.

Brandir
06-05-2010, 19:23
Where in the UK? ....

Lancashire - looking at a few locations including Preston, Burnley, Bury and Rochdale.

kermit
07-05-2010, 17:58
I haven't weighed in here in a bit... it looks like every point has been said and resaid... so I give you a link to the store I have talked about.

http://titangaming.ca/

Not a great webpage, but not many people know it exists...

But, for those that are interested, I would say this store is successful.

kermit
07-05-2010, 18:01
@ Brandir,

Though you ask for UK only input, I would say that the general input of everyone across the globe would help you to make a successful store.

One side thing that I can think of is have good light... nicely painted miniatures... and organized play... with the nicely painted miniatures. Nothing like showing people what they could have/achieve to make people part with their money!

Gaebriel
09-05-2010, 10:20
There are two helpful columns at rpg.net that deal with the business side of gaming - Behind the counter (http://www.rpg.net/columns/list-column.phtml?colname=counter) and Business of gaming retail (http://www.rpg.net/columns/list-column.phtml?colname=businessofgamingretail).