View Full Version : What would your dream game store be like?

12-19-2013, 09:51 PM
My family and I recently received a large inheritance from a relation, and are planning on opening a game store in the Salt Lake area. Before we moved here, we ran a successful video store, but don't have a lot of input as to what the larger gaming community wants. Aside from the obvious (Good service, knowledgeable staff, etc.) what would you like to see in a game store? Anything from seating arrangements to tricked-out gaming tables, if you had an unlimited amount of money to game with, how would you use it? And what products are, to you, essential for what your group does?

Also, if anyone here happens to already own a similar store, we'd also like to see some financial numbers to find out exactly how much we could afford to spend on inventory.

Thanks in advance for any input!

12-20-2013, 08:23 AM
Dream game store would have excellent coffee (and full-time barista), several games available for drop-in players or observers, fiction and comfy chairs for hanging out, and absolutely zero kids reading manga or playing Pokemon.

12-20-2013, 01:06 PM
coffee in utah? chancy, and depends on how many of the local gamers are mormons. i recall that the state is down to a population of about 50% mormons on record, but still... ^^ quality hot chocolate is a better bet, especially during the winter, and most especially since you can get the real stuff direct from Caputo's in downtown SLC. but having beverages is a good idea in general.

where in SLC are you looking to open a store? depending on where exactly, you're going to be competing with Hastur's, Epic, Game Haven (multiple locations), F&B's, Game Night Games, Gamer's Asylum, Oasis, Hammond's, and a few other local spots.

as far as what the most successful stores i've seen have:

what they don't have in stock, they have catalogs out for perusal, and are not locked into one distributor who doesn't carry it. will order from rpgnow and nobleknightgames and amazon and other independent sites.
carry at least a small selection of most systems... at the very least the core book(s) of most, (and not just the big names)! For example: Ryuutama (the RPG that revolutionized and reinvigorated the Japanese TRPG industry) is being translated into English on Kickstarter.
an arcade station - be it an xbox, ps, MAME emulator setup, or even actual arcade cabinets - having games: with competitions, prizes, and rent-a-reservation is a big plus. (depending on town ordinances, may require an additional license.)
FOOD - real food, I know one shop that serves fresh grilled sandwiches off of a georgeforeman grill for decent prices. (again, check town ordinances, this may require an additional license.)
tables that don't collapse if you kick them accidentally, and enough space to have some serious table footage. great for the CCGers and the wargamers.
one shop had an RC track inside the store... but then they also sold RC stuff in addition to the gaming stuff.
semi-private rooms with at least semi-decent soundproofing. great for RPers. wired for cd playing was a big plus for those GMs who use soundtracks. having in-store soundtracks that can be borrowed was another interesting angle.
two stores i know ran e-bay shops, one focused on CCGs, the other on collectibles. they would allow customers to buy and sell their stuff through them for a fee.
games of all kinds, not just rpg/wargaming/ccg. this brings in a broader range of customers.
most successful game stores i know avoid comics and collectibles, though a couple manage to pull it off. probably because they have dedicated staff who spend the time and man-hours to make it profitable.
deal in used goods - buy, sell, trade.
one store i know of offers a quality print on demand for an additional fee for pdfs from online stores that are purchased through them.
some stores deal in books, graphical novels, anime, and manga quite successfully. always a big draw for me personally. though it needs to be in a very different section of the store! comfy chairs or couches near the books is good.
having in-store copies of games that people can use and learn in-store is another good angle.
demos of various games (in SLC you have a number of SJG: MIBs who are happy to demo SJG products - i happen to be one.)
register with the various major gaming sites (pnpg, enworld, rpgnow, ect) and maintain an online presence as well as drive the customers to register for gamer databases.
computers with internet access is another popular draw - for gaming, as well as rent-some-time, make LAN parties and related contests accessible.
working cameras of decent quality. gamers bring their own stuff, and appreciate it if snitches can be tracked down.
themed events of interest: cosplay contests during halloween, or holiday themed games and events.
community service and activity: i know stores which support toys for tots, food drives, blood drives, and other local efforts.

that's off the top of my head. i have one other idea... but it is a bit out there and a bit of a pet peeve/project. if you have some interest i'll be happy to talk to you about it via pm or email.