Monday, October 22, 2007

The New Top Ten

It's been nearly a month since the move and our new store is not like the old store. This is most obvious in our sales reports. We once had a smooth, diversified level of sales where nothing seemed to catch fire and everything was in balance. Ahhh, yin and yang, harmony amongst the three elements of gaming: tin, plastic and paper.

The new store sales are dominated by metal miniatures. It's not just Warhammer 40K, which is now our top game with sales skyrocketing, it's the other games as well. Metal miniature games have doubled in sales from the last store. The inventory was not performing for us previously. In other words, we had an awful lot of it, but because we lacked appropriate game space, we couldn't unleash their potential. Consider them unleashed!

Without further ado, here's our list:
  1. Warhammer 40K. As you've probably read here, our local GW store closed and we inherited a small but significant portion of their customer base. Not only do they buy their usual models, but the Apocalypse release has been a great success for us. This is especially significant because we've never had good sales for new GW releases. We weren't the store to find such things.

  2. Warmachine. Warmachine sales are up 50% as our regular group expands in size. We've got more players and twice the event time scheduled. Unlike Warhammer Fantasy, the GW "second game" Hordes is doing extremely well. We'll lump it in this category, but if it were by itself, Hordes would be #5.

  3. Magic: The Gathering. Our Lorwyn release tournament was our biggest event yet, with 24 people. With a fledgling Friday Night Magic program and tournaments scheduled for November and December, we hope to keep our Magic players gaming well into 2008.

  4. Dungeons & Dragons. D&D has slipped a bit in the ranks, but it's because others games are doing so well and 4th Edition has put a damper on sales. I figure sales of new books are down about 50%, while regular stocked books have only seen a small decline. I associate this with "alpha" gamers being the folks who buy every new book and they know what's going on. The "regular" gamers buy the back stock.

  5. Drinks. Mexican Coke is especially popular, but drink sales overall are phenomenally high. That commercial grade drink "merchandiser" turned out to be one of the better decisions. The game space obviously drives these sales. It's funny because it's as individualized a category as any other. We've got the guy who only drinks Dr. Pepper, the Diet Root Beer guy, the Mountain Dew fanatic, and the D&D player who drinks orange soda exclusively.

  6. Flames of War. Here we learn that FoW has not gained traction with the addition of game space. The people who play are reluctant to come to our events. Honestly, with our huge investment in Flames of War, I consider this games on the ropes.

  7. Melissa & Doug. Ah ha! You say, toys are doing well! Actually no, the M&D stuff that sells tend to be games, usually children's puzzles. I can wholeheartedly recommend their puzzles to any game store owner. The toys sell much slower and will need to be either a) slowly developed almost as a separate business or b) blown out during the holidays and replaced with games!

  8. Fantasy Flight Games. With great sales comes great ass pain. Tannhauser continues to sell well. Arkham Horror is back in print. The Wings of War planes come in and out so fast that most customer probably don't think we stock them.

  9. Sabol Designs. With the rise of miniature games comes the rise of accessories, including these high quality miniature cases. We've moved to stocking four of each design due to their fast sales and limited availability.

  10. AT-43. Events for this game have been slow to catch on, but sales remain strong. We're seeing a couple people picking up back stock, which is highly encouraging. I was beginning to think AT-43 should be treated like the "periodical model" in which I stock the new releases for a short time and then stop re-ordering. Back stock is where you see if a game is really doing as well as you think.

May the gods of tin, paper and plastic live in harmony.


  1. I don't think you can really classify GW games as "metal" miniatures anymore. 40K and Fantasy are around 90% plastic nowadays ;-)

  2. Yes, true. Tin is also a generalization. Flames of War and Confrontation use lead still.