Friday, August 10, 2007

Build-Out Update

Construction begins next week, the week of August 12th. This includes demolition, building of about 75 feet of walls with several doors, and hanging some slatwall. It should take a week.

The week of August 19th we'll be doing some electrical work: moving light switches, pulling power to the cash wrap and drink cooler, CAT5 for the network, telephone to the office (3 lines), 8 speakers with wiring for the game room and retail space, satellite radio, and installing track lighting.

The week of August 26th the property management company comes in and paints the place and lays carpet, preferably in that order.

The week of September 2nd, fixtures start arriving.

The week of September 9th, product starts arriving (it mostly goes on those fixtures). I estimate it will take approximately 40 hours to process all the new stuff, mostly toys. I'm giving it two weeks for things to settle.

The week of September 23rd we're moving!

The week of September 30th we'll be filming the new TV commercial, so things should be in place by then.


  1. Gary, you are da man.

    I plan to come up and visit after your move...

    best -

  2. By process it do you mean put it all into an ePOS system or something else?

    I'm just curious if you use an ePOS and which one it is that you use.

    I've been reading some posts by Brian Hibbs over at "The Savage Critic(s)" where he's just installed a POS for the first time in lots of years.

    Interesting stuff.

  3. Everything is already in the POS system. I've had Eileen inputting orders into the system for weeks now, whenever the store is slow.

    I'll be over at the other store with a clipboard, a copy of my PO and a stack of pre-printed labels generated from the invoice. I'll need to check off each item as I "receive" it, label it, and find a place on the shelves.

    From a few years of this, I've learned it takes me two hours to process $1,000. I've got $20,000 of stuff arriving, so 40 hours.

    I made a new toy section layout last night, based on available space, location within the section, "synergy" with other products, and age appropriateness. My guess is the plan will go out the window pretty quickly.

    I came from the IT field, so using a POS system was an obvious choice for me, although I wanted to simplify my IT system to avoid those late night server rebuilds (it happened anyway).

    I had high IT hopes back then: electronic ordering, website integration, PDA integration, etc. The industry turns out to be a bit too old fashioned for it all and the Internet sales plans never happened. There's also no money to budget for technology in game retailing; you use something until it breaks.

    I use Microsoft's Retail Management System (RMS). It's probably as robust as they come, but it wasn't cheap. I also had an integrator come out and set it up, not because the technical difficulties were overwhelming, but because I needed help on "best practices," since I was new to retail. It was the right decision.

    I have the added advantage with an integrator that when it breaks, I can call them out to fix it. This happened while I was on vacation in Europe this year (frequent flyer miles, don't-ya-know). There was a power spike that corrupted the database, despite a battery backup. One call and a few hours later and everything was back up and running.

    RMS does everything I need it to do. It has some minor bugs, but they're consistent, so you learn not to perform certain actions, like printing labels half way through your receiving or changing too many item options in the middle of receiving.