Monday, September 24, 2007

Exhausting Setup Day

I just got home after an 11-hour day setting up the store. We had another good volunteer crew. Some thing went smoothly, like role-playing games and miniatures. Other sections were confounding and difficult, like collectible card games and board games.

Andy single-handedly tackled CCG's. It took half the day with a lot of do-overs due to the new layout. We were keeping them behind the counter before. Now they're on a gondola available to customers directly. There is no longer a behind the counter, since the cash wrap is in the middle of the store.

I personally ripped through RPGs early on and started on miniatures. I handed the minis off to various people as we went along. The board game section was the real problem child. We've got lots of them, over 500, and we ended up reducing the space for them back down to around what we had in the old store. That was a little disappointing, but the section can spread out later when we figure it out.

I started with board games and after a couple hours was disappointed with my layout and out of ideas. I went to lunch with John, handing off the board games to Alexis. Alexis had to leave so when we got back John took a shot at them for the afternoon. As John struggled with them, Joe got off work and took a turn at them. Joe added a lot of energy back into the process, so we stayed even after we were too tired to do anything useful. Joe's energy invigorated us to keep going.

The weight of being closed is pressing down on me, so I'm hoping to have a soft opening tomorrow for at least a few hours to get back into the swing of things.

Besides the setup of product, we got the office computers running with power to the cash wrap, but no networking to the cash wrap. At the moment we can process transactions, but credit cards have to be done manually or possibly using the back-up dial-up connection (it's untested).

The stereo system works. We've got music in the game room out of four speakers, but the retail space speakers haven't been installed yet. Satellite radio is working fine. The office is a wreck with none of the boxes unpacked yet. I was too busy today directing traffic in the retail space.

Sorry again for no photos. I forgot the camera once again. Tomorrow I'll start making lists of things to do so we can start prioritizing. Bringing home the camera will be number one.

So what does it look like? Yeah, I know, no camera.

About 95% of the product is on the correct shelf. The rest is scattered around the store in small pockets. The cash wrap area has a new power pole and is awaiting CAT5 for the network. The display cases need to have the shelves put in and items placed inside.

The store looks easily as good as the average game store, provided I remove the boxes of hooks, brackets and miscellaneous junk. That's probably the priority for tomorrow. Move everything that doesn't belong into the game area and focus on getting the store in open condition. Then work on cleaning up the game room. Right now the game room is a staging area for the retail space.


  1. I'm not sure that getting 90%+ of the board games out of boxes, off the floor and onto the shelf is exactly "struggling" :-P

    Seriously though, the board games were a real group effort with Dave making some key suggestions as to how to open up the space, not to mention providing most of the muscle in actually moving the gondolas, and Usi getting most of the "classic" games organized into the space I gave him, with help from at least a couple of other people. All in all, we had at least seven people working that section at various times while I was nominally in charge of it.

    What I was beginning to worry would be an absolutely terrible retail space ended up closer to what had been originally envisioned as far as visibility and accessibility goes.

    We practically redesigned the layout of the front of the store in the process, but I think it worked out for the best. Even the destroyed caster on the one toy gondola helped in the long run by uncovering some faulty assembly while we could still easily fix it.

    btw, someone needs to restock that gondola of toys. Dave and I couldn't figure out exactly how it had all been put together the first time and somehow ended up with more than would fit.

  2. The store is looking great. At this point, don't sweat the small stuff. As long as you can point the customers to the general area, they might just find even more stuff that they want while looking for what they came to purchase. Sorry couldn't stick around for much after fixing the caster(s) :)