- Stock on the Floor. Almost all of the inventory (like 99%) is on the sales floor. This not only makes for nice displays, but it cuts out the re-stocking problem of running back and forth when something sells. Running back and forth is now a big deal. You can almost miss a phone call if you're in the wrong place when it rings. The problem I used to have with stock in the back is that employees rarely remember that a second or third copy of a game is in the office. I would have to carefully examine everything that sold the previous day, making sure there's a replacement copy on the shelf (I still do this). Having all the stock on the floor also allows me to have a smaller storage space. What actually happened is everything stored in my garage is now stored in my office. I have no more space, despite triple the office size. The last stock item in the store room is cases of collectible miniatures. I'm trying to think of a way to display these brown cardboard cases in an attractive manner. I've even considered making a giant plastic dispenser (Tap Plastics is just down the street).
- Clean and Cool. Two things really, but I think both are functions of our new air conditioning system. I keep the fan on all the time. It costs more in electricity, but it keeps the store much cleaner. In a store as big as ours, that's even more important and there's a monetary cost of having someone do extra cleaning. We're still trying to come up with a cleaning schedule, so every fixture gets attention at least once a month. I recently re-did the layout in Visio, so hopefully we can just check off each fixture on the map with our initials and date. As for cooling, the rear AC system still hasn't been modified to remove duct-work from the space next store. I turn the fan on back there when the game center begins getting full. I noticed last night, when I had a chance to play Warhammer, that the game center begins heating up at around 15 people. It's noticeably warmer than the retail space.
- Temperature. It's much cooler with the high ceilings and no halogen track lights. I can keep it at 73, where the old place felt like an oven at around that temperature. There's about 18 inches of insulation above each ceiling tile. That helps regulate temperature. There was ZERO insulation above the tiles in the last store.
- Tape. We find ourselves going through an alarming amount of register tape. Sales are certainly higher, but the transaction count has doubled with the addition of drinks and snacks. Each drink prints out a receipt and there's no way to change that. Drinks are currently our top 4 category in the store, in between Magic and Dungeons & Dragons.
- Change. We also find ourselves tearing through many rolls of coins and running out of small bills. A weekly bank run is standard now, where before I would get change once a quarter! Part of that is we used to supplement our change drawer with vending machine change. We ditched the vending machine (literally), so we don't have that backup.
- Deposit Slips. Also on the list of high rate of consumption are deposit slips. After the break-in I decided to change cash handling procedures. Well, I had good procedures, I just didn't follow them. We now do daily cash drops, which has increased deposits by two to three times.
- Hours. I have to say it feels very odd having the store in operation without me a third of the day. It's five minutes to ten tonight, and the store is still open. It feels weird. Luckily we continue to ring up sales well after 9pm. I'm feeling the need for a store log book. I'm hoping to take two days off a week if I can get the store in a good position once the holidays have passed.
Friday, October 19, 2007
The Small Stuff
Some observations about the new space: