Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Happy Plastic Christmas

The store continues to do well for the holidays, with traditional Christmas purchases of board games and related items flat, but an increase in trading card games, toys, and the big one .... Warhammer 40K. Warhammer sales are off the chart. Thanks for the warning guys. After getting advice to stock up from you folks, I brought in a second Christmas order just in time.

40K is usually bought by the mothers and they don't need a lesson, just help finding what's on their list. If any twelve year olds are reading this, try writing better descriptions of what you want on your list. "Chaos guys," for example, is not a helpful description. The board games require a lot of hand selling, and that's most of the work during the day, along with receiving many boxes.

UPS and Fedex have been surprisingly efficient this year. UPS has learned to rent additional trucks from rental agencies during the holidays. They haven't delivered anything late or anything that looks like it was drop kicked. Fedex actually delivers early by a day or two, relieving some of the Friday stress. Friday is when my Monday through Wednesday orders from Games Workshop arrive.

The two big game distributors ship out of the Central Valley, so they're a next day delivery, while GW ships out of Tennessee, if I believe, and Wizards of the Coast out of Texas. Battlefront ships out of Delaware (grumble, grumble) and we've had some late arrivals of new items from them. They're still getting settled in their new offices.

That review article continues to pop up. I see customers shopping with the pink pages under their arms. They also call looking for some of the games on the list, such as the lackluster, but well reviewed in the SF Chronicle, Fiji (BGG 5.9). I've managed to stock many of the top reviewed items, but after talking to customers who are interested in a little input, they usually go with something else more suited to their needs. That's a good thing and I always hope we can recruit them for Tuesday boardgame night.

Most people don't seem to be finding us from the new phone book. I'm getting a lot of referrals from various Internet sites and Holiday customers really do seem to be doing a lot of research online. The TV commercial is bringing in regular customers who thought we may have gone away. That was the intent of spending a bunch on TV, so that makes me happy.


  1. I watch the History Channel all the time, and hence am bombarded with commercials for your store costantly. Astound is my cable company, though I do not know if it makes a difference.

  2. We're on both Comcast and Astound this season. We've got a bigger than normal advertising budget because of the move, so it should be hitting pretty hard.

  3. Hello,

    What is the deal with Webkins? A friend of mine's wife is floating her hallmark store based on the sale of webkins alone.

  4. Webkins is the latest fad for young girls. They change their minds every six months, so I tend not to chase them. Webkins requires a Hallmark account, otherwise I might dabble with them.