Here are the highlights of what's expanding, what's contracting, and my watch list. Most stores won't actively tell you this stuff, but hey you should know, you participate actively:
Expanding: Areas that are seeing more inventory dollars flow their way.
- Warhammer 40K. As of this week, we'll have every 40K item, so expansion is over.
- Role-Playing Department. We've got a very successful RPG department where we can take risks and stock new items. I'm more liberal with my purchasing dollars here.
- CCG Accessories. Card sleeves, boxes, etc., are great sellers and we'll likely increase our selection.
- Jigsaw Puzzles. With one of our competitors closing, we've found ourselves with an expanding puzzle clientèle. Expect them to expand further into the toy department.
- Indy Miniatures. Sales of artisan miniature lines like, well, Artizan, Freebooter, etc, are strong and they add lots of flavor. A lot of our Reaper dollars went here.
- Classic Games. We've found some new classic lines that sell better for us, so we'll keep working on this.
- Toys. I want to maintain the better selling toys, but I envision cutting the toy department by a third over time. Some of this is inventory dollars shifted to games, while a lot of it goes to pay off expansion costs.
- Reaper Miniatures. Reaper has had a free pass in the past, but that's over. Miniatures that don't perform are not re-ordered, like how most stores handle them. It's more common sense than a slash and burn approach. We're now as good as the other stores who sell Reaper, but not any better. In exchange, we can afford the Indy Mini section.
- Board games. We're overstocked and could lose about a third of them without being missed. If you're a board gamer, you probably won't miss the ones that go.
- D&D 3.5. The books are going out of print rapidly, which is great for cash flow, but not so great if you're still planning on picking them up at a later date.
- Flames of War. The down-sizing is complete and we'll be building back up the depth of more popular items. (was once our number one game)
- Warmachine/Hordes. We carry every SKU, but lately I've been wondering if we should be more selective. Sales have slowed, but the Summer has seen many new players. Still, it's beginning to sputter (like FoW). (was once our number one game)
- AT-43. Sales have fallen lately, organized play never materialized, and active customers have moved on to other games. We still stock every item, but we're watching this very closely.