Thursday, March 31, 2022

Bending the Line

Let's say you read my last post about bending the line towards customer desire or obtainability. Most store start by offering product from game distributors and perhaps a couple direct accounts, like Games Workshop. That's a fine place to start, but what if you want to go further? How would you go about having the funds for seeking out the obscure and arcane? How do you bend these products towards your through line?

You need money for the unobtainable. Let's assume, since you have a game store, you don't have money. Where could this money possibly come from? Consider an experiment in creating desirability. Take a product and go the extra distance. Select a solid, value oriented mainstream product, and teach your staff to sell the heck out of that product through game demonstrations. Set a baseline of what you would consider normal sales. Anything over that baseline is wonder money, money to invest in the unobtainable. Meanwhile your staff now know how to demo a game and will sell the heck out of that game for as long as they're employed by you. 

This extra money you made goes to inventory that's not normally available through distribution with the hope of differentiating your store from competition, delighting your customers and most importantly, making money. There are safe bets in this sphere, such as bringing in the top brand of jigsaw puzzles, finally establishing a Games Workshop or Asmodee account, or perhaps some direct to store sales. My big winners direct to store in the last couple of years have been wholesale accounts with Foam Brain and Squishables. You could decide to spend a portion of your money speculating on retailer friendly Kickstarter projects. I probably back one in five projects of the peers I follow. If you backed one if five of what I backed, they would be obvious choices.

Now that you have new blood in your ecosystem, make sure you continue to order, paying careful attention to stock levels. It's easy to let new stock become absorbed into your ecosystem and not re-ordered. Keep promoting, delighting and marketing your customer base. Make sure they know of the new wonders in your emporium. Pick another or perhaps multiple items to promote and reinvest. You are the ring leader of this circus and the size of your tent is entirely up to you. Create a system of promotion and reinvestment and you'll really be on to something. Eventually you'll need to new and unusual to fill your circus tent. But start with one game demo.

I assume you're familiar with Mystery Loot?

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