Local Game Stores

General and high profile video game topics.
User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1910
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Local Game Stores

Postby scotland » July 19th, 2017, 3:35 pm

Article in Polygon on local gaming stores
https://www.polygon.com/2017/7/17/15974096/what-it-costs-to-run-an-independent-video-game-store

For me, I would patronize a local store that serviced old computers and consoles - mods, cleanings, etc. That's something that online retail can't really compete with. Charge me for labor, and we'd both be happy. It would also keep more of these old units alive and out of the recycling bins.

For actual games, when I've been to our regional store, I've been disappointed in both price and selection. Since they also have an online store, why would I need to pay overhead for a physical store? In this case, its too far away to use for mods and cleaning since I'd have to make the drive twice. Maybe I can find one enroute for a vacation, where I can drop it off going on vacation, and pick it up on the return leg.

User avatar
Atarifever
Posts: 354
Joined: April 12th, 2015, 5:55 am

Re: Local Game Stores

Postby Atarifever » July 19th, 2017, 9:27 pm

Well, the local one here is incredible. It's run by a guy with Autism who loves and collects games himself. He carries everything from boxed Famicom games to replacement cords for the 32X to all the At Games and Retron lines (perephrials included). Like everything else about my hometown, it punches well above its weight for something in a town of 6000 people.
https://twitter.com/PVGamesNL



As for the "death" of game stores, I get tired of these kinds of articles. This (and the digital is the only future) stuff has been written about, talked about on podcasts, and covered even in the news media for nearly 20 years now. Nobody should get a cookie for "predicting" this any more. It's been wrong for 20 years. Consistently. For two decades. It's time to come up with a new prediction. eBook sales are falling, Amazon is opening brick and mortar stores, and Vinyl is a hot item. The one console to ever openly assault the used game market is still trying to make up all the lost sales it brought itself, and the only major "digital only" consoles (the Ouya and PSP Go) are complete flops.

Yes, it is expensive to run a business. Yes, online sales through online stores and digital fronts is eating into retail. Know what used to eat into retail here and was blamed as the "killer of the local store" in small towns like this? Sears catalogue outlets. How are they doing? Meanwhile, there are 5 department stores in this town, up from the 3 when I was a kid.

I don't believe online will win out. Right now things are a little rough for brick and mortar stores, but something is always making business tough for them. The tangible storefront and market has existed for, what, a few thousand years? I think it can handle a new type of catalogue service.

User avatar
Retro STrife
Posts: 399
Joined: August 3rd, 2015, 7:40 pm

Re: Local Game Stores

Postby Retro STrife » July 20th, 2017, 1:11 am

What a great read. Thanks for sharing this. It's very well researched and written and shares a lot of the "behind-the-scenes" info about independent game stores that I've always wondered. Pretty impressive journalism when the guy interviewed 15+ stores for the story, and even got a few stores to open their books and allow their real accounting numbers to be published.

Plus, for me, owning a game store is probably at or near the top of my fantasy "if money didn't matter" jobs. I'd probably enjoy that over most other jobs in the gaming realm. Unfortunately this article paints a grim financial picture for independent store owners, so I guess I'll be keeping my day job.

User avatar
Atarifever
Posts: 354
Joined: April 12th, 2015, 5:55 am

Re: Local Game Stores

Postby Atarifever » July 20th, 2017, 5:36 am

Retro STrife wrote:What a great read. Thanks for sharing this. It's very well researched and written and shares a lot of the "behind-the-scenes" info about independent game stores that I've always wondered. Pretty impressive journalism when the guy interviewed 15+ stores for the story, and even got a few stores to open their books and allow their real accounting numbers to be published.

Plus, for me, owning a game store is probably at or near the top of my fantasy "if money didn't matter" jobs. I'd probably enjoy that over most other jobs in the gaming realm. Unfortunately this article paints a grim financial picture for independent store owners, so I guess I'll be keeping my day job.


I agree by the way that this is incredible videogame journalism, in that there is actually journalism here. It's very well researched and clearly a lot of effort was put in. In case my putting down it's overall message made it seem like I thought the article was badly written or researched, my issue is with the theme of the piece.

Also Retro STrife, what does the financial picture matter to you in your "money doesn't matter" fantasy? If money doesn't matter, then, by definition, the money won't matter. :)

User avatar
Retro STrife
Posts: 399
Joined: August 3rd, 2015, 7:40 pm

Re: Local Game Stores

Postby Retro STrife » July 20th, 2017, 8:58 am

Atarifever wrote:
Retro STrife wrote:Also Retro STrife, what does the financial picture matter to you in your "money doesn't matter" fantasy? If money doesn't matter, then, by definition, the money won't matter. :)


:D True.. I guess I'll keep that as the fantasy job. But in real life, I have long thought that it wasn't worth the effort, and this article only confirms that further.

TheBlondeGamePunk3
Posts: 41
Joined: March 1st, 2017, 10:39 am

Re: Local Game Stores

Postby TheBlondeGamePunk3 » July 20th, 2017, 9:01 am

I have seen the Retro 2 Video Games store in Mariana, Florida many times, The person who works there only does work on Thursday to Saturday as many customers have bounced checks buying lots of games from him or rare game guides/systems/etc. This hit him hard because He's not exactly the man who has it all and rather he's just left college so It's pretty hard for him to stay above the water. :x :x :x

Having read the article, This speaks volumes to many who want to run video game stores, It's not a glamorous workload but I guess for some, It's how they live.. Though I do believe that someday, The "Independent" Local Game Store could become just another thought that was lost in time with the all the rage about "Digital Only" games. :evil:

bluenote
Posts: 71
Joined: August 14th, 2015, 5:16 pm

Re: Local Game Stores

Postby bluenote » July 20th, 2017, 9:24 am

Atarifever wrote:Well, the local one here is incredible. It's run by a guy with Autism who loves and collects games himself. He carries everything from boxed Famicom games to replacement cords for the 32X to all the At Games and Retron lines (perephrials included). Like everything else about my hometown, it punches well above its weight for something in a town of 6000 people.
https://twitter.com/PVGamesNL



As for the "death" of game stores, I get tired of these kinds of articles. This (and the digital is the only future) stuff has been written about, talked about on podcasts, and covered even in the news media for nearly 20 years now. Nobody should get a cookie for "predicting" this any more. It's been wrong for 20 years. Consistently. For two decades. It's time to come up with a new prediction. eBook sales are falling, Amazon is opening brick and mortar stores, and Vinyl is a hot item. The one console to ever openly assault the used game market is still trying to make up all the lost sales it brought itself, and the only major "digital only" consoles (the Ouya and PSP Go) are complete flops.

Yes, it is expensive to run a business. Yes, online sales through online stores and digital fronts is eating into retail. Know what used to eat into retail here and was blamed as the "killer of the local store" in small towns like this? Sears catalogue outlets. How are they doing? Meanwhile, there are 5 department stores in this town, up from the 3 when I was a kid.

I don't believe online will win out. Right now things are a little rough for brick and mortar stores, but something is always making business tough for them. The tangible storefront and market has existed for, what, a few thousand years? I think it can handle a new type of catalogue service.


I don't think online will win 100%, there will always be physical stores, but online and digital is certainly in the driver's seat as far as I'm concerned. Vinyl has been popular, but buying vinyl/cds in Toronto (where I live) is a sketchy proposition. The only major retailer for music is Sunrise (HMV went bankrupt), and the music selection at Best Buy/Walmart, etc is dismal. There are very little places in downtown Toronto to buy new cds. I've started buying cds online now, because it's just easier.

Good point though about the Sears catalogue.

I do think online and retail will co-exist for the immediate future though.

User avatar
Atarifever
Posts: 354
Joined: April 12th, 2015, 5:55 am

Re: Local Game Stores

Postby Atarifever » July 20th, 2017, 5:51 pm

To give a little more detail to my original post, I want to point out that I don't think independent game store or game stores generally won't change. However, I think if anyone will adapt to the online world, it is more independent or smaller or more specialty stores in the end.

There's an example here in the department store industry. There's a small chain of junior department stores here on the east coast of Canada called "Rossy." It's one of those weird department stores with not a ton of any one thing where you always wonder "how is that a thing?" I love underdogs and stores that specialize in small towns like this one, so I've actually read up on them more than is sensible. Their theory is essentially to only go to small towns between 4000-30,000 people where they fill a need where few other people are entrenched, or where they can go in and be one of the the biggest stores in town. They also only go in if they can get incredibly attractive leases, and they're open about that in interviews. They expanded here in 2012 by buying up all the leases from a chain called Hart at incredibly low prices as they closed out. They essentially then put the screws to depressed malls or malls that really needed anchor tenants to keep overhead really low. Anyway, the point is, while Wal-Mart here built a big box store when they came to town, Rossytook over a cheap lease in a mall in desperate need of filling the anchor store space. That leaves them not in need of moving a ton of stuff to stay viable. They're way smaller than Wal-Mart and have a totally different way to stay viable at the really small, low end. So now they have 10 stores here in Newfoundland, while Target tried to move into Canada (and Newfoundland) and has already folded and run in the same time. They tried to compete in a slowing retail space with no plans for how to do that on the big end and they flopped utterly.

Similarly, I think of all the Ebgames or Blockbusters that are empty or abandoned and all the mall spaces for those places and I think how cheap it could end up being in overhead in a few years for small, local, independent game stores that hang on or start up new in a few years. Who else wants an old EB location? What else makes sense in an old Blockbuster space? Add in things like modding, side businesses like Android Boxes, the retro market, clone systems, and the ability to unload locally bought used items through online if it stays in the store too long, and there's a nimble, cheap business model waiting in there for whoever survives this current difficult market.

As the 4Jays example in the article points out, little things like a move 45 minutes to a cheaper location can make a big difference. A big Box retailer can't do that, but a small game store can.

pacman000
Posts: 334
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 9:04 am

Re: Local Game Stores

Postby pacman000 » July 21st, 2017, 7:05 pm

"The tangible storefront and market has existed for, what, a few thousand years? I think it can handle a new type of catalogue service."

Your words are encouraging Atarifever, thank you. Also rather funny.

Amazing these stores haven't created some sort of retailers' co-op; one store or a small chain would have no bargaining power, but if 1000 banded together they might have something.


Return to “Video Games General”