It's the holiday shopping season, well, sort of. It's pretty traditional around these parts to do good business during Black Friday weekend, and then we sort of taper off until about the 10th, and then we go insane for fourteen days.
Originally, this post was going to be about Black Friday, but really, I don't want to talk about Black Friday. Instead, I want to talk about the year.
Really quickly, Black Friday weekend was up 12.49% from last year, and as I write this November will end up at least 7.81%, because as I write this it is the last day of November. The last month we were down from the previous year was January, down 7.13%, and since then we've been up each month over 2016 numbers, which was our best sales year to date. March of 2016 was our worst month that year, but being up 32.19% over that number in 2017 made March a middle of the pack month for us.
As I write this we are up 1% over last year. Notice I did not say 1% year to date, I'm currently comparing 11 months of 2017 to 12 months of 2016, and we are already up 1%. If we do the same numbers in December of 2017 that we did in 2016 we'll end the year up about 10%. I suspect that with the current trends we will close out 2017 up between 13% and 15% over 2016.
Let's begin this treatise on sales within categories. I won't go into all of them, but let's talk about the top four from 2017; CCGs and Board Games each account for more than 15% of my current revenue while Miniatures Games and RPGs each clock in over 10%.
The CCG category is up for me this year, which you'll want to remember when we start talking about publishers later on, and accounts for 2% more of my business than last year. As real dollars this also means it has seen a substantial increase, another thing that you'll be a little surprised by when we start talking about publishers.
Board Games are up 3.5% as a revenue share in the store, and in the process moved from the third largest category by revenue to the second largest category. I believe that board gaming is the most difficult category for stores to succeed in. You have to want it, you have to work it, but if you do, people will come and shop at your store.
Our third largest category this year has been Miniature Games, which was the second largest category last year. We maintain fourteen categories in the store, and only two, Miniature Games and Apparel/Toys (I stopped carrying Funko, they were no fun...), have seen a decrease in real dollars from 2016 to 2017. Miniatures are down a whopping 22.98%, I suspect on the weakness at the end of 7th Edition Warhammer 40K, and the exceptionally lousy launch of Mark III from Privateer Press. Both of those lines have righted themselves and are both healthy and growing here in the store.
Rounding out my top four categories is RPGs, which surely are benefiting from the strength of Dungeons & Dragons, but are up 21.59% over last year on other strengths as well. Paizo continues to sell just enough product for me that I don't want to scream at them, Savage Worlds has a decent following here, and we got nice bumps from Goodman Games and Cubicle 7 this year.
I don't think we get a ton of benefit out of talking about CCGs. I think CCGs are easy to do well. They don't require a ton of curation or thought, just do certain things and do them well. So, we're going to talk about Board Games here for a while.