In part one of this series we built our retail section, while in part two we built out the section of our store where we will host our gaming events. We've spent $61,361.68 up to this point, and today we'll look at stocking our new store.
Now that we have fixtures and a gaming area, we need to decide what we're carrying. Hopefully we made that decision before this point and bought the appropriate fixtures and built the appropriate gaming section, so what we're actually doing here is talking about what we're going to carry. I guess this is a good time to discuss the three most popular models for hobby store retail.
1.) Card Store I refer to these as clubhouses and I don't mean for that to at all sound polite. Think about the clubhouses you've walked into and they're lowest common denominator; misogynistic, dirty, unwelcoming, and largely not worth your trip.
2.) Miniatures Store I've been into some minis stores I absolutely love, and the one thing they have in common is that they carry every line that has any amount of following. I think this is very difficult on this side of the pond, and far more feasible in western Europe than anywhere in the United States. Many minis lines don't produce the turns to justify the dollars spent on stocking them or the shelf space they require. This model is tough here.
3.) The Full-Line Game Store A well diversified mix of role-playing games, board games, minis games, and card games. The premier full-line game stores in this country are beautiful, well-run, and welcoming to gamers from all walks of life, from the Muggles to the hard core GMT players.
Some of these stores have gone hybrid in some way or another as well. Some of them are carrying disc golf, comics, or video games. If you have a market where you have knowledge and little competition, many of those things can easily be added to a game store. A friend of mine even does cell phone repair in the same store he has a beautiful, premium, game space. Those are all valid options, but today we're going to just look at stocking the shelves a brand new full-line game store.
To do that we're going to make buying decisions in the four departments we've talked about in our third model. We're going to tackle these in an order of some sort, the percentage of my total business in 2017.
(Warning, I'm willing to share a lot, but this will not be a buying guide. This will be a generalized list of departments, not a product by product guide)
If you look around my store you'll find approximately 750 large-boxed board game titles in stock at any time. This will include many games that in stock with only one copy, a few that are always two or three copies, and some demo games that are six or twelve deep. Here were my largest board game publishers by dollars sold in 2017. You should buy some of their stuff.
Fantasy Flight Games Asmodee IELLO CMON Z-Man Days of Wonder
These five board game publishers were part of my mythical 1% club, they were responsible for at least 1% of my total revenue, a mark that only 13 different companies hit in 2017.
So, we need 750 titles. About 25 of them we're going to go two deep on to start things off; Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, stuff like that. We're also going to pick four cool titles for our demo table and buy them six deep.
Demo tables - 24 units Evergreens - 50 units Depth - 725 units
We need a total of 799 units. Let's just call it 800 to make this easier.
Average unit cost of a board game in this section is $26.00 or so.
800 * $26.00 = $20,800.00 (initial large box board game inventory)
Then we need to have the little box stuff, all the stuff that we sell for about $20. It goes on end caps, it gets impulse shopped at the cash wrap, and it provides players options for the quick game, the travel game, the party game. At any time this store should have about 200 or units in stock in this department, a sub-category of board gaming.
200 * $10.00 = $2,000.00
Initial Board Game Inventory = $22,800.00
Collectible Card Games
This is a market that I don't believe in heavily investing in. We only carry two CCGs, Magic: The Gathering, and Star Wars: Destiny. There is a broad disdain by board gamers when it comes to stores that carry board games and then only run CCG events. I don't like this disdain, and it's how Board Games are my largest category. Board gamers also always get excited about the new, and don't bemoan the state of the latest set, because we get to buy 2,000 new board games every year and there is always something to choose they'll enjoy.