Monday, July 30, 2012

European Game Stores, Part One

WOTC recently flew me over to France to speak at a marketing meeting and, while I was there, I got to visit a couple of game stores that the Store Outreach team informed me were pretty typical of stores there. The next few blog posts will look at what struck me about them:

Small is the norm.  Both stores had street frontage of, I estimated, less than 20 feet, or a little over 6 meters and reached back about 30 feet (about 9.1 meters), giving them roughly 600 square feet of selling space.  Given the limited amount of space, with the exception of Games Workshop products, over 95% of the merchandise was racked spine out and, while not tight, certainly fit on the shelf as snugly as possible.  Refreshments were limited to sodas kept in a small refrigerator behind the cash wrap.  Aside from the cash wrap, neither store had much in the way of customer space in the retail area, no benches or tables to play at and no chairs for parents to relax upon while waiting for their children to complete shopping.  The exception was a huge miniatures table, about 3 feet by 7 feet, set up to play in 7 Kingdoms. The sales clerk said they kept it there to encourage purchase and play of GW and Warmachine but that, when Christmas came around, they pulled the terrain off and converted it to a shelf for more boardgames and gift wrapping,