”, I took a few days off this week to visit friends and while I did, as is my wont, I stopped in at a couple of gaming stores in the area just to see if the trends we see in our store get replicated in other stores.
One thing I was happy to see, hear actually, was a greeting from the store employees as I walked into each store as well as a request to let them know if I needed any help in finding anything. While they certainly didn’t work to strike up a conversation about games with me, ‘twas a far cry from no acknowledgement at all because the staffer on duty cannot lift their eyes from their computer screen. Thankfully, this sort of behavior appears less and less as stores get more and more “professional”.
Another trend I noticed was the movement away from RPGs toward boardgames and TCGs. One store had less than one shelf, containing maybe a dozen different books, almost all pathfinder and D&D. The other one did have a pretty large selection of RPG books, 4 tall bookcases full, they were all used, marked half price or less and relegated to a side room off the main sales floor. Once again, the only books I saw at full price out in the main trafficked area were Pathfinder titles.
The lack of variety of card sleeves was another thing that struck me. Last time I counted, we stock at least 8 different brands of card sleeves, while both of these stores only stocked 2-3. I didn’t inquire as to why, but did notice that each one stocked a “high end” and 1 or 2 mid-range brands. We have always found our customers wanting a variety from which to choose but maybe we offer them too many choices. Something to consider.