Monday, May 17, 2021

Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft

 Van Richen's Guild to Ravenloft releases tomorrow. If you preordered a copy, you may pick it up when we open at 10 a.m. If you didn't we still have copies of both the Alternative and regular covers available.

We have seen a lot of interest in this book, likely because of the player content it provides.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

D&D Openings

 In case you are looking for some D&D , we do have openings for the table on Saturday evening from 5;30 to 8:30. Our regular DM will not be her on Saturday but we are looking at having a substitute DM in to run a one shot game. We will not have a game on the 29th as our DM will run our monthly painting workshop from 1 p.m to 3 p.m.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Card Supply problems

Wondering why you cannot find toploaders except at 4 to 6 times the regular price online and virtually nothing here in the store? According to the manufacturer, it is primarily due to the demand for PPE. Seems toploaders and much personal protective equipment are made of the same type of plastic so the plastic that would normally go into card supplies instead winds up  in PPE, causing the shortage.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Rental Games

 In case you want to look at the list of games we have available for in-store play or for you to rent to take home for a week, you can find the list here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Van Richten's Guide

 Pre-pay for your Van Richten's Guide, either standard cover or limited edition by Sunday May 16th and get a free set of dice at the time you pay.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Best Months Ever


I find it rather strange that, in the midst of an epidemic, a large number of still operating game and comic retailers have reported that this past March was their best March ever in terms of sales with a number commenting it was their best month ever in terms of revenue.  Here, sales increased over 110% from March 2020 when Illinois started its lockdown. We had to close to foot traffic on March 21 as the state deemed us a non-essential business, and boy that hurt, both in terms of sales and emotionally. After all, who wants anyone to get called non-essential?  The store wound up down about 25% from 2019, making it comparatively easy to beat March 2020’s figures and post a triple digit sales increase. However comparing March 2021 sales to March of 2019 showed an increase of just shy of 60% with March 2019 our best March ever.  In fact, March 2021 proved our best month ever, up double digits over any other month in the store’s history.  So how come?

Stimulus payments—A number of stores attributed their increased sales to the stimulus payments incorporated into the COVID-19 relief bill. Although that doutless had an impact, we started seeing noticeable sales increases of 20-30% better than the average day, even pre-pandemic, the first week of March. The stimulus money did not start hitting people’s bank accounts until mid-month, with some people reporting their received it within two days after the bill got signed into law on March 11th. Still that was over a week after stores started reported outsized sales increases. While the money definitely had an impact during the latter part of the month, it does not account for the increase in sales during the first half and 2020’s stimulus money had hit customer accounts too long ago to account for this sales surge.

Tax refunds—People who had filed early did start to see tax refunds flow into their accounts and that extra money always sparks a surge of spending. However, customers started getting refunds in February and March just as they do every year, so there is nothing different about their filing this year that would account for the sales surge. In fact, the IRS has pushed back the due date for this year’s income taxes to May 17 so procrastinators and those who use a paid preparer (who, based on my experience take longer to file than doing so yourself) have even longer to delay filing and getting their refund.

Pokemon and MagicPokemon sales has been ridiculously strong for the past several months and the release of Shining Fates followed by BattleStyles a couple of weeks later  really juiced revenue, especially for those stores that had bulked up on their  orders and received large allocations of both sets, with gift boxes selling for two to three times MSRP on the aftermarket. Similarly, TimeSpiral Remastered proved in high demand, with a number of stores selling out of their allocations on pre-order, meaning none hit the shelves, even as cash hit the store bank account.

Spring—After winter and a really nasty late February, people seemed to respond to the really nice weather and just wanted to get outside and go someplace. We saw an increased amount of foot traffic during March and almost all of those customers left with an armload of boardgames, rpg books or a sack of TCGs.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Age of Sigmar 3rd Edition

 GW announced the Third edition for Age of Sigmar for later this summer. However, in the release, GW specifically said that, while the core rules will get reworked, all of the current Battletomes will remain usable with this edition.