Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mayfair Games

I would be remiss in not mentioning Mayfair Games, who have some pretty impressive plans for the next year, including an appearance by newsrams Bob and Angus on the Today Show (but only on the Chicago affiliate program) and an expansion of their demo placemat program, with placemats walking players through the game shipping with all new releases and downloadable from the Mayfair Games Website. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fluxx The Board Game

A brand extension I have high hopes for is Fluxx:  The Board Game from Looney Labs.  Not nearly as random as the various card game version of Fluxx, the structure imposed by the board actually allows for the use of strategy in your gameplay.  Players still will win by achieving goals, but now, instead of collecting Keeper cards, you claim a goal by occupying the two appropriate goal spaces on the board with your pawns. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Blitzkrieg Miniatures System

Miniature games in general attracted a lot of attention at the Alliance Open House, probably because they are so visual. One that stood out was Blitzkreig from Zvezda.  This is a WW2 hex based miniatures system, similar to Tide of Iron or Memoir ’44, but with an astounding level of detail in both rules and figures.  However,  the basic game is pretty easy to understand and , at $70 for the basic game and only $4 for most packs of additional , it should be an easy sell to fans of historical miniatures.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

WizKids' No Mans Land

In Ft. Wayne Indiana this weekend for the Alliance/Diamond Open House.  So far, the presentation from NECA/WizKids, detailing their plans for the Batman: No Man’s Land six part storyline tournament starting in November and running through next May has really caught my attention.  This tournament leaves behind the cosmic orientation of the Infinity Gauntlet, brining play down to earth with Batman’s Utility Belt as the focus of game play, with players receiving a different component of the belt each month and Limited Edition figures keyed to the No Mans Land storyline.  First month is Lockup, then Batgirl, Ultimate Clayface, Poison Ivy ( fantastic sculpt, by the way), Killer Croc and finally the Joker and Harley Quinn (of course), with the big prize a model of the Batcave, complete with Alfred bearing medical supplies.

The addition of gangs adds a twist to the tournament.  Each player declares their allegiance to one of the games vying for control of Gotham City during the tournament.  The top four members of the gang controlling most of Gotham at the end of the tournament each receive a Penguin LE figure, meaning that, even if you are not one of the top players in each month’s game, you still have a good chance of walking away with a cool prize by affiliating with the winning gang.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Be a Successful Retailer in Three Steps Step 3

Lower your cost of doing business as much as possible,  while remaining consistent with the level of quality of product and service  you desire to offer.  Set the image of the store you wish to present the customer and determine how much you will have to spend in order to maintain that image.  There is nothing wrong with having a store with dusty shelves and faded posters in the window, as long as that is the image you have decided you want to deliver to shoppers.  As more stores upgrade their fixtures and appearance, such stores will likely become outliers, serving current customers but not developing new ones.  When deciding on a fixture up grade, product line expansion or service enhancement, to remain successful, it is important to do so at the lowest cost possible, consistent with the image you want.  Lowest cost does not mean cheap but it does mean cheapest.  If I want a custom mural painted on my wall, and such work is consistent with my image, that’s great.  I still should negotiate the lowest cost possible to do so.

Following these three steps will make your store successful. However, you will have to implement specific tactics in order to carry the strategy out.  That’s the hard part.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Be a Successful Retailer in Three Steps Step 2

 2.  Convert shoppers into customers.    This is where personal selling, the fourth component of promotion, comes into play. The other three forms of promotion serve to inform shoppers and get them to the store, personal selling gets them to buy the product.  Some may need lots of personal attention, others only a little.  Part of the training you should give your sales people (or realize yourself, if you are the only person on the staff) is how to recognize how much attention each shopper needs to turn them into a customer.  You have a destination store.  Shoppers don’t come into it if they are not at least slightly interested in the products you have to offer.   The higher your conversion rate (percentage of shoppers that become buyers) gets, the more money hits your bottom line.

Check back Wednesday for Step e

Monday, September 17, 2012

How to Be A Successful Retailer in Three Steps Step 1

#1.  Get shoppers into your store (or onto your website).  This is the basic purpose of sales promotion, advertising and public relations, all components of promotion. They get the word out about your store, creating interest in potential shoppers and driving them into your store.  The problem with these forms of promotion is that games stores (and comic shops, for that matter) appeal to a very niche market.  Almost everybody uses toothpaste and laundry detergent, a comparatively tiny segment of the population plays Magic or Settlers of Catan and there isn’t much in the way of mass media that reaches them easily, at least not in any form that is not prohibitively expensive for all but the top grossing stores.  Most stores find word of mouth their most effective way of bringing in new shoppers and, of course, word of mouth is one form of public relations.

 Check back Tuesday for Step 2.