Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Target Asking for Markdowns

According to this, Target is asking its suppliers for help in moving slow moving merchandise. Target reported slower than expected sales this spring and is asking for suppliers to give another 3-5% in promotional markdowns to help the store move these products.

Unfortunately, stores like ours cannot ask for such markdowns as our sales are a fraction of the sales that Target does with its suppliers. Even a company like WOTC, of which we sell a large amount of Magic and D&D, would ignore our request for an additional discount, as our sales are small, compared to how much the company sells through Target, or Wal-mart or Amazon.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Origins Trade Day

Gary went to the Origins Trade Day last week. This is what he saw there.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Four Thoughts about Free RPG Day

Some thoughts after another successful Free RPG Day. Third best sales day so far this year.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hastings Files Bankruptcy

Here are some more figures on the Hastings' bankruptcy. Indicating the popularing of  Funko's POP figures and the quantity of POP figures Hastings carries, the largest amount Hastings is to that company. For those not familiar with the others, Diamond is the primary supplier of comic books and graphic novels to stores, while ACD and PSI are both major distributors of boardgames, TCGs and RPGs to stores. Ultra Pro is one of the major manufacturers of card protection supplies.

It appears a major contributor to Hastings' bankruptcy is  a shift from a newsstand account for its comics to a direct account. A newsstand account is what Barnes & Noble and Wal-mart, and Hastings until the last year or so,  have for their comics and magazines. A newsstand account allows stores to bring in comics, keep them on the shelves for a certain period of time and return whatever does not sell for credit with the supplier. Stores with a direct account, such as our's, buy the comics outright and own them. The difference is profit margin. Stores with a direct account make more profit per book sold than do stores with a newsstand account. Hastings, likely seeing increased comic sales and wanting to make more profit per book, shifted accounts but kept centralized distribution, in effect sending the same quantity and selection of comics to every store in the chain.

This became a problem because not every store has the same target market. Some customer bases lean towards Marvel, some towards DC and some towards independent titles. In order to be successful, stores have to tailor their selection towards what the customer buys. This is why you see comparatively few independent titles on our shelves as sales indicate customers here don't purchase them. Hastings model did not tailor selections to the market and they built up backstock, which they did not have to deal with under their previous account and were not set up to deal with now. Unsold inventory means dollars tied up that cannot be spent on new merchandise or otherwise improving the store.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Free RPG Day Promo Items

Here's a look at some of the promo books for this Saturday's Free RPG Day. Note that the Lamentations of the Flame Princess book will be behind the counter, given out upon request only and only to those over 18.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Importance of Turnover

About once a week, we get asked if we have XXX game or are getting XXXX game or will get XXXX game back in stock. The primary driving of our responses to each of these is past sales. If a game has sold fairly steadily, at least 4 time or 4 turns per year, we will likely restock it. That means we move a copy about once every quarter but often means that we sell several copies during the Christmas season and none the rest of the year. In a case like this, we will likely not carry the game during the winter, spring and summer and stock it back in during the last 4 month of the year. If we carried it through the Christmas season and didn't sell any or sold only one copy, we will most likely drop it for the next year in favor of something that turns more steadily. Every game that sits on our shelves is money tied up in inventory that could be put to some other use.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cool Games at ACD Games Day

Brandon and Aaron went to ACD Games Day and this is what they saw there.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Primeval Thule and Free RPG Day

Dear Publishers, if you are going to participate in Free RPG Day and you go to the effort of including a copy of the product you are promoting with your offering for Free RPG Day and say that item is hard back book maybe called Primeval Thule, why on earth would you only include one copy of the promo item you want stores to give away?

Seems to me you are defeating the purpose of Free RPG Day, at least from a publisher's point of view by not having more copies of the promo item for stores to pass out to potentially expand awareness of your game, rather than just having one copy available, but that's just me.