It's a double-whammy episode of It Oozed From the Office with not one but two peeks into the future!!! (Read the word 'future' in dramatic fashion. Try it while waving your hands around. You will find it oddly satisfying, I promise).
In the first part I take you onto another journey into what you are going to experience when you come visit us in our new shop (I'll even give you a sneak peak at the incredible amount of demolition work that is currently underway in that location). Then I join my fearless co-hosts of the Manaverse podcast for another round table in which we attempt to interpret the omens and answer an age old question: will the friendly local game store survive in the world of tomorrow? ('World of tomorrow' should also be read in dramatic fashion: it will add to your experience, trust me).
If you've kept up with previous episodes, you know by now that we plan on adding a cafe' when we move, with a plethora of tasty food and drinks to tantalize your taste buds (Ep. 8). We're also adding space to the play area and the sales floor, which will allow us to hold an even wider variety of events along with facilitating the introduction of new lines for your shopping enjoyment (Ep. 9). We've also taken some time explain the reasons behind our decision to relocate in Ep. 7. Finally, for those of you who are still wondering where our new location is, you can also find that little tantalizing bit of information in Ep. 9.
So, let's dive right in, shall we? Here is another update on the progress of our new location along with a few more spoilers of things to come!
Even as I type this, work continues on the demolition part of our project. Most of the interior walls you see below are now gone, and the maze of offices that made up the building's second story is reduced to a few solitary studs that barely hint at the former layout.
We've uprooted the old, worn carpet and we are now waiting on estimates from three contractors to make our final decision on flooring materials. In the meantime, the few remaining walls are being taken apart before finishing work begins on all the exposed wiring and surfaces.
Up until these very last few stages of demolition, it was difficult to visualize the full potential of this space. The maze of offices blocked all line of sight and the only thing my mind kept focusing on was the sheer enormity the project ahead. But now, as these interior walls come down, the retail and organized play areas are starting to take shape, renewing my excitement for the possibilities of this new locale. We're not there yet, but some very nice things are coming your way. Here's a few spoilers more to keep you entertained while you wait:
PRIVATE GAME ROOMS
For the most part, we gamers tend to be a social bunch. We like to meet and express our passion for tabletop games together. However, every once in a while, you become part of a group that meshes so well, that you simply want to spend more time with them than with anyone else. Or, from time to time, you may have a special occasion that you would like to celebrate in our shop. In any case, we know that the need for greater privacy can arise, so we're developing a series of rooms that will allow you to enjoy your raiding/questing/scouting/pillaging party in a more intimate setting. Just you, your comrades and your favorite games.
Pick one of three themed rooms for your RPG or board gaming needs or reserve the war room if you require a miniature wargaming enviroment. Even our spacious patio is at your disposal: it's perfect for larger groups or for those of us who enjoy a great view and fresh air while we play. We'll even provide you with room service so that you don't have to walk away from your game to enjoy one of our tasty snacks and beverages. Best of all, our private game rooms come with free unlimited access to our ever-growing library of rentable game titles.
Unfortunately, you're still on your own when it comes to restroom breaks.
Look in your closet or open up your latest board game acquisition. Do you see a bunch of unpainted miniatures staring back at you? Painting and modeling is a fascinating and relaxing aspect of our hobby, but the sheer volume of miniatures we acquire can make the task of painting a collection daunting. Well, much like finding a good workout buddy, we've realized that nothing motivates us to complete a project more than having someone there to support and encourage us along.
To that end, we are planning and constructing a series of painting stations that will allow you to tackle that task in a friendly, encouraging and social environment. Each station will feature specialized lighting, adjustable seating, magnifying glasses and a host of holding solutions to keep your pots, brushes and water cups organized, handy, and safe from spills. Painters accessing our stations will also be able to take advantage of our extensive library of tools, paints and accessories along with expert classes to help them bring their painting skills to the next level.
Back in 2010, we came up with the idea of hosting regular flea markets in our store. Customers were encouraged to come in, set up shop for a day and work out some win-win deals that resulted in them getting rid of a closet full of rarely played games and walk out with some brand new acquisitions ready to be enjoyed. To this date, it was one of our most successful programs, both with our vendors and our customers.
Unfortunately, the success of our organized play programs meant that the flea markets ended up getting squeezed out of their prime weekend spot into a weekday slot to make room for the growing number of customers requesting a table to play on. Eventually, even that weekday spot evaporated due to the same growing organized play phenomenon.
Now, thanks to the extra space, I am happy to announce that flea markets are making a comeback and, this time, they will be scheduled on a monthly basis! If you're interested in selling in our flea markets this year, be sure to speak to one of our Wizards to reserve your vendor table today.
MANAVERSE ROUND TABLE
In this round table, we look at some of the points raised by our friend Gary Ray in his blog entry titled "Retail Headwinds and the Future Survivors." Gary is the owner of Black Diamond Games in Concord, California and a prolific writer on industry topics. In his article, Gary talks about upcoming changes and trends that may affect game stores in North America.
Joining me in the round table are Thomas Traplin, our host and producer of the Manaverse Podcast and Wayne Mittlestaedt, owner of Dueling Grounds in Toronto, Canada. The topics of the round table include the proposed increases in minimum wage, the change in salaried compensation, the end of volunteers, customer show-rooming, and effect of games entering the mass market world.
(use the buttons above to stream or download an audio-only version of this episode - due to technical problems, video is not available for this episode)
If you have questions about the industry that you would like answered, you can ask them by sending an owl through our shop's contact page or you can friend me on Facebook and send me a message there. You can subscribe to Manaverse podcast on iTunes or Android.