Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Day 338 of 362
It's order day here at the Gopher, the day where I watch a not-insubstantial sum of money fly out of the bank account in hopes of becoming a more substantial quantity of money in about a week's time.
A few years back, when we were a REALLY tiny game store and our order budget was minuscule, there was no room to take chances. We *HAD* to make a profit in order to keep going, and our order budget was so small we really could only order that which we KNEW would sell due to prior customer order/interest. It's a retail store's version of living check-to-check, and it's no fun.
As we have grown, our order budget has as well. We can now take chances on games that are new that may not sell immediately. We can order stuff for the "long haul", and we can now put money away to easily afford the big releases when they happen. We are resting easier.
With the potential move, we will be moving back to that check-to-check area for a bit. There's no way around it really. We've pretty much hit the sales ceiling here at our current location. The place where sales cannot increase much more because we cannot fit a larger quantity/variety of stuff in the store to appeal to a larger customer base. Gopher hit that with its original location in short order (with in 18 months). We hit here in about the same time (22 months). The actual space difference between original Gopher and current Gopher is only 380 square feet. With that added 54% worth of space, plus better parking and an easier-to-find location, we've tripled our sales.
The new location will increase our physical space by 463%. Do I think that it will increase our sales by a factor of 8.5? Honestly, no... We're a niche hobby, and there's only so much of that money to go around in this area. But if this moves leads us to triple our sales once again, well, the Gophers will be sitting pretty. We'll have a large enough facility where everybody truly gets to play... We'll have enough space to increase the amount of games we have on the shelf for IMMEDIATE purchase that special orders (and the wait that they entail) will be just that, SPECIAL orders... We'll be able to provide jobs to some of our unemployed Gophers, and in a down economy, this ability is worth its weight in gold.
I personally want the store to grow, because I want the gaming community of our area to not be isolated pockets of people who don't know anyone outside of their little circles. I want it to be a small gaming convention EVERY DAY, where people can come in, if they're of a mind to, meet some new people, and learn to play some cool new games. I want Armored Gopher Games to be the brightest star on the Midwest gaming horizon... the beacon that draws people in, encourages them to mingle, and helps create support networks from those new friends for when times get rough...
Because rough times are here, folks. We're all living them in one form or another, financially and/or emotionally...
It'll just be easier if we do it together...