Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Retract... Refocus... Recover... Reemerge... Represent!

Okay... It's been longer than I anticipated since an update, so I figure anyone who is "listening" (all 34 of you) might actually want to know what is happening in Gopherland...

A few months back we had another game store open up in town. It is a franchise of a small chain from a nearby city, owned by two guys, who honestly, are pretty good people. This store makes three game stores in town. In the 35+ year history of gaming in this community, I have never known the community to be able to support that many retail game establishments for terribly long. When this store opened, I knew we would take a hit. What I didn't know was how big of one... The hit has far exceeded my expectations...

I had an inkling of the trend a month ago, but didn't want to believe it could get much worse than what it was. I was wrong. Sadly, because of this, I had to do something I desperately didn't want to do. We laid off three employees, and cut hours to the other two (besides me) in an effort to stop the bleeding. Truthfully, I should have done this a month ago when I first witnessed the trend. I, however, don't like to let people I call my family down. It makes me ache inside...

That said, if our business is to survive, I did what I had to do, and on some level, I hate myself for it. Now that it's done, it is time to get back to the task at hand, and that is righting the ship...

  • Retract - With the layoffs, we've just done this to some degree. There is a little more room to go if necessary, though I am truly loathe to do to it.
  • Refocus - Left with a crew of myself, Loquacious, Skribl, and Snowlady, the workload just increased for all of us, and yet there's still a store to put back on track. Lo, Skribl, and myself have already begun tossing ideas about. We've also taken some input from some of the regulars and former employees. An attack plan is forming, and we hope to have enough things in place to enact it, at least in part, by the beginning of December.
  • Recover - This is the long stage where we take back what we consider ours. I'm not one to begrudge anyone their success, and we're willing to share nicely, but not to the point of endangering our business. Sorry. Not happening.
  • Reemerge - This stage is where we begin to reacquire some (if not all) of the family members that have been left by the wayside due to the recent happenings. This WILL happen... sooner, rather than later if I have anything to say about it.
  • Represent! - Gopher Mafia REPRESENT!!! Weather the storm, come out not only none the worse for wear, but stronger than ever, our family by our side...

We've taken the first few steps, and more will be taken in short order. Do not, however, wish us luck.

Where we're going, we don't need luck...

-- GopherDave


  1. k, is there anything we can do to help? You know, other than the obvious "buy more stuff" :-)

  2. "Buy more stuff" is always helpful... =P

    Basically, We are taking a look at the calendar and trying to figure out where we can shove more "event-oriented" things. Events drive people... people drive sales... lather... rinse... repeat...

    Personally, I love free play days, but it really encourages folks to sort of take a laissez-faire approach to their gaming. "The game will be there next week, so I can miss for this other thing:-sort of thing. When that happens too much, scenes dwindle. We're seeing it with 40K currently, and we've seen it with WarmaHordes in the past. Directed offerings, with prizes and what not, keep more people in the store and interested in playing (and buying).

    That said, I cannot run every league/RPG/special event myself. Even with Skribl, Snow, and Lo helping, we would get stretched far to thin to be any good to the business of the store. We need voluteers/champions for games in the store to keep them going and keep folks interested.

    As it goes, in order to encourage folks (other than store staff) to do this, I am currently structuring some incentive plans that will help make doing these tasks a less thankless task. Honestly, it is something we should have approached in the past and I just never did it.

    As a character flaw, (lack of) expressing gratitude is one of my weakest. It is one I have been actively trying to change, though as I am an old dog, the learning has been... slow... =P

  3. Well, if you think of something where any of my strengths might come in handy please let me know. If I am able I am willing to help out.


  4. Well, plus side, the 40K group seemed to be coming back as of last week (I missed this week)... We had something like 4-5 games going on and others "lurking" for potential games. But, yes without a regular League attendance has been somewhat more sparse for a bit. If can I will look into getting a League structure set up, or be more than happy to assist someone else :-)... Home life/job has been particularly difficult time wise this year so my free time has been dwindling... So, perhaps something to discuss Monday when the 40K Regulars are there...