Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If they come to your store, use your free in-store gaming area BUT don’t by anything, are they customers?

OK this seems to happen in a lot of game stores. People use the in-store gaming areas as their new extend play area like they are home. They play game after game of what you sell in your store. They have books, dice, card or whatever else they need. They play for hours and hours in the space you have given them. The bring food and drink in from the outside and leave their garbage for you to pick up. And after all that, they don’t even buy anything from your store. Even worst, they purchase products online and tell their friends where they got the book cheaper than what as a retail store owner you pay. So the question I have to ask is, “Why should I provide them with space to play, if they are not going to purchase anything and support this retail location?”

Let’s be real, the reason retail stores have that space is to get customers to play at their store so customers will purchase products from the retail store. Retailers don’t have in-store gaming areas out of some kind of love affair with customers. This is a straight up marketing move to promote your store to customers. But what happens if they take advantage of your goodwill as a store and don’t help keep your store in business? When I worked for Tate’s Gaming Satellite we were only 500 square feet (25 feet by 20 feet) and half of the store was dedicated to in-store gaming. We initially wanted to charge for gaming space but decided against it think it might scare off customers. So the question if you aren’t buying anything do I really have to respect you as a customer or are you just a freeloader? Talk to you later…