Making game stores more inviting to casual gamers

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Chris James's picture
Site Admin
Member Since: 04/27/2012
Making game stores more inviting to casual gamers

We soon hope to publish an article in Casual Game Insider regarding the sale of board games to families and casual gamers. Most specialty board game stores cater directly to hardcore gamers, which often alienates the casual crowd. We want to identify the specific decisions that stores make that push away casual gamers and how to remedy the problem.

We would appreciate the feedback of any retailers and/or casual gamers who would like to weigh in on this issue so we can consider it for this article.

Melanie James's picture
Site Admin
Member Since: 11/14/2012

I'm going to share my thoughts on what stores I have been to have done right to invite me as a casual gamer (noting that not all stores do these things).

I feel most comfortable shopping for games when they are divided into sections I can relate to. When I'm looking for casual games, I don't want to shop in a section where most of the games are geared towards kids. I also don't want to weed through games that are vastly more complicated in order to find a quick strategic game. So, I appreciate a casual game section.

I also feel most comfortable in well kept stores that are clean and organized. I don't want to feel like I am shopping in your basement.

Of course, friendly staff that takes the time to listen to what I am interested in is also a big plus.

The Nacho's picture
Member Since: 07/08/2013

Melanie, agreed.  Organization is an important thing.  My local game store is a mess.  The next closest one is a bit of a junk pile inside too.  Going into a game store and being accosted by 18 tons of Warhammer 40k stuff was cool, when I was 14 - but today, I don't mind it - but would rather it not be everywhere like a teenager's room.

To your point too, shelves should be organized by game types - and all the expansions should be together. At my local (closest) store, stuff is just chucked onto a shelf wherever there was room.  It makes things look quite haphazzard.

Stores should also be welcoming to the casual gamer on specific nights.  I would get a bit intimidated if I were to play a game of Kingsburg, and the table next to me is a bunch of people doing miniature wargaming or D&D.  Simply make a casual game night.  There are plenty of game clubs who would welcome the space to play in.  I feel this might increase sales a little too.

Anywho...

bookwyrmm's picture
Member Since: 05/26/2012

There is a local chain of stores near me that sells games and comics.  Their location that my husband has his pull and hold at had it right, and until recently, their largest (and original) location had it wrong.  While both would have demos out, the smaller store would surround the demo with similar type of games, and the shelves were arranged by type.  The large store (which had at least twice the selection) used to just have a huge wall arranged alphabetically, but within the last year, they moved the games to smaller shelves arranged by type...and now they have a clearance shelf!

Aleah Hartnett
Aleah Hartnett's picture

At our board game cafe the library is organized by types of games, and we've found that customers can very easily find the games they're looking for.

Marlene Wellard
Aleah Hartnett's picture

So on this note, we were in Game Daze the other day and saw a demo version of Eruption. They said they didn't have any copies for sale because they had all sold out which is cool but the question is how many copies did they have to start with. The guy in the store also said that they usually only carry some of those specialty games around the holidays because that's when game sales are up. So my thought is maybe the struggle isn't really just getting stores to carry casual games which is a must but maybe also the question of how to get people interested in buying games more often then just at the holidays. If the demand is there then the stores will carry them. No answer on how to solve the problem but just a thought.

Chris James's picture
Site Admin
Member Since: 04/27/2012

Great points! I think you're spot on. We've begun to turn our focus to casual gamers as much as possible - there's got to be a community of consumers who love these games year-round to help drive sales at the retail stores.

Fri
Aleah Hartnett's picture
Only a bгief note to say many thanks for the cool update here, that wɑs exactly what I (uѕed) to be iո search of!!!

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