The single hardest thing I had to learn in owning and running a game store was the most straight forward thing.
Gamers are not my target audience.
I like my gamer customers. Many of them are friends even. But my store isn’t designed to attract them. Sure we have tables and chairs and space to play games. Of course we run tournaments for various things. But how many of them care that tables have fitted cloths to look nice? More importantly – how many of them are going to show up regardless of what I do? The answer is most of them. They are Fry in this story… Banging down the door exclaiming “shut up and take my money”. They are also sometimes known as low hanging fruit… The stuff that’s easy to grab and always there.
Before the hate mail floods in from the three friends who read this, we still appreciate your patronage and want to make everyone happy, but I don’t have to work to attract you to my store.
My target audience is the “muggle” – the person who doesn’t play board games, who hasn’t played D&D in a decade or more, who has never built a miniature in their life.
They might only ever set foot in my store once, and if we aren’t inviting, exciting, and catching their eye; they likely will never turn again.
There’s a reason the largest front facing aisle in my store is Star Wars games – it’s easily identifiable. Even if they don’t know that X-Wing is an awesome easy to play minis/board game hybrid they still know what the Millennium Falcon is. They’ll see how cool it looks and come in to touch it… And then I have them 😉
Market your store to the hard to reach audience, the easy to reach audience will seek you out already.