2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

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Wiz
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2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

Post by Wiz » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:08 am

I'm trying to help a friend expand his hobby shop to maybe some new premises, to include gaming tables anyone can use for the day (comfy sofas, free wifi etc). Could anyone help me out by answering these two quick questions?

1. How far from a train station would you be willing to walk for a day of gaming (wargaming/boardgaming)?

2. How much would you be willing to pay for a day of gaming?

1. 一日中をゲームできる店なら、駅から何分歩きますか?
2. 一日中をゲームできる店なら、いくらまで払いますか?

I've had replies on fb etc generally confirming my guesses, but I'm curious to hear from you lot - as regulars wargaming in Japan's community centres!

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Re: 2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

Post by Primarch » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:01 am

1. For a venue that I would want to attend regularly, the closer it is to the station the better, but I guess up to 15 minutes wouldn't be too much. Being a short distance from a station that is easy to get to is better than being right next to a station that requires more transfers and doesn't have regular trains. If terrain was readily available, it would increase the distance I'd be willing to go. Dragging bags of buildings and gaming mats around really kills my willingness to walk for miles. :D
Having somewhere nearby to grab lunch is important too.

2. Again, my answers will vary depending on different things, such as what is available to use in the store, convenience etc. For our monthly meetings we typically pay about 500 yen per person for a day of gaming, but with fewer people or a bigger venue anywhere up to 1000 yen a day seems fair. At the NagoyaHammer event, the price is 2500 for the day, simply because the venue costs a fortune but its the only one I can book with plenty of notice that has the space necessary. For a gaming place that wants customers to regularly come in and shop there, I'd expect the table costs to be much lower. Ideally something along the lines of "A table costs X for the day, but if you spend Y on models it's free."

Best of luck with the venture.
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Re: 2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

Post by Wiz » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:31 am

Thanks - very helpful! Interesting idea about the "free if you spend X" thing.

New premises would be (according to the great god Google) a 7 minute walk from the city's main station. Problem is that it'd be a bit of a jump in rent, and I'm trying to find ways to mitigate that. So maybe having ppl pay to stay and play for the day on shop tables (with shop terrain etc) might work - I'm just curious whether gamers would be willing to pay or not...

Weekday night events should be different, I think - free of charge, perhaps?

Coincidentally, you've been there before! /wink

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Re: 2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

Post by job » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:16 pm

1. I'd walk anywhere about 15 minutes from the station. I don't mind walking 20 minutes or more if I don't haul so much terrain. However the limiting factor would be the train line. I have very little free time these days. Having easy access to the location and back from either my house or on my commuting route would be key. I'm not saying the shop should pander to me directly, but if you want to attract family guys/gals and others hard for time, a location not to far from a major junction would be key in my opinion.

2. I'd pay up to1500 yen. I can easily blow through 1500 yen drinking. 1000 yen strikes me as most reasonable if it is a it further from the station.

My suggestion is to sell simple snacks. The last hobby store I attended made a great deal of its money off selling soft drinks and snacks. I imagine the restrictions on selling alcoholic beverages isn't as harsh as America. IMO that is where you can make things break even. Have regular nights for board gaming and other games, maybe a few tournaments or formal events that attract a good crowd and you should probably warn a tidy sum keeping people sated.

Good luck with it!
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Re: 2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

Post by The Other Dave » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:20 pm

For me personally, more important than train access is parking, so I'd answer question 1 as "within a 5-7 minute walk of a station, but preferably the same from reasonably-priced parking," reasonably-priced being like 1000 yen a day, max?

For question 2, I've gotten very used to the 500 yen a day we pay now, but I wouldn't have a problem with 1000 if the venue was nice. And I, for one, understanding the realities of running a retail establishment, would happily pay for weekday nights too, although since it'd be shorter 500 yen does seem more reasonable there.
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Re: 2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

Post by Wiz » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:03 am

I was going to suggest a drink vending machine outside, coz I know you get half the profits as long as you pay for electricity. I wonder which one makes more profit.... I noticed in Ashmie's recent pics of his local store, was it Dice Saloon?, that they had crates of drinks under the tables.

Selling snacks too sounds like a great idea! Keep 'em coming...

Me personally, I'd be travelling by car too, but sadly no free parking on site. I guess you have to expect that in city centre locations. Next block has plenty of pay car parks, so should be fine. All looking good so far!

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Re: 2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

Post by Konrad » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:48 am

1. Closer is better. I'd walk 15 min or so.
2. 500 or so. How many tables you looking at? Comfy sofas? I may never leave.....

You said your friend is looking to expand. What line is he in now? RPGs, Gundam models? Collectible cards? Just wondering what crowd his customers are.

I'd recommend snacks too. A drink machine for sure. Last FLGS I was in back home in the States had a big rack of junk food. Didn't buy any toys, but did buy a candy bar and a Coke while I was rolling dice. It also had half the floor space devoted as a gaming space. It was in back and there was an open walkway too it, so it was visible, but not intrusive to the retail area. Free. A couple shelves of terrain. But this was the States and I can't imagine what the rent on that much area would be in Japan.
When I used to work in the FLGS years ago (not the one above), we always had a Coke machine and a candy dispenser. The game room was in a separate storefront around the corner from the main shop. The boss tried doing a game club with monthly dues at first, then pay-for-a-day. I think having that space was really important. There was a real community. This was going on 20 years ago. It think it would be much more difficult now. These days you can buy anything and everything on line. And the "community" has moved there too. But I see the card game shops have tables full of kids, so I think it would have to be do-able.
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Re: 2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

Post by Wiz » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:59 am

The store he's got now is primarily for miniatures (GW, Infinity, Wyrd, and all of them), but it's such a small space that it's jam-packed with product boxes, all mostly end-on. To find anything you might want to buy, you really have to root through boxes to see what's there. Which personally I love doing, it's part of the fun, right? But for most people it's a bit inaccessible, maybe.

He makes good internet sales, but comparatively little through his actual store. The store actually has a gaming space upstairs (one table), but to get there you have to squeeze past the register, take off your shoes etc., and he generally doesn't invite people up unless he knows them real well. I reckon that's a real missed opportunity, because as you said a properly run gaming space fosters a real community atmosphere - people can bring along friends and easily introduce them to this cool hobby. I think that can be done even in this digital age. I mean, without somewhere to play and other players to mix with, everything kind of ... dries up?

Looking at the photos of the premises now, I reckon you could fit in 3, maybe 4 gaming tables. I'd say 2 would be a minimum, and only if you also had sit down table space for maybe card gamers and/or smaller miniature games like Bloodbowl.

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Re: 2-question gamer survey... to help plan a shop!

Post by Konrad » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:14 pm

Is that the space or the parking garage? :D Perfect! Just add a ton of skulls and rivets and it's ready for 40K.
Ambitious. Fill that with boxes and you'd have the biggest game shop in the country.
...and now his Head was full of nothing but Inchantments, Quarrels, Battles, Challenges, Wounds, Complaints, Amours, and abundance of Stuff and Impossibilities.....
Cervantes, Don Quixote

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