On retail and competition

We’ve had an interesting situation crop up which in all honesty was completely unexpected. A new game store has opened up in Plainfield IL – The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe. The owners (Laura and Kevin)  have been in to Fair Game a number of times and had discussed their desire to run a store of their own. They found a location in Plainfield (near their home) and went for it.

Cool!

The strange thing about this is I’ve had customers and friends who expressed their disappointment (dare I say anger?) that another game store has opened “so close” to Fair Game. That somehow we have ‘dibs’ on a 20 mile radius around Downers Grove and no other store should dare open within our ZOC (that’s “Zone of Control” for you non-war gamers). One person went as far as to say that our customers are being stolen!

That is UTTER NONSENSE.

Our community not only can handle more game stores, I genuinely believe it is a strong indicator of how well the game industry is doing. A good game store will not only attract gamers, but also introduce the hobby to those gamers-to-be – effectively “growing the hobby” (sorry for the business speak).

As to the customers “being stolen” comment – again, I cry BS. Fair Game doesn’t have customers based solely on geography – they are not “ours” – they do not belong to us. We attract customers due to our passion, enthusiasm and hard work. We truly love the games we carry and enjoy fostering that upon anyone that will pay attention. Our customers come because they enjoy our store, our employees and our selection. My purpose in opening Fair Game was not primarily one of business, but of community. I wanted a game store in Downers Grove so my kids and their friends would have a safe and interesting place to shop and discover. We need more gamers. After all, without them who are we going to play with?

Laura and Kevin are passionate gamers – I’ve seen that every time they come in to Fair Game. They are, frankly, perfect game store owners. I believe they will do a fantastic job of catering to the gamer and non-gamer alike; spreading the joy of socializing over a board game to experienced, and (more importantly) inexperienced (or new) gamers. They will grow a community as we have done at Fair Game – and in turn, increase the number of gamers in our region.

What on earth could be wrong about that?

–Josh