FLGS Research


And how would you do that? It's basically a book store.
You could ask them to order something that is not in stock. But then you could also order it yourself and then you wouldn't have to return to pick it up. And as said, it would also be cheaper.

As has been stated before, the best game stores become the center spot of a community. You are going to return anyway, so you will be there to pick it up. This way you also avoid shipping fees (or having to meet a minimum to get free shipping).

As to the community issue, location, location, location. I have found that gaming stores that are in college towns have had the longest life spans. The game store I have associated with most has been in business since '81, by the University of Delaware. A regular amount of foot traffic, a community of gamers that often can use a place to hang out with like minded people, and a community that often has time to game on a flexible basis. All have added to the value of their business.
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There isn't really any reason to go to a store and not order online, which I could think of.

There are some products where seeing a physical copy is very useful - Paizo flipmats are one that come to mind. Otherwise the main reason for me to buy from the FLGS is convenience, it's on the way to my osteopath! :D


Thanks alot for all the information guys. I've compiled all of the information he asked for, as well as all the suggestion here.

I'm going to go over it with John tomorrow, but if anyone is interested, it doesn't look good. Without going into protect information, the store would need (in my city, at least), on average of $10,000 in revenue per month to fulfill the following requirements:

Pay for minimum of 1500 sq ft w/ appropriate utilities
Pay for 1 part time salary at minimum wage
Buy product to meet the required revenue.

Now, the last one is variable, because service based income offsets that and has a higher profit. I have included varying amounts of service based income into my projections in order to lower the outlay for product, but the differences are not resounding.

He may choose to roll his dice anyway, but I don't see how it could come close to that revenue.

P.S. I did not figure food because local building codes for restaurants are ridiculous. Unless he picks up a foreclosed coffee shop or large restaurant, food wouldn't be cost effective.
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Be agressive as you can with pricing

I don't expect an FLGS to compete with amazon, but some discounts from RRP are nice to bring in custom.

1) Slightly discount popular items you want to sell a lot of, and

2) Heavily discount the piles of crud you can't shift, magpies like me will happily sift through it. :lol:


Staff member
Re: food

1) Check your regulations, you may be able to have vending machines

2) You may be able to arrange a discount program with a nearby sandwich shop or the like. Also check with mobile food trucks in your city.

3) You may be able to let players bring their own snacks

4) you may be able to be able to be a gaming-centric "convenience store"

All for less than trying to jump through all the regulations for being a food-related business.


We can have vending machines, and hot dog rotisseries and the like, but not a lot else. Even our food trucks have to have halon systems, commercially approved grills, vents, and the layout has the same clearance requirements as regular restaurants.

I'll try to run some food related numbers later this evening.


Staff member
I wasn't saying you should get a food truck- not a bad idea, that- but rather that you get on their route. You don't need to have food if food is conveniently located and let people eat in the gaming room.

Side note #1 : A more expensive option an associate of mine looked into is a gaming themed bar. They ARE out there, but of course, you need to jump through all the hoops to get a liquor license. Still, having another lucrative product doesn't hurt.

Side note #2 : A businessman of my acquaintance owned a few convenience stores. According to his numbers, most of his profit came from vices: tobacco products, alcohol sales, and porn- everything else was to get you into the door. Regardless of your business, you'll have to sort your product lines & services offered into loss leaders & break evens that you HAVE TO stock in order to be in X business, and those that actually make you money.


My FLGS was a comic book/rpg gaming store. Over the years, it has expanded to include a wide variety of CCGs, then board games and then new and used video games. Two other shops in the area who weren't nearly as diversified have failed to thrive and closed down.
The store has a gaming area with a separate entrance. It has two vending machines with soda and snacks. There are several food joints on the same block and they allow outside food into the gaming area.
...Hope that might help...


I'm going to go over it with John tomorrow, but if anyone is interested, it doesn't look good. Without going into protect information, the store would need (in my city, at least), on average of $10,000 in revenue per month to fulfill the following requirements:

Depends on how fast he needs to hit this number. It is possible, but it will take time. If he needs to hit this number in under a year - that's a tall task!

On topic: Atmosphere, environment, and service are the key reasons to buy local. Much as others have pointed out above.

mtg is THE seller here locally, followed by board games, and then 40K. One advantage to stocking GW (aka evil empire) is it is a bit more of a hassle to get their stuff online at a discount. It can be done, but requires more than just one click these days. Sadly, GW also has some of the worst margins.

I think you are quite right to be discouraging and realistic with your associate. There are just much easier ways to make money. Running a hobby store has to be a passion.


First Post
A lot of it will depend on the margins, which, of course, will depend on what types of product they sell and how they source them.

Used products can be a game changer where margin is concerned, but can you acquire the types of used products that your customers would actually buy?

If you are talking about strictly new gaming products with almost ALL of it sold at MSRP, given the typical margins that product is available at, I would say $15,000 monthly sales is the minimum many stores would need to achieve in order to hit any level of basic stability.

On the issue of price, don't fall into the trap they you have ti discount to make sales. The are a great many customers out there for which price is not a big factor in their shopping decision. Customer service, product availability, community offerings and sponsorship, informational services, onsite gaming and a host of other factors are more important to them. B&M retailers discounting much beyond a few points for loyalty programs and such will put them out of business, and fast.

Walmarts and Amazon.com and the like can price things as they do because they operate under a completely different set of cost structures. But those cost structures also prohibit them from being able to offer customers the host of services I mention above (and more) that a great many customers will appreciate.

Lastly, location, location and demographics, demographics. Is the location in a well travelled area and conductive to people willing to travel there and shop? Good signage opportunities facing a busy road, but not too busy to restrict access? What is the population density of the 5,10 and 15 mile radius around the store and how much established competition is within those zones already offering some of what you might offer? These are critical elements in deciding if an area is large enough and fits the right demographics to sustain a store and if the area is yet adequately serviced or not.

FWIW, we opened the GOB Retail store abou 4 years ago. Its doing very well. We are currently laying plans to open a second location, though actually pulling the trigger on that is likely more than a year away yet.

GOB Retail
GOB Retail - Great Selections for Your Gaming.
Guild of Blades Publishing
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - Great Games since 1994.

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