Pokemon CCG store opening feedback!

Hello fellow hobbyist, I am starting this thread to retrieve feedback about opening a CCG Shop. Let me start off with saying I have business experience; owned and operated a motorcycle dealership and have an accounting degree. As I write my business plan I come across on how much sqft a location will need and I figured this forum can help me answer this question. I have several questions which I will post bellow; any feedback is welcomed.

1: Do you visit your local ccg shops? If so, do you visit to purchase or to play?

2: If you visit to play how long do usually stay? Do you make purchases during this stay? (i.e. Snacks, booster packs etc…)

3: How often do you visit?

4: Would you consider a local ccg shop creditable if they offered little to no play area? (For instance the shop only had product in shelf’s but no actual sit and play area.)

Ok, for the time being I am really interested in hearing the communities feedback on these questions.

Thank you.

Ah, yes I am familiar with the 2. However, I’m looking for more singular data on who visits these shops and how do they spend there time while there. But thank you very much!!!

CCG Store is a labor of love, you can make a living off it but there are better ways to make cash I really don’t recommend it. I know it’s a dream for a lot of people but it’s a lot of work with lots of risk and hugely capital intensive.

I went through the whole process of buying an already established and successful LGS (went over all the accounts etc) and I didn’t go through with it even though I could buy it outright, it just wasn’t worth it compared to other investments of comparable cost.

Anyway to answer your questions.

  1. I visit my LGS to play, I never purchase anything besides event entry fees unless I’m using store credit from events and in that instance I buy singles for resale. All sealed products are cheaper online even without me going through distribution, it’s hard for physical stores to compete with online sellers that have minimal overhead.
  2. I play MTG events so I’m there about 3-4 hours once a week and I bring my own water or go out of the store for food. I don’t buy anything but I’m not a normal customer I guess, I can get everything there cheaper through distribution, my friends buy packs and snacks regularly though they use store credit from events. Hard to justify markup on snacks etc when the store literally buys everything from the supermarket 2min walk away.
  3. Once a week.
  4. I think no play area is a mistake, you want people to stay and impulse buy or get hungry and buy snacks. Committing to a 4 hour event is a great way to keep people in the store and spending money. What’s the draw if there’s no play area or events, it’s just a store with everything more expensive than online.
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Those questions depend so much on your location. In a mall, near a school, country or city, sq ft cost, etc.
Here’s the advice I gave Alpha and TCA (who’s a member here). Don’t let the new store take away from your online work. In fact, push your online business even harder. It’s what got them there and it’s what will carry them through the startup and later, downturns.
So many great online workers (myself included:( couldn’t transfer their success over to a brick and mortar.

This is actually a great piece of advice. This is the reason I wanted to get other perspectives; when I first started thinking about a business model I thought a warehouse model* would turn to be more profitable than the physical retail shop.

*Warehouse model= Location for shipping/receiving/storage but not open to the public.

Thank you for the input.

Thank you very much. I really like your answer #4; its very insightful.

  1. Yes. I purchase and play. I only purchase singles or booster boxes though as its cheaper. Play is a loose term here though. I help run a Pokemon night one day a week. The owner has little space to setup play although could make more but they sell memorabilia on top of CCG. Its not my store so can only do so much.
  2. Game night is 2 hours. Other times depending on if he has new stock (mainly bulk) or not, if we converse based on other clientele in the store.
  3. 1-3 times per week
  4. Credibility relies on many factors. What other like stores are near by and what are their primary market compared. This place has one store about a mile away but they deal in Magic and Warhammer type games, while this place does do Magic, its just sales, no play.

I’ve slaved away many hours in the past 6-8 months to make this happen for myself. I recently canned the plans and have an almost finished business plan ready to be sent to the bank for a loan.

I really wish you the best of luck.

  1. Down here in rural Georgia, we have one local card store. It is a comic shop but has most of the Pokemon and Magic products. I primarily go to buy a few packs and a few comics.
    2)The local shop does Friday Night Magic but sadly no Pokemon League, so I don’t go.
    3)I go around twice a month and spend $25 every time I go.
  2. This store doesn’t have any large play area, but I think it is a creditable. I just a store’s creditable primarily on my interacting with the owner, the amount of products they have, and the cleanness of the store.

Thank you for the response. Would you mind sharing why did you cancel the idea?

Thank you for the response.

Thank you for the response.

Main reason was no personal funds to invest prior to bank loan.
Also, local retail rules forbid shops open past 19:00 unless evening shopping hours (one day a week). And in my town stores also closed on Sunday due religious reasons.

So to be able to run e.g. Friday Night Magic I have to run that with closing before 19:00 or on the evening shopping hours, which are not adding extra opening hours to the store than.

I can see how these things can deter someone from this venture. Thank you for the information.

1: Do you visit your local ccg shops? If so, do you visit to purchase or to play?

Yes, mainly to play.

2: If you visit to play how long do usually stay? Do you make purchases during this stay? (i.e. Snacks, booster packs etc…)

Depends, whether is just standard day,draft,tournament,ect. As little as an hour up to six in some cases.

3: How often do you visit?

4-6 times a month

4: Would you consider a local ccg shop creditable if they offered little to no play area? (For instance the shop only had product in shelf’s but no actual sit and play area.)
**Not having a playing area kills it for me, I go to CCG stores to play mainly.
If you’re only interested in selling you should just have a small warehouse and sell online. That’s where the money is these days.

Edit: draft days is considered both play and purchase since you have to buy packs in order to play.
also standard my local shops have a small fee(like $3-5 entry), but you get prizes and promos for playing.**

Thanks for the answer. I’ll keep #4 in my thoughts.

No worries, just expanding on #4 a bit more … if you’re running events in store it’s a good way to push singles if you stock them (you should). A lot of people tweak decks on the day of events and buy singles from the store so it’s another avenue to push uncommons and common staples if you’re breaking boxes to sell the hits online. I can’t remember the exact % but the LGS I was going to buy had like 55% revenue from MTG singles so it’s a big deal, MTG sealed product was second then event entries. I was surprised how low board games was, they had a huge library but sold maybe 2-3 a week.

IMO the main advantage of having a brick and mortar and one of the main reasons I was interested (besides access to distribution if you don’t have that kind of access to product) was the collection buying opportunities that you get, especially if there’s no real competition in the area. Everyday at the LGS I see people unloading binders at 60-70% without a second thought.