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Matt’s Annual Ramble – A Round up of 2018-19 and looking forward to 2019-20

The keen eyed among you will be wondering why I’m publishing this in October, well, it’s due to us recently having started our new financial year (our year runs 1st September to 31st August). Anyway, on to more interesting things!

Looking Back…

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has been a customer of the store over the last year, thanks to your support we continue to grow and develop.

Regular visitors to the shop will have noticed the shop has had a move around which hopefully makes a better use of the (limited) space, we’ve also replaced the carpet – the last one we had was cheap and it showed! You’ll also have noticed that we keep a much larger stock level and range of stock on the shelves – I’m a firm believer that the more stock there is to choose from the more chance there is that people will pick something up.

The addition of monthly tournaments has proved popular and it’s good to be able to run bigger events, we’ve also seen our evening opening become more popular, we now have 2 DnD groups running in store on a Monday night and Wargames Wednesday now has a core of regular faces (I confess Rich and I were wondering if it was just going to be us for a while!).

The storeroom has been cleared and the back door replaced so the room is now usable and no longer considered to be the ‘room of doom’!

We’ve also made some minor upgrades such as the ‘help pots’ on each table that contain basic land, dice, and hand sanitiser. These were a result of direct feedback and I think they make a good addition to the gaming space to make it more user friendly. We’ve also been developing a board games library that are available to use free of charge on club nights or that can be hired at other times.

The really big thing that was a result of this year is that we’re now VAT registered! It’s positive as the store is growing but at the same time it’s a paperwork headache!

Overall, it’s been a good year, not perfect (we’re still learning and growing and that comes with a bit of associated pain), but overall, I’m really happy and I hope that all our customers feel that the store is moving in the right direction.

Looking Forward…

We’re keen to continue to grow and develop and as always your feedback is a key part to that – if you like what we do, please let us know, and equally importantly if you don’t like something please bring it our attention so we can address it.

We’re also going to make a few changes, these are:

  • Buying & Trading Cards

Our old policy for card buying is a bit out of date, so we’re going to update it! From now on we’ll buy regular cards at 40% of the Troll Trader Cards (TTC) price and Trade in for 70% of TTC. We’ll also take Foils! These are notoriously hard to shift as such on those we’ll offer 25% TTC for cash and 50% for trade in. We’ll also take bulk rares (10p each), uncommons and commons (£3 per 1,000 i.e. 3p per 10). All trade in/cash buys are at the shops discretion. Store credit can only be used to purchase MTG Singles.

  • Event Prizes

We’ve recently formalised our prize structure so people will have an indication of how many packs will be won when entering an event, to expand on this we’re also going to expand when you can get store credit instead of packs, previously it was only for pack per win events, it will now apply to all events. So instead of having a pack to open you can have £3 store credit instead (per pack you would have won). As it stands store credit can only be used to purchase singles.

We’re also exploring the option of using a Tix system (those that have been to a GP will be familiar with this), this will allow people to build up points that can be traded in for boosters, singles, promos, or other items. This may or may not happen, we’ll keep you updated once we’ve looked into it further.

  • Club Nights (Aka Opening After 6pm)

As I’ve already mentioned the club nights are developing well, we’ve now also reached a stage where we’re open each weeknight (crazy right!) but what we’re keen to do is make each night popular and given them a focus, which brings us to Thursdays, at the moment the night is relatively quiet, as such what would people like to do that evening – my vote is for a board games night as we don’t currently have a dedicated time for this.

  • Club Discounts

The wargamers amongst you may have been aware that we gave local club members a 25% discount on GW products when ordered directly from us. This hasn’t been as popular as we’d expected it would be and is difficult to administer. As such we’re no longer going to offer this, however, we will be doing 25% off GW products when pre-ordering, it’ll then be our standard 20% discount on orders (excluding web exclusive items) and 10% in store.

  • Second Hand Models

Previously we’ve been selling 2nsd hand models on behalf of customers, however with Vat coming in this is now a paperwork nightmare, as such we’ll no longer be doing this – we’ll clear what we have but will not be taking ‘new’ items.

We will still offer trade in on old sealed kits that are NIB, this will done at a flat rate of 50% RRP for store credit of 25% RRP for cash. All trade in/cash buys are at the shops discretion.

  • WC Facilities

The toilet at the shop isn’t great (I’m looking forward to my understatement of the year nomination), however this isn’t ours so our hands are tied on making it better, however we are working with the landlord to get it replaced – this should happen soon!

Contacting the Store

There are a few ways to contact the store, but these are the best 2!

If you’ve got a question or want to notify us you’re going to be late please send the store a message via Facebook – please don’t send it to individual team members, it may be missed, or if they’re not in not actioned until it’s too late.

The other option is to send us an email – the emails are monitored and we’ll reply as soon as possible 😊

And Finally,…. I Want a Bigger Shop!

This is the goal! All the changes and improvements are being done with a long-term goal in mind, that goal is an improved and larger store! We’ve looking at options (these are longer term) to see how/where/if we can move and what the viability is. The key to this is you! If the local community support the store, we should find ourselves in a position to move to a better space/take on additional space, but that comes with a risk, so we want to ensure that we’re ready before doing anything!

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