You’re probably (hopefully) familiar with a Matt ramble by now – basically I dump all the thoughts in my brain onto our website and hope they make sense and that people actually read them…
2020… well, what can I say that hasn’t already been said! (or that doesn’t involve screaming and lots of swearing).
In short 2020 was a train wreck, although that’s probably insulting to trains if I’m honest (this line, or at least the inspiration for it, comes from “Death to 2020”, it’s on Netflix, go watch it!)
The (what felt at times as a never ending) year started well with us dreaming on new premises and planning multiple events each week. That all quickly fell apart as Covid took hold and what was meant to be a great year soon became sleepless nights wondering if we would have a store at the end of it. Personally, I feel like I’ve aged a good few years and have gained a number of new grey hairs!
Being adaptable has definitely been the key to surviving 2020! We’ve overhauled the website and have the majority of stock on there, we’ve canned the play space and converted it into useful sales space – it’s odd just being a shop but needs must in this most challenging of years. Once things settle (roll on Summer/Autumn 2021) we hope to bring back in store gaming and go back to how things used to be pre Covid.
2020 has caused casualties, we’ve seen local games store close their doors for good which is never easy as the community that they served is then left in a void. If I’m honest I think a combination of factors has stopped us from avoiding the same thing, namely the website, a cash reserve (we’d hoped to move), low outgoings, and a strong customer base. Without these things I wouldn’t want to be taking bets as to if we would still be here.
Despite how rubbish 2020 has been though it’s not all bee doom and gloom (honest!). We’ve seen a number of new customers find us for the first time, we’ve increased our stock levels, we’ve got a shiny new till, and we even manged the best month we’ve ever had (August 2020) which still feels quite surreal against the backdrop of the pandemic.
It’s definitely been a mixed bag of a year!
Do I think that everything will be magically ok on 1st January 2021? No, that would be madness, we’re in Tier 4 and will probably be like that until Easter…
Don’t worry though we’ll still be providing Click & Collect, Local Delivery and Mail Order services, if you need hobby supplies, we’ll find a way of getting them to you.
If I was a betting man, I think things will get worse before they get better (insert Batman quote about nights being darkest before the dawn…). We’re effectively in lockdown and with new strains of Covid popping up and people blatantly ignoring the guidelines we’re in for a rough time (we also don’t know what impact Brexit ‘deal’ will have, but that’s a whole other mess).
But, even with all this there is hope. Multiple vaccines have been developed and as soon as a mass rollout can be facilitated, we should see normally beginning to return, although what the world will look like at that point is anyone’s guess!
Our aim in the short term is a really simple one – SURVIVE.
Once Covid is behind us we can then start looking forward properly, one day we’ll get that shop front! One day!!
All I have left to say really is thank you!
Thank you to all our customers
Thank you to all those that have written an article for our website
Thank you to all those that have helped out
Thank you to all those that have sent a supportive message
Thank you to all that have recommended us to others
Thank you to all those that took part in events (we miss events!)
I’ve said it multiple times before but the store is only as good as its customer base, and you guys are simply the best!
With that for the last time in 2020 it’s time to sign off
Look After Each Other
Wear a Mask
We Love You!