Staying competitive in retail requires adaptability, especially if you operate in multiple locations. While all your stores should follow the same brand guidelines, each shop should be unique and tailored to the local community. Doing so helps you effectively engage shoppers and drive traffic.
One company that’s doing a masterful job at this is Good Games, a gaming retailer with 28 stores in Australia and two locations in the United States. Established 15 years ago, Good Games was founded by Paul Van Der Werk and Scott Hunstad, both of whom decided to get into the gaming industry after years in the office world.
Good Games started as a “hole in the wall” type of store in Sydney and grew from there. Today, the company has a combination of corporate-owned stores as well as franchises.
We recently caught up with Grady Chiu, Operations Manager at Good Games, and chatted about how he and his team keep all their locations running smoothly.
Check out what he has to say.
Multiple stores, multiple store formats
One of the most interesting things about Good Games is that the company doesn’t just run multiple stores; it also runs different store formats. According to Grady, this happened as a natural progression when Good Games started to diversify its merchandise offerings.
In the early days, Good Games locations served as centers where guests could play trading card games. As time went on, the company started stocking other types of gaming products.
“Our company evolved from being a trading card business. We started bringing in accessories, such as card games, sleeves, deck boxes, play mats and board games,” explains Grady.
“As our range evolved, so did our stores.”
Today, Good Games has three store formats:
- Traditional card game stores “have tables and chairs in the store for people to play for free or to participate in tournaments,” says Grady. About 70% of the space is dedicated to tables and chairs, while 30% of the stores are for retail.
- Hybrid stores are 50% retail and 50% gaming centers, so there are fewer tables and chairs compared to traditional stores, but a much bigger range of retail.
- Pure retail stores, which focus 100% on selling merchandise and don’t have tables and chairs.
Grady shares that these past few years, the company has been focused on growing their retail stores, though each location’s local community is still the determining factor for what type of store to set up.
“Our motto at Good Games is, ‘You are welcome here,’” he says.
“And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to welcome and tailor our businesses to the surrounding communities and environments. Depending on the situation, we might create a hybrid store, we might create a traditional Good Game store or we might create a retail store.”
Keeping 30 locations running smoothly
Managing multiple locations is already a tall order, and with Good Games having various store formats plus a combination of corporate and franchise stores, the company’s retail operations are a lot more complex.
When asked about how the Good Games team manages everything successfully, Grady says that a key ingredient to success is passion. “You’ve got to have the passion for the job, otherwise, you’re not going to be able to get everything done in a 9:00 to 5:00 role. It’s not going to happen.”
In addition, it’s essential to have systems that promote efficiency, visibility, and communication. “You have to tick all those boxes to manage this many stores,” he says.
Grady continues, “Having a strong POS system that is able to provide you with all the information at any given time is very important.”
A Sell Screen that’s love by in-store teams
Speaking of POS systems, all of Good Game’s corporate-owned stores, plus a number of franchisees are already using Vend. According to Grady, the system is incredibly user-friendly, particularly for in-store staff members such as cashiers.
“The Quick Keys feature in the Sell Screen is really made for retail staff. It’s very efficient and I just love it.”
Robust reporting capabilities
Grady is also a fan of Vend’s reporting features, mainly because they’re so customizable. Vend enables you to build your own reports so you can customize your analytics based on your specific needs.
“Whether you’re looking at a particular store, certain timeframes, a date range, SKUs, or tags — it’s all very simple,” he remarks.
Grady is particularly impressed with Vend’s tagging capabilities, and says it makes it easier to customize the company’s data and reports.
“The number one key thing that I love about Vend — and it’s something I’ve never seen in any other POS system — is the tags. I think they’re amazing.”
“For example, I always tag SKUs that are on consignment, and if I want to quickly view a sales or inventory report on those items, I can do so simply by specifying the tag. It’s fantastic.”
Offering multiple payment types
Good Games uses integrated payments to streamline transactions and reconciliations, as well as give customers more options to pay.
“Our goal is to offer everything. Ultimately, we want to support almost every single payment type possible, tailored to the right customer base. I think having options is great. From a customer standpoint, we don’t ever want to stay no. We’re even in the process of looking into crypto.”
Accept all the ways your customers want to pay and streamline the checkout process in-store, online and on-the-go. With Vend, payment processing is easy and flexible, plus it can integrate with just about any payment processor.
Bringing it all together
Juggling corporate stores, franchisees, and various store formats isn’t easy, but it’s completely doable if you’re passionate about what you do and you’re focused on adapting to the needs of your customers.
Add in a robust POS and retail management system, and you’ll be well-equipped to run a thriving retail biz.
Hopefully, Good Games inspires you to do just that.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.