So, back to the subject of game stores. What makes a good one? What makes a game shop the kind of place you want to go? I'm curious what other people think about this.
In my case, I have a few ideas. I like stores that are clean and well lit. This sounds like common sense, but anyone who has gone into a strange game store and found it to be moldered and wet smelling worse will tell you that a clean store is more inviting. This is something that Pulp Fiction gets right. That store is immaculate and open, inviting. Friendly staff is nice, too. If there is only one person working, they probably should not be playing a game or making non-business calls. A gaming area is important, but it should be inviting, not full of half-painted minis that were randomly placed by some crazed store monkey. The most important thing, to me, is stock.
I do not get many opportunities to go to a game store. In the last year, I have entered two stores, once each. This is not a function of me buying things from the Internet as much as it is one of location. Both times, the things on my shopping list were unavailable and would have to be ordered for a future visit that may never come. Simple things, too. I have a long standing Rhino Challenge. If a store has an Imperial Rhino in stock, I will buy it. I made that pledge 4 years ago, including a period in which I went to Pulp Fiction weekly. I have yet to buy a Rhino at a store. Four years and no store has had one in stock. That is the most basic piece of 40k kit, a model used by Space Marines of all ilk, Daemonhunters, Witch Hunters, and Sisters of Battle. I think a store should always have a half dozen or so Rhinos in stock. To me, they are the second biggest Games Workshop impulse buy. Number one being... White Dwarf. It blows my mind how many times I have gone to shops that under-sell White Dwarf. Even at my least active periods in the hobby, I bought White Dwarf. I have over 100 in my gaming area. If I am behind a few months, I will gladly buy back issues. I find it shocking how rarely a store will have the current or a few months of back issues. Now that $9 cover price is an issue for later.
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