Create a fun, welcoming and safe environment to draw children and teens to your store. Keep in mind that parents are often the key to success in attracting a younger crowd. If your store is clean and tidy, has a family-friendly atmosphere (discourage bad language) and comfortable seating the parents can feel secure with their children spending time (and money) in your store.
Parents want to know that your store is clean, inviting and safe. A parent once told me that the reason they stopped going to a certain store was the comfort level of their chairs. They’d drive their son the 20 minutes to the store only to be presented with hard, uncomfortable metal chairs to sit on. They ended up going to a different store because they offered comfortable chairs. A store almost 40 minutes away! That’s the power of comfort. Don’t be that store. Have a place for parents to sit and wait comfortably. Restrooms are a very important part of the equation as well. Your store may look OK but those bath-rooms need to be and remain clean. Kids may not see the mess but parents will. Parents who feel at ease in your store will feel confident leaving their children while they run an errand or two.
Engage the parents. Show them demos of the games. They’ll feel better understanding what their kids are playing. The ultimate goal is to try and pick up a couple of new players. The husband of the parent referenced above played an in store demo. He came to love the game as much as his son did. It would have been too easy for the store employees to just let the guy wait for his kid. They went the extra mile and got a new player.
Catering to the younger player may take extra effort but it’s extremely worthwhile. These players will be with you a long time if you get it right. Initially, the parents will be spending the money in your store. However, if you can get them locked in at ages 8 – 10 and keep them until they’re 20+ it will have been well worth the time and effort. Remember, these younger players will be your dedicated players of the future. They’re just as passionate about their hobby as your established players. That translates into sales today and sales tomorrow.
For more OP ideas contact Ian Richards at PHD on 877-743-4263