Since Wizards of the Coast announced the restructuring of the Wizards Play Network back in March of 2019, authorized retailers have discovered a host of opportunities to offer more programs and perks to their gaming community. But for some, achieving the WPN‘s more rewarding Premium status seems like an unattainable goal. However, nothing could be further from the truth. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what represents “the next level” in Wizards of the Coast’s organized-play program and how it can affect your store.
What Are The Benefits To My Store?
The “new” WPN offers several improvements over the previous iteration, including enhanced scheduling options and a more granular prize-support program. However, the advantages offered by qualifying for and participating in the WPN Premium program will help you make a serious impact on the quality of your store’s appearance, functionality, and profitability.
Top Spots In The Store Locator
Once your store qualifies as a WPN Premium store, your listing will be moved to the top portion of the Wizards Store and Event Locator when a user enters their location, provided your store is nearby. This is certain to make your presence more prominent and impactful to potential customers.
Beyond the benefits granted to you by having a more prominent online presence, you are also eligible to receive a lighted Magic sign, a branded poster frame, a Premium plaque, and more marketing and promotional resources (while supplies last) to make your store really pop!
Wizards Play Network Qualifiers
While all WPN members are eligible to apply for WPN Qualifiers (WPNQs), WPN Premium stores get priority when WOTC selects stores to host these prestigious events. This will garner your store more attention through direct promotion from Wizards and more excitement in your community.
WPN Premium is Wizards of the Coast’s public acknowledgement of the best WPN stores in the world. This level of recognition translates into support that will benefit stores and their customers. Most importantly, by achieving Premium status, you will have raised your store to a remarkable level of friendliness, cleanliness, organization, and comfort. Ultimately, this will allow your customers to experience a more robust and attractive gaming environment, specifically designed to reward and engage players, and allow you to maintain that “top of mind” spot in your community.
How Does My Store Achieve Premium Status?
What is WOTC looking for? According to their article on the subject, WPN Premium stores should offer exemplary “accessibility, exterior and interior appearance, event quality, and overall customer experience” with “active, healthy play communities.” So, the criteria to qualify is high but definitely attainable. Often, it can just be a matter of some cosmetic changes to get you on your way.
Here are a few pictures of stores that qualified for Premium status very early on in the program.
Presumably, everyone would like to be in the WPN’s Premiere program, but it does require dedication and determination. In an effort to inspire every store to reach the next level, WOTC has created a handy checklist to help stores realize their potential. Using this list for your initial store walkthrough and keeping it handy will make it easier help you maintain your focus on achieving your store’s goals.
Now, you might be thinking that you are close to being ready to make that move, but perhaps you need a little support. The best part is that Wizards wants you to succeed, so they are willing to work with you help you make it to Premium status. You just need to ask. Also, Wizards recently announced retail improvement grants to help certain stores reach their goals. This pilot program allows North American WPN members to apply for variable size grants in order to give them a boost as they take their retail spaces to the next level—especially stores with an eye on WPN Premium.
So, there you have it. Growing from WPN to WPN Premium status can be an important part of your store’s success and growth. Bookmark this article so you can to refer to it as needed. Then, when you think you are ready, log into your WPN Account and apply for WPN Premium status here.