How to Reach Premium According to Wizards Retail Development Specialists
To date, the Wizards Retail Development team has helped 220 stores globally reach Premium. And as they helped those stores work towards Premium, a few topics consistently came up—topics that ended up making a huge impact in a store's success while working towards Premium.
Here are the top four pieces of advice given by the Retail Development team that can help you build the best version of your store—and could help it become one of the best game stores in the world.
Nail Down Your Branding
You may remember a previous article discussing the concept of "Top of Mind:" when a customer thinks of their game, you want them to think of your store, too.
Whether that's when they want to play it, when they want to buy it, or when they just want to hang out and talk about it—you and your store should the first thing that pops into their heads. And when your store stands out, it's easier for players to remember it and associate it with the game.
To help your store accomplish that, the Retail Development team suggests thinking about what impression you want to give your players and how you want them to feel while they're in your store.
Do you want your players to be immersed in a theme, like a high-fantasy quest or an adventure in outer space? Do you want a hyper-streamlined store that focuses on a specific niche? Do you want it to feel like a cozy cafe where players sit down to a casual match over a warm drink?
Creating a brand doesn't mean you need to start from scratch and turn you store into a medieval castle if you don't want to—in fact, that's not a great fit for most stores. Branding can be as simple as choosing colors, fonts, and materials that look great together and build a unified feeling for your store.
In addition to building player recognition, solid branding also gives you a great jumping off point if you want to try something new in your store. For example, if you want to start making gift cards, and your store's colors are purple and gold, you already know what colors to make those gift cards!
There's no wrong answer when it comes to branding. Premium isn't about a certain look—it's all about what you want your store to be for your community.
Create a Premium Experience with Premium Fixtures
A key part of Premium is providing a space where new players have an incredible first Magic experience. If they're new to the game, they might not have any experience with game stores—but they do have experience with shopping other retail stores.
We've said before that Premium is about creating the best game stores in the world, but we think we can aim higher than that—why not just create some of the best stores in the world?
WPN Premium shines as a group of excellent stores when compared to any store, not just other game stores. One way to reflect that is through impeccable fixtures, like tables and chairs, that create an atmosphere people would want to spend time exploring in any retail setting.
Focus Player Attention with Marketing Materials
If you're familiar with the Premium Quality Checklist, you know that Magic set-specific marketing materials are limited to sets and products from Standard or the last twelve months.
That's because old Magic marketing materials don't contribute to your store's unique brand. In fact, they overshadow it—the store's own unique character should be the focus, moreso than the brands you sell.
If you want to showcase Magic in your store, your development specialist can help you find ways to do so in a way that synergizes with your brand.
Plus, marketing materials are meant for just that: marketing. They highlight a specific product that you want players to buy. When you add too many marketing materials to a space, it makes it less clear what players should buy, possibly leaving them buying nothing at all.
Get Better Value Per Square Foot with Merchandizing
Speaking of what you want players to buy, look at what items take up the most significant amounts of the limited space in your store. Are they providing enough value to justify the space they occupy?
For example, a lot of stores are full of boxes of bulk cards that take up a lot of retail space, but are rarely interacted with by customers. Turning those large boxes into something shoppable can make a huge difference, and the Retail Development team can help identify those sorts of issues.
These are just four of the most common tips that Retail Development Specialists discuss with stores working towards Premium. If you're ready to get personalized help making your store the best it can be, apply for Premium today!