A Step-By-Step Guide to Applying for Premium
As you probably read in our breakdown of all the Premium perks still coming in 2020, the exclusive offerings available to Premium stores—from foil Commander Collection: Green to an impressive life-sized Chandra statue—just keep getting bigger and better.
We don't plan on slowing down on the perks in 2021, either. If you've been curious about applying for Premium, now is the time!
The Wizards Retail Development team has broken down the whole Premium application process so you know exactly what to expect when you send in your application.
Apply for Premium in 5 Steps
Step 1: Send in an Application and Video Walkthrough
The first step is sending us an application. This application includes information about your store, including POS data, a digital floorplan, a video walkthrough, and more.
You don't need to complete all these steps before submitting your application! You can send in your form and video walkthrough before completing your floorplan, POS data, or other application data.
Start with the video walkthrough. The Development team agrees that the aesthetics side of Premium typically takes the most time, so getting started as soon as possible is ideal.
Because that video is so important, here are some tips on shooting the perfect video walkthrough, straight from Retail Development.
- Clean outside of store—windows, exterior, sign, etc.
- Remove any trash or shipments from publicly visible areas
- Organize behind the counter—binders, sealed product, etc.
- Keep sales counter clean
- Remove any product on display from their outer shipping cartons, including snacks and drinks
- Remove any taped paper signage, posters, or recent flyers
- Make sure your merchandise is organized and grouped with like items
Shooting the Video—How
- Shoot in landscape
- Make it one continuous video
- Show all public areas
- It can be long! 10+ minute videos are common.
- No need to narrate or describe
Shooting the Video—What
- Start by panning across full exterior during the day
- Once inside, pan across full interior
- Show all Quality Checklist items (store rules, sales policies, event calendar, etc.)
- Avoid quick pans that may obscure some areas
- Show all bathrooms
- Pause on individual merchandising displays
Step 2: Review the Application with Your Specialist
Once you've sent in your application, your Retail Development Specialist will review it. This first review can take up to two weeks, since specialists thoroughly review every aspect of your store.
Your specialist will then help you spot anything that doesn't meet requirements on the Premium Quality Checklist. Don't worry—checking off those boxes is part of the Premium process. You don't have to check them all before applying.
Step 3: Decide if Premium is Right for You
After the initial review, you'll decide if you want to officially start on the path to Premium. While your specialist can help guide you on how to reach Premium, they can't decide if pursuing Premium is the best choice for your store—that's a decision only you can make.
If you decide Premium just isn't the right move for your store, that's okay! You can always apply again if things change. But even if you decide to never pursue Premium, your specialist is still there to help you succeed in the WPN.
Step 4: Go Through the Introduction and Check Off Those Boxes
If you do decide to start on the Premium path, it's time to dive right in! Your specialist will send you the updated application review suggestions and start a series of calls to go over the nitty-gritty business aspects of Premium like business documentation, POS data submission, and the fun part: aesthetics.
Getting the perfect look and feel for your store is extremely rewarding—it can also be a lot of work. That's why we have a whole separate article about making aesthetic choices for your store, with even more tips from the Retail Development team. You can check that article out here.
Step 5: Submit a New Video Walkthrough to the Premium Aesthetics Committee
Once you've checked off all the Premium Quality Checklist boxes, you'll send in another video walkthrough showing off all the hard work you've put into your store.
After it's approved by your specialist, that video goes to the Premium Aesthetics Committee—they make sure all Premium stores are held to the same world-class standards internationally.
You may get a list of opportunities to further improve your store to meet those standards rather than an immediate approval. Don't worry if an approval doesn't happen on the first round—plenty of stores submit more than once!
Finally, once the committee puts their final rubber stamp on the application, you'll receive your Premium designation.
The average North American store completes the path to Premium in about two and a half months. But the time it takes to go through this process varies, which brings us to the top factor in successfully reaching Premium: engagement with your specialist.
The Top Factor in Successfully Reaching Premium: Engagement
You can reach out to your specialist at any time—you're not restricted to scheduled calls. Curious if a light fixture is a good choice for your store? Snap a photo and send it to your specialist on Messenger before you buy.
Now that you know what to expect, apply for Premium today.