WPN Premium: Don't Count Yourself Out
Making WPN Premium is tough.
It needs to be, for everyone's sake. For players, for Wizards—and for you. Whether you're in the Premium process now, or you intend to be someday, it's in your best interest that the bar remain high. The Premium seal needs to mean something, and we intend to see that it does.
But that doesn't mean you should count yourself out.
Let's look at the numbers.
Estimated percentage of WPN members that will be Premium by the end of 2019:
Before we get any further, let's be clear: it's okay not to be Premium.
The new WPN is aimed at elevating tabletop Magic, and yes, WPN Premium is part of the strategy. But it's only one part. The rest plays out every single day in all 6,000 WPN member stores across the world. WPN membership is something to be proud of in and of itself—Premium or no.
By 2020, we expect about 250 stores to make the cut. If you're in that minority, great. If you're not, that's fine. We'll go on supporting your community with Promo Packs, the Prerelease Early Sale Promotion, exclusive events and products, and on and on and on.
But if you want Premium, and you think it's right for you, we believe it's within your reach—whoever you are.
Here are a couple of reasons why:
Range of population among cities that are home to a WPN Premium location:
A lot of folks think a moderate population disqualifies them. It probably doesn't.
WPN Premium locations run the gamut here. Anywhere from 14 million (Sao Paulo, Brazil) to fewer than 8,000 (Bernardsville, New Jersey). As of this writing, just six WPN Premium stores worldwide are in a city of more than a million. Most fall well below that.
There's no doubt that being in or near a major population center helps to hit the metrics. That's just categorically true. But it's not a deal breaker.
In fact, where the metrics are concerned, there's a solid chance you have at least one foot in the door already.
Percentage of WPN members that meet at least one of the metrics requirements:
If you're going to let one thing hold you back from pursuing Premium, don’t let it be the metrics. There's about a one in three chance you've got a head start on them already.
If you've got one metric tackled, start today on the other two. (Activated Players is easily the biggest challenge.) When you're down to just one, we welcome your application. Our development team is eager to work with you to help close the gap.
That's important to recognize: applying for Premium isn't a simple you're-in-or-you're-out situation. It's entering a dialogue with your Development Specialist. And over the course of that dialogue, the two of you will work together to identify the roadblocks and overcome them, over time, wherever possible.
Still, a lot of folks feel limited by factors that are difficult to change. Their square footage, for example. But here again, don't count yourself out too soon.
Range of square footage among WPN Premium locations:
Again, it's all over the place.
Capacity matters, but we're less interested in the size of your space than the way the customer experiences it. There are Premium stores that regale their customers in play spaces the size of aircraft hangars. There are also Premium stores that inspire awe inside modest square footage.
In fact, square footage may be even less limiting than before. There are stores that, under the now-retired paradigm, plateaued at Core level—the size of their play area kept them short of the "biggest event" requirement. But under the new paradigm, they have Premium-level metrics.
With that out of the way, we can focus more on the customer experience. The Quality Checklist is your North Star here. If you're following it, you can be pretty sure you're going in the right direction.
If you really want to get to Premium because it means something to you, then take a step every day, every week, or every month towards that goal. We all get there at our own pace.—John Coviello, Little Shop of Magic
So start today. Chase those metrics. Start ticking boxes on the Quality Checklist. Study stores that have made it so far and follow their example.
And when you're ready to help us uphold that standard, reach out.