Sep 19, 2019

Announcing Retail Improvement Grants

Starting right now, North American WPN members can apply for grants, awarded by Wizards, to help stores take their retail spaces to the next level. 


Sep 19, 2019

Announcing Retail Improvement Grants

Starting right now, North American WPN members can apply for grants, awarded by Wizards, to help stores take their retail spaces to the next level. 


Note: This pilot program is available in the United States and Canada only.

The Wizards Play Network quadrupled tabletop Magic in ten years. When we announced the new WPN last March, we did it to keep that growth going for another ten.

It was a new blueprint for Magic's social infrastructure. We introduced metrics to reward not just the size of your space but how customers experience it. We introduced a prestige program—WPN Premium—to bear a new, rarified standard.

And today we introduce the next phase: Retail Improvement Grants.

Starting right now, Wizards is launching a pilot program in which North American WPN members can apply for variable size grants, to give them a boost as they take their retail spaces to the next level—especially stores with an eye on WPN Premium.

Let's dive in.


Step 1: Apply

As we review applications, the question on our minds is this: will the project contribute to a world-class retail experience?

Maybe that means new gaming tables. Maybe it's a gorgeous piece of art to liven up a blank wall. Maybe it's simply checking off another box on the WPN Premium Quality Checklist. Every retailer has those if-I-just-had-a-little-more-capital-projects, and we want to hear about yours.

Once we've got your application, complete with your proposal, estimated budget, walkthrough video and photos, we'll review and forward it to Sitelines, the design agency managing the renovation projects and distributing grants.

If your application is chosen, it's on to step two.


Step 2: Plan with Sitelines


Sitelines and Wizards of the Coast will review and analyze proposals as they come in, then green light those proposals based on which ones will make the biggest impact with the greatest efficiency.

To measure that impact, we'll use the best available indicators of the quality of experience you offer—sales, Tickets, and Engaged Players. So, as we review your proposal, we’ll be particularly interested in renovations that move the needle in those areas.

Once the grant decisions have been finalized, Wizards of the Coast will contact all applicants. Then, Sitelines will initiate renovations with selected stores—starting by handing out your grant.

Retail Improvement Grants: 3 Things to Know
  1. Cooperation: We're intend to work with stores who are on board to supplement the grant amount with their own funds.
  2. Scale: To give applicants an idea of the variety and magnitude of projects we intend to support, we've included a list of possibilities on the application (heavily informed by the WPN Premium Quality Checklist).
  3. Preference: We're especially eager to work with stores who are striving for WPN Premium.



Step 3: Start Renovations


Now, the fun part.

You’ll work with a project manager at Sitelines to make the proposed changes to your store. The exact timeline will depend on your project, but we plan to have all renovations completed by in early 2020.

After all renovations are completed, we’ll share before and after photos and show off the results.

As mentioned above, we’ll be measuring certain metrics (attendance, sales, Tickets, and Engaged Players) before the renovation process and again periodically over the following twelve months. We'll examine those results before making decisions about the future of this pilot program.

Applications are open now, and all WPN stores in the US and Canada are encouraged to apply. We can't wait to see what you have planned.

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