Nov 14, 2022 — WPN Premium, WPN Premium Spotlight

From Stream to Store: Rip N Ship Gaming’s Path to WPN Premium

Read the inspiring story of Rip N Ship Gaming's journey to achieving WPN Premium.

Nov 14, 2022 — WPN Premium, WPN Premium Spotlight

From Stream to Store: Rip N Ship Gaming’s Path to WPN Premium

Read the inspiring story of Rip N Ship Gaming's journey to achieving WPN Premium.

Earlier this year, Rip N Ship Gaming became the first WPN Premium store in Long Island, New York—and their path to WPN Premium was a memorable journey for the staff. From initial storefront renovations to polishing their store to meet checklist requirements, Rip N Ship Gaming got the whole family involved to work toward achieving a designation.

Every WPN Premium store has a unique identity that makes their business strong and their space welcoming. The WPN Business Development team is here to help identify your stores’ strengths and use them to earn a designation; with help from their Development Specialist and a Retail Improvement Grant, Rip N Ship gained their Premium designation on August 30, 2022.

It Started with a Stream...

In 2020, Vincent "Vinny" Aprano began selling his personal Magic: The Gathering card collection to friends and family. He quickly recognized the growing demand among other collectors. After recruiting his tech-savvy cousin for help, the two started a streaming business called "Rip N Ship Arena."

From his apartment bedroom, Vinny would open Magic product while streaming on websites like Facebook and Twitch, sharing the excitement of opening Magic products with the entire chatroom. He would then ship purchases directly to viewers.

Streaming on a regular schedule and sharing content across multiple platforms are two methods to take advantage of the benefits of streaming. Introducing a stream at your store can broaden your community, amplify online sales, and even give players an opportunity to be featured in a match.

Vinny continued to capitalize on player excitement, bolstering online sales. Soon, he realized his apartment couldn't hold all the products his customer base demanded: so, he decided to open a brick-and-mortar storefront to improve distribution.

…That Became a Brick-and-Mortar Business...

Along with a physical storefront, Vinny needed more than two pairs of hands to get his store off the ground, so he brought in his brother, Joey, and a close friend to help kickstart the business. Their first goal was to renovate their chosen store location—a tanning salon-turned-photography-studio—into the gaming store of their dreams.

After months of initial renovations, Rip N Ship Gaming was born.

Rip N Ship Gaming photo exterior

Vinny's brother brought his near-two decades of experience in the LGS industry to drive the store's image and design their play space to support large in-store events. Before long, business was booming in this Long Island store, inspiring the family to seek out a way to take their space to the next level.

...With a WPN Premium Designation

Applying for WPN Premium gave Rip N Ship Gaming a way to better support their community with some of the additional benefits provided to WPN Premium stores. But they realized in order to get there, they needed to make additional renovations to achieve the standards set by the WPN Premium Quality Checklist.

Enter Chris Pressley, their WPN Business Development specialist who helped them along their journey to achieving WPN Premium.

Rip N Ship Gaming was eager to tackle the challenge, and Pressley helped Vinny fill out an application for a Retail Improvement Grant. These grants are designed to help our WPN partners achieve their Premium designation. For Rip N Ship, this grant gave them the funds they needed to finish renovations and meet the standards required to become a WPN Premium store.

Rip N Ship Gaming photo interior

Today, the Rip N Ship Gaming community is full of dedicated players and partners, and WPN Premium allowed the store to continue giving back to that community and fostering the business' growth. Rip N Ship Gaming is proud to be the first WPN Premium location in Long Island, New York, and hopes to continue delivering excellence and adventure to their players.

It took Vinny two years to turn his personal passion for Magic into a WPN Premium store—and that path had both challenges and celebrations. But with the support of their WPN Business Development Specialist, Rip N Ship Gaming has grown into a WPN Premium tournament destination.

Whether your store is a small boutique space or a bustling tournament center like Rip N Ship, achieving WPN Premium can provide your store with additional tools to enhance your players' experience in your store. Plus, you can feel proud to be considered one of the best game stores in the world.

Start your path to WPN Premium by completing an application and talking with your store's WPN Business Development Specialist.

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