The Lower Mainland Game Store Density

I just learnt on Thursday that another game store is opening in the Lower Mainland of BC. By my count, that puts us at about 30 different game & comic stores in the Lower Mainland; not including big box stores that carry games as well. If you look at just the GVRD; it drops down to 28 stores for a population of 2,463,700. That works out to 1 game store per 88,000 people. More interestingly, if you look at just the Greater Vancouver area, you get this distribution:


Authority Population No. of Game Stores Population / Game Store
Burnaby 223,218 6              37,203
New Westminster 65,976 1              65,976
North Vancouver 84,412 0 NA
Richmond 190,473 2              95,237
Surrey 468,251 1            468,251
Vancouver 603,502 7              86,215


Common ‘knowledge’ in the industry (from what I recall) puts the number for a viable game store at about 50,000 at a minimum. Numbers jump up and down depending on the type of population (lots of college kids, tourist town, commuter town, etc.) and of course, other minor things like rent, salaries, etc.

So, if you assume that is correct, if I were going to open a store in the Lower Mainland I’d consider either Richmond or Surrey or North Vancouver just from the above data with Burnaby a far last.  Of course, there’s a lot more to take into account – demographics and salaries, transportation and the like but it’s certainly an interesting statistic.   Maybe we should move the offices to Surrey the next time 🙂

6 thoughts on “The Lower Mainland Game Store Density”

  1. I’d be interested to see the actual list of stores, seeing which you included and which you left out. For example, did you include Taz in Burnaby on the list? They’re mostly a comic shop, but they do have a gaming section.

    And did you remove Core from Brentwood? I’ve yet to hear what happened to them after they left the mall.

  2. Perhaps you should! Buck’s doing a heroic job over in Surrey, but Central City is…well, nowhere near the geographical center of Surrey, and transportation isn’t at it’s most awesome over there.

    There is a (rather small) store in White Rock, but as far as I know there’s a void where Delta’s sizable chunk of population is concerned as well.

  3. Core games is still in the mall just was moved to a worse location I. It. I wonder if Burnaby has so many stores because the cost per sq ft was so much cheap as opposed to the city of Vancouver back when they were being established.

    Also population density has to play a major factor. Since the population in the gvrd is so spread out in general, it should be able to support more stores. That could be faulty logic tho.

  4. @Ashton

    From what I hear tell of Core’s sister store here at Lansdowne, they haven’t left the mall; the mall is currently looking for a decent space for them since they were squeezed out. That process in itself is apparently long and archaic, so it’ll be a while before any real news of them making a comeback. But fear not, they’re pretty determined to stay in Brentwood.

Comments are closed.