Space Confirmed – 185 East 11th Ave – Unit B!

After months of quiet work, we’ve finally confirmed and received our business license from the City of Vancouver.  We can now inform everyone that we’ll still be in the general vicinity of our current location but we will be operating as a full retail store. Here’s a map to our new location as of (tentatively) March 1st, 2017.

This new location is a basement location right under the existing Rollergirl.ca store.

The Plan

The current plan is to shut down operations late February and move and complete set-up before March 1st. At that point, we’ll host a soft opening while we iron out the details of running both a physical store and an online store.  The current expected hours of operation will be 10am to 9pm 7 days a week, with adjustments made as we work out traffic at the location.

We currently believe that there will be space for demo and gaming tables to be included in the store.   If that holds true, we have every intention of hosting regular game nights at the store.  However, we can’t promise this will happen until we finally move in and check how much space we will have used.

Photos of the location will show up once we actually move-in and potentially a longer post with pictures of the before & after.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Vancouver Real Estate – a Commercial Perspective

One of the hottest topics in Vancouver is the real estate market.  The commercial side has always lagged the residential side in how fast it expands (historically as I understand it by about 2 – 3 years); but because we’ve been on the rise for over a decade plus, we’ve seen some major increases on the commercial side too.

We don’t own the building we are in, but as a renter it certainly does affect us through property taxes.  As many of you might know, property taxes are calculated as a % of the assessed value of the building.  This means that as the general market rises, our property taxes rise too.

How bad has it gotten? Well, this is the 4th year in this building and our estimated property tax portion is literally double what we were charged in 2013 (edited from 2007).  That works out to nearly a thousand dollar increase in our monthly expenses.

It’s certainly something that has had us seriously considering running away from Vancouver central to a more reasonable location outside of town.  Of course, we know that’s going to affect our local pickup customers, but one of the major calculations we have to do is how many customers we might lose compared to how much we might save.  We’re still locked in for this one year, but after that… well, we’ll see.

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 🙂