Shelf Life: GamesNation

Alex Calvin
Shelf Life: GamesNation

We speak to Sam Drysdale of Paignton-based games retailer GamesNation about why the store is focused on selling pre-owned stock over new, and the events that the team is running.

How has business been for you recently?

We haven't been open long but it's going really well. We found a location off the High Street, so we're paying cheaper rates, and we've been really well received. Paignton hasn't really got any other game shops. We had small competition round the corner but that's now gone. We do stock new games, but our focus is pre-owned. As we move forward in to the next generation of gaming we have made sure not to forget where it all started, retro has been a huge part of our success so far

Why focus on pre-owned?

We just think it's the way forward. We do stock the new releases, but the margin on pre-owned is just better. It's where the money is at from a business standpoint. Paignton isn't a big town and few people have the money to be paying 300 or 400 for these big next-gen bundles. All the next-gen consoles we have in are pre-owned. It's better for both us and the customer. We make more money on it and it's cheaper for the customers, too. We do really good competitive prices. Trade-in prices beat GAME and CEX. And the prices we sell at reflect that, too.

GamesNation is mostly staffed by ex-GAME employees. How does working here differ from working in GAME?

I think It's much better. It's a lot more intimate. You know customer's first names, what consoles they've got. We have a games room and we do events. It's just more social than GAME.

Do you do a lot of events?

We have done three monthly tournaments so far. We had an event called GamesNationMania as we are big wrestling fans. 50 people showed up and had a really great time. We contacted 2K and it was really supportive. It sent us 500 of stock to give out at the next event and has supported us on social media, too.

You quite a have a presence on social media. Is online retail something you would consider moving into?

Potentially. It is something we have talked about. At the moment we are content to keep it local. We could go online with most of our stock and sell it there, but I want to keep it in the community. There are a lot of gamers in the area so any stock we get in we don't keep for long. At the moment there's no real desire to take it online.

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