Getting the Rubber to Meet the Road
I had a plan. I promise, I had a plan. It was a simple plan. January, February and March are always slower months for the store. So I was going to use the slowdown in the early part of 2020 to get some necessary work done at the store. Codify things, plan 3 months ahead of time. Get everything ready so that we’re ahead on scheduling all the things that matter.
This plan did not survive contact with reality. January was the busiest January we’ve ever had as a store by not a small margin. Our prerelease weekend was way more popular than we expected it to be. And our WPN Premium Application needed more attention than I expected. All this combined with some vacation requests, sick days, and all sorts of other unexpected occurrences and now it’s the end of February. Mentally I’m still back in the first week of January waiting for the slowdown to happen.
So instead of a post highlighting all the things we’re hyped and rearing to do…this one’s gonna be a little more of a self-assessment, and a promise for what’s to come. A Phoenix state of our store, if you will.
Where We Are and What We’re Up To
As I mentioned earlier – January was far and away our busiest January ever. Magic’s Theros Beyond Death set proved to be a sleeper success in that all of the preregistration for the set seemed to happen in the last week before the prerelease. We sold out 4 of the 6 prerelease flights. The other two came remarkably close as well (50 people and 45 people for the first and last flights respectively). Theros was also the start of a new era for the website – online single sales as the primary way we sell cards.
January and February also marked an important milestone for us as a store. As of Thursday, February 20th, we are now a WPN Premium store! You can expect more interesting Magic events to following, the first coming as early as March.
Moving on from Magic and our website – we have the return of D&D! During our expansion and subsequent winter months we suffered some attrition on the dungeon master side of things and had to suspend our adventurer’s league for a while. During December a new DM reached out, and now we have a table again on Monday evenings. Of course, we could always use a second DM, so if you’re interested in running some adventurer’s league here at the store, please don’t hesitate to reach out so that we can get you set up.
And last but not least I need to mention board gaming. We have a small but dedicated group of folks coming out on Sundays now around 1:00 PM. If that’s a good time for you, why not join them and help us make our Sunday afternoons a thriving casual board game day? You can bring your own games or use our demos, and we have plenty of space!
Where We’re Going
Let's start with the immediate future. The store’s got a few priorities going into March and April – the top one being to re-establish the plan of getting ahead on the planning side. We’ve got some big plans in store for Emerald City Comic Con that will be revealed later this week.
April, May, and June’s activities are already being planned. April is chock full of Magic events, including a Pioneer WPN Player’s Tour Qualifier (with 2 preliminaries) and the Ikoria Prerelease and Release Weekend events, which will nicely avoid May’s big event – Free Comic Book Day. And June will see the return of a Seattle area tradition hosted for the first time at Phoenix, the Drafstravaganza! More details on these events and more are a coming, but for now rest assured that this year’s gonna be a lot of fun for us and for you.
Speaking of coming soon, there are still more store upgrades planned. Our plastic white tables got a bit of an upgrade as part of the WPN Premium application process, but that same process mandates they get replaced later this year with something more permanent. And of course we're also still working on renovating the private room to be a usable RPG space. We have a solid concept for what it wants to be at this point and I'm really excited to see how it all comes together.
I hope this all sounds like a good plan. I'm really looking forward to seeing it all come together so that we can continue to take the events and experiences we offer here at Phoenix to the next level.