Thoughtcast #21 - Respec

TL;DR - We're running 20% off Board Games, Dungeons & Dragons, Acrylic Paints, Board Game Sleeves, and Dice from Friday 20th October until 31st December. Starting 2024, our Board Game and D&D offerings will be gone for the foreseeable future.

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Turning 4 also means that we have 4 years worth of data and metrics to look back on. Here at Calico Keep, we're gamers. I look at this treasure trove of information like the most complicated Character Sheet you've ever seen and think about how we can min/max the store in our unique set of circumstances.

After reviewing the info, I've come to the following conclusions:

1. It does not make sense for us to continue offering Board Games. They are currently something we sell on the side without much focus or attention. We were looking to completely revamp our board game category this year by curating our inventory strictly, but even with resident board game expert Sessils on the case the flood of new titles being released is simply overwhelming. Running over the financials, it does not make sense for us to commit the amount of time, effort, and money needed into the board game category to make it truly shine.

2. It does not make sense for us to continue offering Dungeons & Dragons. 5th Edition is on the wane, D&D Beyond is growing in popularity amongst existing players, and the social barrier to entry for individuals who do not have access to a play group is high, especially in Paraparaumu. All these are factors that resulted in the D&D category making up less than 0.2% of our total sales over the past 12 months. While Tabletop RPGs are still popular and very much alive amongst existing players, we feel that its very hard for us to bring new players into the hobby. 

I believe in life (and in business), if you split your effort 50:50 between two endeavors, you'll always be beaten by the guys who go all-in in either. There are already plenty of fantastic stores in New Zealand that specialise in board games (such as the fine folks at Game Kings) and Tabletop RPGs (such as our neighbours BeaDnD based in Petone), and they do an amazing job with those offerings, and we don't feel we could differentiate our offerings in any meaningful way. Both of these products also take up quite a lot of room, and we're running out of stash space!

3. We do great work when it comes to Trading Card Games. It's our bread and butter, it's what we know, and it keeps growing with each passing year. There have been countless times over the past 4 years where every dollar we spent elsewhere went towards cards instead.

So, we're going to do two things:

A. We're running a 20% off Holiday Clearance Sale. This is your last chance to pick up any board games, Dungeons & Dragons, Nolzur's figurines, Scale75 paints, and board game sleeves. The sale runs from 20th October to 31st December. After that, we'll be looking at dumping those products. The sale also includes dice, which we do plan on restocking (though possibly at a reduced range).

B. From 2024, we will be exclusively stocking TCGs and TCG Accessories for the foreseeable future. This means we'll be picking up more games, and possibly offering more weekly events. Pokémon and Flesh & Blood remain popular, and the One Piece TCG is starting to pick up. Lorcana is also just around the corner.

Thanks as always for your support, and we hope you're as excited about these changes as we are.

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