Initially, we targeted Haverhill, because it is between us, Russ lives in Boston, Dave and Carrie are in Raymond, NH. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a space that fit all our needs and wants. We made an effort to make a downtown location work, but it did not work out.
We reopened our search and expanded our options and discovered a location that works great. The Village Mall at 436 Broadway in Methuen, MA. It is moments off I-93, and just minutes from Haverhill, Lawrence, MA, and Salem, NH.
Where is the store located?
We’ve signed a lease for a space at the Village Mall, 436 Broadway in Methuen, MA. Our contractor has lined up the workers and inspectors and permits for the fit out, and we should be open early 2021. We will be sharing more information and photos as work progresses.
The storefront is an an excellent location. With access to parking / public transit, and has the space we need to provide a broad selection of games and hobby merchandise.
When will you open?
We are open now for in store browsing, as well as in-store or curbside pickup. Browse our inventory at shop.queensgambitgames.com
What games will you provide?
We are planning on a broad selection of board games, role-playing games, party games, collectible trading card games, and wargames. Our primary focus will be on tabletop gaming, and related pop culture merchandise.
We will be in constant contact with our community of gamers to bring them the games and accessories they want, and introduce new and exciting games as well.
How large and purpose built a gaming space do you contemplate putting in, number of tables, size of tables and area, etc.
The space we are currently looking at is over 3,900 square feet. We anticipate being able to fit at least six to eight standard sized tables for gaming. We’ll be shifting the arrangement of the space to meet different requirements for different events. A Magic: the Gathering prerelease will require a significantly different layout than a Warhammer 2000 tournament round, and another layout for a Pathfinder or D& Adventurer’s League event. Tables will seat 6 to 8 people. That would give us a capacity of 48 active gamers. We are looking into further options, as well. But all of these options are dictated by the space.
Will you be hosting tournaments?
As a new store, we will need to establish ourselves in gaming circles. Ensuring we have ample event space to host regular pre-release, and tournament events has been a major focus of our location search!
Why did you name your store “Queen’s Gambit • Games and Hobby Shoppe”?
It won the votes among our friends when we polled them. We had a short list, and the many different meanings of ‘Queen’s Gambit’, from the opening chess move, to the ‘Arrowverse’ reference.
Also, as this is a big risk for Russ, calling it Queen’s Gambit, he always wanted to be royalty.
How does the game hosting area generate revenue. I get the retail side. Do people pay for seat in competitions like Bingo?
Our store concept makes money primarily as a specialty retail store, secondarily as a game / event hosting venue.
Specialty retailers provide a curated collection of merchandise that may, or may not be available via online retailers.
The table top board game industry is expanding as game designers are discovering new innovative game play mechanics that are simple and easy to teach to new players, while also providing challenges to season gaming veterans.
Our staff will be knowledgeable of the tabletop gaming market, and gaming community at large. The knowledgeable staff can direct customers to products that meet their needs. This is especially helpful for our target audience: people who played a card / party / board game with a friend and are looking for either that game, or another to share with their friends and family. Codenames is an excellent example of a fun card based party game that is shared with friends who then are inspired to pick up a copy for themselves.
As a hosting venue, we stimulate sales in two primary ways: building a community of gamers — casual and ‘hard-core’, and providing a space for people to gather with others that share their hobby.
For many years local game stores have thrived with several folding tables and chairs that allow for flexible use of space to host events for specific game titles: Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, Warhammer, Dungeons and Dragons. There are new venues opening whose primary focus is just providing a space, and a library of games, for people to play with an admission cost.
At Queen’s Gambit – we hope to be able to provide both the structured events that bring repeat customers to the store, while also offering comfortable and accessible tables and seating to a more general audience as well. We have not decided on whether there will be an admission charge, or what it would be. It honestly will depend on how the business progresses. If we are frequently filled to capacity with no admission, we would likely need to look into charging for admission. While the income is always welcome, we would need to also factor in the costs involved of policing admission.