When you’re looking at the different ways that your media can reach the public it’s hard to forget the good old-fashioned power of retail in dominated by messy big-box stores and on-line discounters.
Apple hasn’t forgotten, of course. And Game On intends to emulate their model:
Wander into Games On, nestled in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego, and you’ll be confronted with the usual fixtures — demo stations, box-lined shelves, and monitors showing off footage from the latest titles dangling from the ceiling. Everything you come to expect from a store specializing in the sale of video games is present and accounted for, but just as alien as it is familiar.
Wide, open spaces replace haphazard obstacle courses around magazine racks and rival shoppers, games are given breathing room on the see-through shelves (Games On seems to know the difference between “display” and “storage”), and sleek flat-screens do next-gen games more justice than the smudgiest television in a traditional game retailer.
There’s a ton of questions that come to mind when comparing this to the Apple stores:
- Apple controls the experience from beginning to end. What happens when your message isn’t controlled and cohesive?
- Apple sells more than just hardware, they sell an attitude. Are you making your consumer part of your world?
- Is this a place to buy or simply a place to shop? How do you convince a price sensitive audience to pay full retail?
- PC games seem perfect for this audience since they tend to be a more engaged hobbyist consumer. Is the store console only?
- What about an Internet presence? It seems like there should be a way to take the experience home.
Ultimately this could be a great model, but I think the consumer really needs to understand what they’re getting by shopping here. Here’s hoping they make it.
Would you pay a little extra to shop from a store like this? Why or why not?