We are proud to serve It hasn’t been all fun and games though.Even during last spring’s shutdown,

Young says the store couldn’t be open to the public. “We were still offering curbside,so we were still offering services to help peo-

ple out,as best as we could.That definitely helped us get ready more for Christmas,when people were preferring curbside pick-up and different options like that — because they didn’t want to come into the mall and into crowds. So we were able to help serve those customers more efficiently.” Trend-wise at the store in 2021,Young notes the store is seeing a lot of fami-

lies coming in,which is good news for business — but is trying, at times.“The thing hitting us the hardest with the restrictions is the occupancy limit.With the occupancy limit,we’re allowed (a limited amount of) people in the store plus staff.When people bring in their family and there’s four or five of them in,we’re basically catering to one family at a time.” Currently, customers are less likely to start something new, game-wise. “They want to stick with familiar titles, so games like Catan and Carcassonne. Some of your non-mainstream games that have been out for a long time and have a good following and people are familiar with are definitely titles stronger now than they have been recently,”Young said. Another switch from playing boardgames at a kitchen table or on a coffee table in the living room, individuals are turning to online game play with family and friends, since being together is not an option right now.This includes clas- sics, card games and even roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons. “I play games with my friends.We play once a month.As soon as the restric- tions became more tight,we went online — because that’s what we had to do,” said Young.“It’s great.Anything that keeps people connected to one another playing the games versus just sitting there watching TV and not interacting with anybody we view as a positive.” Young points out the business, like others, can’t wait for when restrictions get eased or lifted.“Where people can get back together — because people are definitely missing that social interaction with one another.We think people playing games online is just going to strengthen the industry when things open up — because you played this game online,now you can actually play it in-person.”

One business model that has most definitely took a hit during the pandemic

are board game cafes — where customers come together, in-person, to play games with one another and eat, drink and be merry. “We understand they’re all competition for all of us — because most board game cafes also offer sales,” said Young.“We get a lot of people who come in and say ‘hey, I played this game at the board game cafe,’and they will look for it.”

Anything that gets people playing games is a positive for the whole industry,

according to Young.“Whether they’re playing it online, playing it in-person, playing it at a board game cafe where they’re just testing the waters out — we understand it’s all there, because people are craving social interaction.”

insight magazine march 2021 - 11

Taber & District Oil and Gas Industry.

A Proud member of our community. 

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