Charlotte General Contractor’s Blog

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Open a Retail Store in February 2009? – Charlotte Tenant Upfit Complete

Posted by Rick on February 17, 2009

Open a Retail Store in February 2009? – Charlotte Tenant Upfit Complete

Someone just opened a Play-n-Trade franchise location just north of Charlotte in Huntersville, NC .  In February.  In 2009.  Insane.

You know the old rule of thumb for new retail – open well ahead of “Black Friday,” have a brisk holiday season, and build up cash for what will surely be a long winter.  Throw in the malaise in the overall economy and you’ve got a recipe for disaster if you’re trying to get started in February 2009.

Or maybe you don’t.

NOT if you have one of the hottest product lines in all of retail – video games!  NOT if you have one of the hottest franchise concepts.  NOT if you have a cool, hip store where your customers can hang out and play games together!

Check out this story from Dow Jones on January Video Game Sales.

Video Game Sales Off To Better-Than-Expected Start In 2009


SAN FRANCISCO -(Dow Jones)- Video game sales got off to a better-than-expected start in 2009, according to the NPD Group, which suggests the industry is on track so far this year to meet expectations for modest growth.

Total revenue from sales of video game sales rose 9% in January, while game console sales rose a more modest 2% from a year ago, NPD reported. Both results exceeded expectations by analysts bracing for marginal, if any sales growth following a particularly robust holiday sales season, at least for this sector.

The report’s findings “speaks to the continued strength of video games as one of the leading entertainment industries in the U.S.,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

Nintendo Co. Ltd. (NTDOY) continued its dominance of late. Nintendo of America, a Nintendo division, published five of the top 10 selling games, including the month’s top three sellers, according to the data.

At 5.9 million, sales of Nintendo’s Wii motion-controlled game console and the DS portable represented nearly half of all consoles sold in January. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said Xbox 360 sales rose 33% from a year earlier to 309,000 units in January, which was slightly above expectations.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) also fared well. It had three games in the top 10, including No. 2 seller “Call of Duty: World At War.” Electronic Arts Inc.’s (ERTS) troubles breaking into the top 10 continued in January. The Redwood City, Calif. company had just one top seller, No. 7 ranked “Left 4 Dead” for the Xbox 360, according to NPD.

-By Ben Charny, Dow Jones Newswires

It is amazing.  People will spend money on THIS STUFF even in a down economy.  They will find the cash.  Plus, at Play n Trade, they can trade in their old stuff!  Or maybe even BUY some old, ahem, RETRO stuff!

On a personal note, we spent about five weeks on the upfit (buildout) so I was on site several hours each week.  Even before they had a sign, before any advertising, people were finding out about the store.  It was viral! And you can only imagine the number of questions I got about “are they hiring??”  Stopped by in the middle of the day with a banker friend from Blue Harbor bank in Huntersville, NC.  He couldn’t believe that there were people in the store hanging out, playing games and BUYING games!

So maybe you’re thinking you need to own one of these franchises?  They are growing fast, but there are definitely still prime retail locations out there.  This is the best time in a long while to negotiate with shopping center landlords for great lease rates.  Be a part of something that is growing – despite the overall economy!  Contact me and I’ll get you in touch with my buddies over at Play n Trade.

About the Contractor
I love nothing more than to create physical spaces where business owners and entrepreneurs can take action – and turn their dream into a reality.  My name is Rick Mabe and I operate in a very tight specialization of Commercial General Contracting, the tenant upfit .  Rather than attempt to be all things to all people, I decided early on to focus on my strengths – helping business owners create the best spaces in which to do what they do.

After a decade-long career in the financial services business, dealing with spreadsheets, balance sheets and proformas, I eagerly migrated back to the physical – where the rubber meets the road.  I manage a team of professionals whose sole purpose is to take full responsibility for the physical space needed by a business whether it is a relocation, expansion, new branch or new venture altogether.  There is so much involved in preparing to enter or expand in the marketplace – why should the owner be worried about their space? – or their Contractor?  Want to know more?  Contact me!

2 Responses to “Open a Retail Store in February 2009? – Charlotte Tenant Upfit Complete”

  1. Hello from Hamilton Ontario! Great Blog. I will be checking back!

  2. Stan said

    That is a great article. Thank you for sharing it.

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