Author Topic: An idea for a star wars store  (Read 786 times)

Offline brian_peppers

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An idea for a star wars store
« on: July 30, 2007, 03:47 PM »
hope this is the right section to put it
i'm not old enough to start a store but i thought it would be awesome if there was a store that only sold star wars stuff. it could have vintage toys comics games and all star wars merchandise all star wars fans would come flooding in.
I suck.

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2007, 04:13 PM »
Looking for a Star Wars store?  Try www.shopstarwars.com

Also there are a lot of brick and mortar collectable shops that do specialize in Star Wars, but it only makes sense to also offer other lines of toys as well.  There's a couple of big shops like that in St. Louis (owned by scalpers), but I doubt they'd be able to stay afloat if they carried only Star Wars merchandise. 

 :P

Offline Jon

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2007, 04:45 PM »
Hmmm, it sounded to me like he wanted to set up his own store. I could be wrong though.

DS

Offline Nicklab

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2007, 06:17 PM »
You're basically talking about a collector shop.  There are plenty of them around.  Some do business the right way, and others don't.  But most of them follow this business model:

Sell toys - Not just Star Wars, but other "hot" lines that collectors are into (DC & Marvel Superheroes, Transformers, GI Joe, McFarlane)
Sell higher end collectibles - Companies like Gentle Giant, Sideshow, Master Replicas, etc
Sell comics - Comic books and magazines bring in a good deal of weekly traffic

More advanced stores will also launch an online store to complement the brick and mortar store.

As for your stock situation?  You have to have a number of different sources.  If you're going to do things on the up and up then you start up accounts with suppliers:  Hasbro, Diamond, Gentle Giant, Sideshow, DC Direct, McFarlane, etc for new stock at wholesale prices.  You can also sell older and vintage items, but that's going to be at market prices.

What a scalper will do is try to buy stock at local stores for two purposes:  create artificial demand locally, and markup the items so that he's going to make a profit.

As for making a business like this work?  It's like any other small business.

-Startup money.  You need to get enough money together so that you can establish your accounts, get a location, stock the store, pay any employees, etc.  And you need to be able to operate long enough that you start generating profits.
-Small business models usually do not turn a profit for 3-5 years from initial investment.
-Good location.  This can make or break a business.  You want to be in a place that's got a good ammount of traffic going by, but isn't going to break you on rent.


As for specializing in Star Wars?  In theory it sounds good, but you might be limiting your potential client base.  And that could doom your store.
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Offline ruiner

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007, 10:50 AM »
Stay out of the toy business.  It's so hard to compete with the box box retailers like WM, Target and TRU. 

If your heart is set on it, start with an online shop and open up an account with Hasbro.  You'll most likely have minimum order $$ to hit but I think it's better to start small than go all out with a store front and tons of inventory.

The problem with an online shop is the competition out there that is reputable.  NewForce, EE.com and BBTS.com are just a few of the online shops that collectors are familiar with and for the most part, are happy with their service.

You'll be hard pressed to beat NF's pricing or EE.com's customer service.

With that said, what will be your point of differentiation?


Offline Deanpaul

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2007, 01:45 PM »
The problem with an online shop is the competition out there that is reputable.  NewForce, EE.com and BBTS.com are just a few of the online shops that collectors are familiar with and for the most part, are happy with their service.

Aside from the competition you should consider the supplier.  Is Hasbro or any other toy company really the kind of partner you'ld like to be in business with?  Probably not, based on their own business model of big box retailers, the way they treat their employees and their relationship with other small businesses who have tried to do what you suggest both from a bricks and mortar approach and from an online presence.  What would be in it for them?  Volume?  No.  Access to a customer base?  No.  Brand visibility/equity?  No.

It seems like a pretty limited model.
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Offline ruiner

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2007, 02:08 PM »
the way they treat their employees

Care to elaborate on this one?

Offline Deanpaul

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2007, 02:53 PM »
the way they treat their employees

Care to elaborate on this one?

I'd rather be vague here, but my comment was from first hand observation.  PM sent with details.

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Offline JediJman

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2007, 10:38 PM »
I don't know if you could make enough money to support a store that was exclusive SW product.  Maybe if they had a restaurant or something to help bring in some money or maybe a museum that they could charge entrance to.  It would have to be in a big city as well - there's a limited number of SW collectors in any one place.  We have a collector group in Minneapolis and we probably don't even have 20 guys.  The other issue is cost - smaller stores like this don't have the buying power that Target and Wal-Mart have, so you're looking at figs costing $8-10 instead of $6-7 at mass merchandisers. 

All that being said, if there was one near me, I'd be there!  ;)
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Offline David

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #9 on: August 2, 2007, 05:36 PM »

the way they treat their employees

Like immortalize them in plastic as Mandos?
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Offline Smartypants1635

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #10 on: August 2, 2007, 05:48 PM »
hope this is the right section to put it
i'm not old enough to start a store but i thought it would be awesome if there was a store that only sold star wars stuff. it could have vintage toys comics games and all star wars merchandise all star wars fans would come flooding in.

Your profile says your 38  ???

Offline Deanpaul

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #11 on: August 2, 2007, 08:29 PM »

the way they treat their employees

Like immortalize them in plastic as Mandos?

My experience isn't specifically with the Star Wars team. 

I know about mass layoffs during downturns that Hasbro treats as a habit, not as a last resort.  Even when a line is doing well and they decide to consolidate the workforce their actions and communications are fairly brutal and bureaucratic.  There isn't (in my experience) a lot of reassigning of staff at these times, just a lot of hatchet work.

There is a reason that the leading industrial design department in the country will not refer students to Hasbro for potential employment, despite being located less than 15 miles away.  There are no industry sponsored projects between the two, and the historically poor treatment of their workforce is a part of that.

And don't even get me started about their spanking machine initiations.  Just kidding.

I think a lot of good comments have been made here about the potential competition, supplier relationships and finicky customer base to warrant a harder look at just how "fun" such a business would be to operate.



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Offline Jesse James

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #12 on: August 3, 2007, 01:46 AM »
Ask Newforce themselves how fun it is dealing with Hasbro...  They're a real joy. ;)
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Offline JediJman

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #13 on: August 6, 2007, 10:56 PM »
hope this is the right section to put it
i'm not old enough to start a store but i thought it would be awesome if there was a store that only sold star wars stuff. it could have vintage toys comics games and all star wars merchandise all star wars fans would come flooding in.

Your profile says your 38  ???

That's hilarious.  ;D
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. " -Jack Handey

Offline Smartypants1635

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Re: An idea for a star wars store
« Reply #14 on: August 7, 2007, 01:32 AM »
Hes sayin hes to young cause he doesn't want us to know the truth, that noone would come to his store.
The truth creepy stuff there.

Fixed your link. -Ryan
« Last Edit: August 8, 2007, 06:39 AM by Ryan »