The incredible shrinking hobby shop

Monday, 2. August 2010

One of the real upsides of being able to travel is that I get a good opportunity to look around for shops that otherwise aren’t available in the greater Detroit area. Shops like.. hobby shops that actually carry games now. Yes it’s true; we have very few good ones in the Detroit area and most stores that carry games also carry them as a byproduct of carrying books… or happens to be a games workshop store.

Due to a number of earlier factors such as
1) Rising real estate costs due to wage inflation
2) Shrinking market share of the entertainment market
3) Difficulty in properly stocking a store with items to move
4) Rise of Internet sales

All of the old time hobby shops in the area closed down for trendier things such as coffee ships or restaurants. Now that the real estate market is slowly coming back into reality (mind you, it’s not there yet) It is slowly starting to recover now.. thankfully, but most of the stores aren’t carrying games. They are highly specialized in what they’re carrying such as hobby train supplies, RC cars, RC Aircraft, crafting stores (Such as Michael’s) and inevitably have to have an online component that caters to a similar specialty.

Of course as a result there is no real physical locale to meet up with other gamers and play short of hijacking various local message boards in stores. Even then you’re still looking for play space if you’re not familiar with the people in question.. I have no problems inviting people over, but I need to know the people in question for a while. The above caveat obviously does not apply to any of the GW stores, as there are a few of those around. Which is fabulous.. unless you don’t feel like playing that particular system.

Any other locations having similar problems?

Also if there are some places in the Detroit are that opened up and I’m missing, I’d be happy to link to you. (Not to mention come in and check the place out.)

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