New Game Chain Is Born29 May, 2008 By: John Gaudiosi
A new start-up, Gamer Doc, is entering the market in the hopes of capitalizing on the surging game market.
“We're all about creating a very different gaming purchasing experience,” said David Huether, chairman of Gamer Doc. “We are making that experience one that draws the customer in. For the hardcore and pro gamers, they're going to be able to quickly find and purchase what they want and go home and play the game. For the casual gamers, they're going to find a comfortable environment and also be educated on how to play games and how it can become part of their home. They can make a purchase or rental decision easily.”
Huether said the company plans to open 15 to 20 stores across North America this year. In 2009, he expects to open another 50 to 100 stores.
“We're focusing on the Southwest, Southeast and in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. We hope to get into Maryland and Texas,” he said. “Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver are all Canadian cities we've targeted. We have an office in Seattle, and we're looking for a space there. We're going to stay out of malls. We're looking at strip centers.”
Gamer Doc signed with Frank Borges as the company's first area developer. Borges will develop stores throughout Orange County, Calif., as well as in the Tampa/St. Petersburg and Orlando, Fla., markets.
“I look forward to working with Frank to open the first Gamer Doc store sometime this summer,” said Jim Belanger, president of Gamer Doc.
At Gamer Doc, customers are in charge of their own shopping experience, whether they are hardcore gamers, casual players, moms and dads, or senior citizens, according to Huether. Product is organized into Xbox 360, PlayStation and Wii “Gamer Centers.”
“Instead of being a rack retailer like an EBGames, Play N Trade or Best Buy where you walk into the store and see long walls with a plethora of games, you see in our store two pro gaming areas with one to four gamers who have earned their place to compete,” Huether said. “After that you'll see an Xbox 360 station with 30 of the top national, top retail and special interest games. PlayStation will have a section like this, as well as two big Wii sections with 50-inch screens.”
Through an exclusive deal with Vizio, which will provide all of the screens for the stores, gamers will be able to purchase Vizio TVs at all locations. “In a typical store we'll have 15 to 20 screens set up,” Huether said.
In addition, Huether said DVDs, Blu-ray movies and an assortment of action figures, T-shirts and other merchandise will be featured. Stores will also offer used games.
“We feel that a high level of merchandising expertise and presentation of product is missing from our competition's stores, and we want to do that very cleanly and very effectively,” Huether said.