September 27, 2011: Target Test Expanding
How does a game get into a mass market merchandiser like Target? It's a long road, but the key stage is when the chain's buyer decides to perform "test runs" -- which involves stocking the game in a select number of stores around the country. The sales in these stores will determine if the game is given wider distribution. You may remember a test run on Munchkin in Target back in March; that one went well enough to do a second-stage test with even more stores!
Now, we're not going to tell anyone to run out to Target to buy a copy of a game they already have. Even if you need a second copy, or want to give one for a gift, we still recommend you head to your friendly local game store. But if you don't have a FLGS, and you're looking to pick up a copy . . .
. . . Well, buying that copy of Munchkin from one of the Target stores on this list would help us out.
Getting our flagship game into a big box store isn't just a matter of "more sales." It's about getting the attention of game-playing customers who may become gamers -- the person who enjoys a good game, but never knew he had options outside the mass-market stuff; the folks who played years ago, and now have time to get back into the hobby; the family who has a regular "Game Night" and is looking for something other than Monopoly. These potential gamers won't pick up Munchkin from their local game store, because they've never been there -- they likely don't even know they have a local game store! But once they pick up a core game, sooner or later they'll come looking for an expansion (after all, it's advertised on the game box!) . . . and that quest will lead them to their FLGS.
-- Paul Chapman
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