If you’re a video game collector, then you’re probably familiar with Limited Run Games, a publisher who wholeheartedly believes in keeping physical content alive.
Soon, this successful on-line company will be opening their first retail location in North Carolina.
So, why did LRG decide to open a store? What can customers expect to find inside? Find out the answers to these questions and much more, in our interview with LRG co-owner Josh Fairhurst below.
So, our first question is why. Why did you decide to open a store?
I have always loved video game stores. I have fond memories of browsing chain stores like Babbage’s, Software Etc., Electronics Boutique, and FuncoLand. I remember it was an event any time I got the chance to visit my childhood local mom and pop store; Matt’s Game Exchange in Concord, CA.
I think a lot of people have really strong positive memories of the retail stores they loved from their childhood. I (personally) wanted to capture a slice of my own nostalgia for the gaming stores of the early 90’s.
We also want to have a place our community can gather and call “home.”
I think an important part of building a community is having a space where people can get together and meet each other.
Can you tell us a bit about the general layout of the store?
The store is designed for people to flow around it in a counter-clockwise manner. We have a variety of “zones” in the space that are designated spots for specific types of products.
The first zone you’ll see when entering the store will be the “Merchandise World” where we will have shirts, posters, stickers, trading cards, hats, and other miscellaneous merchandise.
The next zone is the “Pre-Owned Zone” where we’ll have pre-owned games available for sale. Customers will be able to trade in games like with any other game store. Our goal is to have fair trade-in values and great selling prices. We don’t plan to leave games rotting on the shelves. (In other words), the “Pre-Owned Zone” should see a constant rotation of fresh products.
After that, you’ll encounter “Sony Land”, “Nintendo Zone”, “Retro World”, and other platform specific areas where you’ll find new products that correspond to those respective platforms. The majority of this will be Limited Run releases, but we also hope to carry some products from other companies in the space.
Next up, there will be zones for music, books, and retro console modifications.
One of our former employees runs a business installing the latest modifications and restoring retro consoles, so he plans to maintain the “retro” section. He will be available to consult with customers and perform installs for the less hands-on folks. (Think of it as a Radio Shack for retro game enthusiasts).
I (believe) our audience is the perfect fit for a section like this. (I don’t think something like this would work at a traditional game store, but it should work for us)!
What can LRG customers expect in-store? Will they be able to purchase back titles, including collector editions? Place pre-orders? Pick up merchandise such as a River City Girls skateboard deck, a trading card binder, or a LRG t-shirt?
All of the above and more!
In-store preorders will be available for all of our products during the duration of the online preorders.
Customers who preorder in store will only need to place a small deposit and will not need to pay the full amount until pick-up. This will allow anyone local to the store the ability to avoid paying shipping fees.
Will there be merchandise exclusive to the store?
There will be. Stuff like plush, skateboard decks, posters, etc.
Any cover variant games or exclusive game releases (if any should ever exist) will also end up being sold on-line (to some degree), so no one ever feels like they have to go to the store.
Can you tell us about the plushies you’re having made for the store?
We are getting a crane machine for the store that will be filled with exclusive plush. I don’t want to divulge much more information than that yet, though. We’re still figuring out what those plush will be.
Will the infamous trading card machine (we currently see at in-person events) be a fixture at the store?
The trading card machine will indeed have a permanent presence at our store.
You mentioned on Twitter that an award-winning game composer is creating a LRG soundtrack which you plan to play in-store. Where did this idea come from? What was the inspiration behind the music? Will LRG fans be able to purchase the soundtrack on-line/in-store? Lastly, can you reveal the composer?
I think that shopping should be an experience and an adventure.
I believe that to create a memorable and cohesive experience, every piece (of that experience) needs to fit together perfectly.
I felt it would be hard to find existing music that would fit with our store the way we wanted. I am also cognizant of the fact that employees HATE to have to hear the same stuff over and over throughout the day.
So, I wanted to see if we could get a full day’s worth of unique music.
Our composer is going to get us nearly nine hours of music. There is about an hour of “core music” and that music is then remixed and modified to get to the full run-time to cover our longest planned business day.
I think this approach should allow us to create a unique auditory experience and keep our employees from wanting to rip out the speakers.
We do plan to offer the “core music” on vinyl, cassette, and CD. That will be available primarily in-store, but we may offer it on-line sometime as well.
I can’t reveal the composer yet, but he’s an award-winning composer known for a lot of AAA games.
When it comes to trades, will you accept the full spectrum of games, accessories, and consoles, from retro to current gen? Will you accept other types of items (i.e. game related figures/statues, toys, Pokémon trading cards)?
We won’t have space for collectibles, unfortunately, but we do plan to accept games, consoles, and accessories from the full range of platforms, past and present.
Will you give customers a choice of cash or store credit for trades?
Yes, customers will be able to choose. As is standard, we’d offer more in trade credit, less in cash. But, both will be an option.
Will you have a Facebook page or Twitter account, specific to the store, that customers can follow to keep up with the latest news?
Yes, we have a retail store Twitter account set-up at twitter.com/LimitedRunStore.
Do you have a date in mind for the store’s grand opening?
We’re currently looking at opening in mid to late January, but it really depends on how the pandemic looks at that point in time. We don’t want to open at a time when people don’t feel comfortable traveling.
Any special plans for the grand opening event (giveaways, sales, special guests, etc.)?
Our grand opening will feature guests, exclusives, customer returns/damages, sales, and much more.
Is the store fully staffed or are you still looking to hire? If you’re hiring, how do interested parties apply?
We’re not currently staffed for the store since opening is still a ways off. We’ll start accepting applications for positions around November or December.
Do you have plans to open additional LRG stores in the future? If so, any thoughts on location(s)?
We’re going to see how this first one goes. If it’s successful, we’d like to open something on the West Coast.
We’re primarily looking at the Bay Area since that area has a ton of people and surprisingly few game stores. We know that rent in the area is high, though, so we really need to see how this first store plays out (for a year or so) before making a decision.
We thoroughly enjoyed the LRG flea market last week. Will you be doing this again? Will this become a regularly occurring event?
We plan to turn it into a yearly event. We may even invite vendors back for our store’s grand opening.
You usually do an end of the year on-line sale. Will you be doing that again?
Yes, we plan to do that again this January. We usually do it on the 1st, but I don’t know if that will be the case this year since the 1st is on the weekend.
This year marks LRG’s 5th anniversary. In retrospect, how do you feel about the company’s first 5 years? Where do you see LRG, 5 years from now?
I’m blown away by how much we have grown and am constantly in awe of the projects we get to work on. I’m hopeful that in five years we’ll still be here, doing better than ever.
Thanks so much for the interview, Josh. It was a pleasure to speak to you again. We’ll look forward to attending the grand opening of your flagship store next year!
Since the interview, Josh has shared (via Twitter) that construction of the store has begun!
For anyone unable to attend the LRG flea market last weekend, here’s a few pictures of the shopping area where the store will be located.
Want to know more about Limited Run Games? Hit up the links below to check out some of our previous interviews & coverage.
Interview: Douglas Bogart
Interview: Josh Fairhurst
Pop-Up Shop Up Event
Forgotton Anne Physical Release
LRG Collaborates w/Naughty Dog
LRG & Screaming Villains Make History