COVID-19 Store Update

Firstly I'd like to kick things off with a huge thank you to all who have supported the store during the last 12 weeks. It's made a big difference and helped keep the store going during this tough time and for that I am very grateful.

Before lock down we were on the road to a very successful year and were starting to look at plans going forward. We had both new players and returning players getting involved in events. There was a fantastic atmosphere and I felt Ikoria was going to explode with popularity. Unfortunately, as you all know, COVID-19 had other ideas and everything was put on hold. Things are understandably very different right now.

Now that there's a small light at the end of the tunnel, I've been evaluating things as they stand. There have been so many factors to think about when tasked with moving forward. It's always been a store that's focused on events and building a community above most other things. I wouldn't change the community for any other, you've all been amazing. However, looking forward things have to change at least for the short term. With revenue cut I need to look at ways to keep things going without events. This is a tough balancing act as a vast amount revolves around having events running in the store.

What does this mean for the store?

I've taken the decision to cut our costs for the time being, meaning we'll be moving out of the current store and operating fully online whilst things sort themselves out. This hasn't been an easy decision, but one I have to make at least in the short term whilst things work themselves out. You'll find that our online presence will improve over the next few months whilst we put the full catalogue of stock online, grading cards and listing foils over on Liliana Market. We'll have accessories and sealed product available for purchase online. We've had a lot of orders over this period and with improvements things will with any luck continue on an upward trajectory.

If you're looking to pick anything up from the store, then we will be open on Saturday 20th June from 1100-1700 for a last chance to purchase anything. We'll be on card payments only and only one person in the store at any one time. If you have a list of cards to purchase, then either send it over in advance or drop it off for collection later on in the day.

What's the next step?

We'll be monitoring the situation as things hopefully calm down. I'll be looking to bring back our monthly events when the time is right. These will offer a wide range of formats across one day in an external venue (hotel conference rooms or similar). This will offer you the chance to get back into playing some games and getting involved with the community. Whilst this may be a little way off, we'll be ready to go from the off with an exciting schedule of events across multiple platforms (Magic, Dragonball Super, D&D).

In order to deal with any potential future lock downs we'll also be moving the stock to Chelmsford, meaning our local delivery will be limited to Chelmsford during this time. We do have shipping options on the website and if you're looking to purchase anything that's not on there, then don't hesitate to contact us.

Will we have another store in the future?

I'd love to open up a new store and offer more than previous stores have offered. I'm in a position now where I can look at whether this will be viable. I want to create an environment where people want to hang out, grab a coffee, play games, eat snacks and meet new friends. Additionally if things change for the better in a lot shorter time frame than expected, then we'll look into options for bringing the store back sooner rather than later.

Loose ends

I'll be tying up any loose ends over the next few weeks. If you have store credit, that will be kept on file as will prize wall tickets (an update on these will get posted in the next few weeks). We'll still be processing orders as we have done for the last 12 weeks, so if you have an open order or one for collection we'll be in contact (or drop us a line). If you would like to receive updates, then our newsletter will begin to go out from July with updates on what's coming out and further updates as things move forward. I'll be looking at the Store Series and deciding what to do with it in the near future.

Keep in Touch

You can always keep in touch with us through both Facebook and Twitter. Additionally there are community groups on Facebook and a Discord channel where you can catch up, organise games or hang out. These are fantastic resources and although they may not be a chat in the store, they are a great way to stay connected.

As always, it's been great serving you over the years and this brief change is the best way to move forward right now. Thank you as always for your continued support and I hope we can reopen stronger in the future.

Nick Taylor