Magnolia Gaming Located In Troy & Huntsville
Magnolia Gaming has two locations in Troy, Alabama, and Huntsville, Alabama. However, there are plans for a third store – a Magnolia Gaming headquarters with a 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse. The store, about an hour from Nashville, Tennessee, is 1 of 3 in Huntsville, according to Wizards of the Coast’s Store & Event Locator (Store & Event Locator). As of this writing, the store’s location in Troy would be the only one in the area. However, upon consulting the Store & Event Locator, there were not only no other stores in the area, but Magnolia Gaming wasn’t present on the map. We’ll update this article if we can find out why this is the case.
Store owner, Spencer Thomas, originally bought the store for $0 and took on $5,700 in debt when it was three weeks away from closing. He currently has 52 employees with a manager at both locations, so his involvement in the day-to-day operations is mostly hands-off. Both stores are WPN Premium with a casual player base consisting of mostly Commander players. Although the store does sport one of the largest Flesh & Blood stores in America, Spencer says. He notes that one obstacle is the four-year turnover of players with both stores based in college towns. Albeit, customers are very receptive to staff as per Dave Buron’s review on the Magnolia Games Huntsville Facebook page:
Great shop with amazing staff that are always so nice and helpful. The shop staff are incredibly responsive wether it’s a $5 order or a $500 order. Top tier gaming store.Dave Burson, Magnolia Games Huntsville Customer
Managing Multiple Businesses In Addition To Magnolia Gaming
The majority of Spencer’s time revolves around the liquor business and his media company. The former is the most time-consuming and he spends 20-25 hours (80 hours total) a week with each of his businesses. Additionally, he used to also own a delivery company which he sold to DoorDash.
In addition to his businesses, conventions are a big part of the game store operation just like The Gathering Place in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Spencer shared that Magnolia Gaming attends 30-45 conventions a year to acquire collections to later sell online. While the costs can be expensive to attend conventions, Spencer says it’s all factored into the marketing budget. The biggest challenge, he says, is finding profitable products. Overall, his preferred goal would be to leave the convention with $100,000 in acquired cards.
Located about an hour from Montgomery, Alabama, the store in Troy handles all online orders through its website. There are 12-15 employees whose job is to process orders for customers. Separately, two employees will receive a random list of 100 cards to confirm their inventory on hand each day. With two stores, a third on the way, and two other businesses, Spencer acknowledges that you can’t do everything:
As a business owner, everything falls on you and Spencer does not shy away from that fact. During our conversation, he shared that he loves putting out fires related to the business. Each year he aims to open a new store in one of the business fields he operates in. When it is a game store, the goal is to launch it as a WPN Premium Store. Although, he notes that doing so is a heavy monetary investment.
The Highest Costs When Running A Game Store
When it comes to the costs involved with the day-to-day operations of the store, signage is the most expensive. Spencer also notes that he submits Magic: The Gathering orders with no knowledge of an upcoming set. When a distributor calls, he has to make the best determination on how much to order. However, If a product is taking up space in the warehouse, Spencer will sell that product at a loss of $10. In contrast, when it comes to Flesh & Blood, he’s able to make $30 to $40 per booster box.
A future goal of Spencer’s is to possibly open a store with one of his existing businesses on the West Coast.
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