One thing that is on the mind of most everyone in many countries is the state of the economy. It’s been quite a roller coaster in the States where I am; I know the other day the UK announced that it’s officially in a recession. Fortunately arcades historically do well in recessions – things were pretty bad at the end of the 70’s in the US yet that is considered the ‘Golden Age’ of arcades. People still need entertainment so we just need to provide them that for a good price.
In my case, running my arcade has been an adventure – the location I am at hasn’t done as well as I had hoped (I should have gone inside the mall instead of outside so I could capture more foot traffic) but things have done well enough for us to get by and that’s with a complete focus on video. I fully believe that an arcade with nothing but video can thrive, as long as it has the right game selection and it gets the word out.
But that might change with my location, which is where I pull the ‘risk’ part from in my title. When I took this location, I knew that the mall was going to begin reconstruction – adding new stores, bringing in bigger business, etc. I was assured that where my location was would not be touched until 2009, after my agreement had ended. Unfortunately, that appears to not be the case as yesterday while checking out PC games at a retailer in the mall, I overheard that a clothing store retailer called Ross is making their way into the mall and a lot of us little guys have an uncertain future ahead. I’ve heard a lot of rumors and I can’t get a hold of the mall management until Monday but according to a map of the renovation, my location is set to become a walkway/entrance to the mall. Strangely, most of the other tenants seem to know what is going on and the one behind us says they have until next Saturday to get out but we have heard nothing official so far.
So I’m not sure what will happen at this point, if I will have a place within the mall to move to or if I’ll have to find a new place elsewhere (which I’ve begun doing, just in case). This can be a blessing and a curse – a curse because I have a number of regulars who I might loose in the process a blessing because it’s chance to find a higher traffic location and perhaps with better internet access than what we have. I just didn’t expect to have to deal with this until next May when my contract was up and it just doesn’t seem like a good time to have to move around. Whatever happens I’ll make the most of it.
UPDATE: I talked with the mall today and I can rest easy for now – at least until January. The construction of the new store won’t affect me until then and they are going to see if I can move to a new location within the mall. That depends on certain factors of course but at least I’ll have mroe time to weigh my options.