Obviously from my terrible lack of posts this week things have been a bit upside down at the store. I thought it would be applicable to do a quick post on the effects of bad weather and mainly school cancellation with the operations of a game center. Let’s go through a day-by-day synopsis for the week (**note – customer count each day is gaming customers, not retail customers):
Monday – 18 Customers
All day everyone is running around scared of the upcoming storm. Our particular area is in the “Ice Zone” and we are being told there will be up to an inch of ice on everything. All of the local grocery stores are packed and empty of nearly all bread, eggs and milk. I included an awesome picture the Shawn took when he was at our super Wal-Mart looking for milk.
School finished as usual this day but all teachers were instructed to go home no later than 4 PM and all evening activities for almost every single business and organization was cancelled. I opened that day and Tucker was closing and we saw VERY few people all day. In fact that night, for the first time that I can remember, we shut down early and Tucker went home around 10 PM. The freezing rain started about 6 PM
Tuesday – 19 Customers
School was cancelled for everyone including Indiana State University and the other local colleges. About 10,000 homes in our county were without power from the previous night’s “first wave” of the storm. Nothing really happened with the weather during the day this day. I loaded up the family, picked up Didier who needed a ride to the store, and we headed in to help Dustin get opened at our normal time at 2 PM. Nearly every business in the community was closed and many were without power.
The center had power and today was the release of the First Strike map pack for Xbox 360. We had around a dozen people show up right away, some to play Black Ops, but others just to get online or maybe just get warm and charge their cell phones. The weather started getting bad later in the afternoon and Ashley and I decided earlier in the day to close at 10 PM. Sales were low on game time but we did about 300% better on weekday retail sales.
Wednesday – 32 Customers
Once again everything was closed in the city. State of Emergency called for only emergency travel. I saw as high as 20,000 homes without power during this time on the Duke Energy website. I opened the store at 2 PM that day. I wasn’t sure if we would see many customers, but I also thought we might see more than usual as some people had been out of power for 2 days. There were still around 12,000 homes without power all day. I thought we might jump out this day because everyone would have a couple of days of cabin fever, but honestly I was disappointed.
One thing to note also on this day as well as yesterday EVERYTHING was closed. The mall, city offices, movie theater and pretty much everything but gas stations and hotels. I thought that maybe as the only place in town with the lights on we would just get people stopping because nothing else was open! 🙂
Thursday – 93 Customers as of 9 PM
Well today (as of 9 PM when I am writing this) the store was a complete madhouse. A few things are back open today, but school is still out today and again tomorrow for the grade schools. The universities went back today and finally most of the businesses in the area are back open. We did our Facebook day today instead of our normal day of the week which is Tuesdays.
I really am baffled by the changes from day-to-day during this time. I wish we would have ran our Facebook special all week long so that I could have compared the day’s traffic with the same special offer. Would I have been able to bring out the bigger numbers on the previous days with a “deal” or special offer?
The worst part about the week is that everything seems upside-down. It seems that everyday could not be planned out because of the uncertainty with the weather. I feel at the end of the week that nothing much was accomplished at all when it comes to the store. We were able to get a jump on some outside consulting projects but gaming wise we took a few steps backwards.
4 thoughts on “Our Video Game LAN Center during Bad Weather”
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It’s not about people not coming solely because you’re open. It’s people not coming because the roads were completely ice and it was dangerous to leave. Even without power, sitting in the cold under blankets is better than trying to walk on ice to a car, warm that car up, then drive somewhere hoping you don’t slide into something, or more likely, someone else slides into you. Who wants to risk that to play a video game? Clinton was completely closed down. You could not even leave the city if you wanted to because the roads were blocked. What parent would want to risk driving their kid to play games in this weather? I’m not sure what surprises me more, that you were even open (employees work into the night and have to drive home alone in that!?) or that customers showed up at all. Even Bemis was closed and Bemis NEVER closes.
A lot of kids like to think that a “snow day” means a day off. It’s not that at all, especially if we’re talking about ice. It’s more like a “you can’t go to school today because children might die.” If a bus might slide into a ravine to go get an education, mom’s minivan might slide into a tree to go play Halo.
Just terrible, dreadful weather and we’re lucky more people weren’t hurt or worse.
I agree Cpt Insano (funny nickname to comment about driving safely.. hehe) that no one should risk driving when conditions are treacherous. However in a county of 100,000 driving 10 minutes at 20 MPH on the side streets isn’t exactly dangerous. I watched multiple interviews with the state police and they just emphasized over-and-over that they were most worried about drivers going to fast in poor conditions. They would not issue tickets for being out, just for being out and driving too fast.
I agree that no one from Clinton should travel the 20 miles to Terre Haute in the bad conditions. But I see no problem with driving around town where the speed limits do not exceed 30 MPH, so under bad conditions you travel at 15-20 MPH.
I was out each day and I can assure you there were tons of people out driving. The main roads were all very passable and there wasn’t a time when US 41 right in front of our building didn’t have cars, vans and trucks going up-and-down it. Thortons across the street was open the entire time and ALWAYS packed full of people.
Oh, I have no doubt. People will always be out. Life does not stop just because of bad weather (although Terre Haute certainly tried to make it for a few days with all of the closings!)
Just my line of thinking isn’t that eBash should have been closed, that no customers should have shown up, or that people should not have left their homes in general. My line of thinking is that it is hazardous, not because of the actual road conditions, but because like you mentioned, OTHER people. That is always the problem. You might be going 20 MPH on a back road to get to your destination and are taking all the proper precautions. However, the college-aged student in the parent-funded Neon driving forty-five might not be and when they slide into you, it can provide a lot of problems or potentially even worse, health implications. I just felt it was not a necessary risk to take all in the name of playing some games.
That was what was so surprising to me. I believe I might have underestimated the mentality of a proper “gamer.” I know I was complaining about having to go to work on those days!