Retro gaming is more popular than ever with some old titles and consoles fetching huge money online. One man who hopes the demand for retro continues is Anthony Dobbs.
Anthony has recently opened Wexford town’s first Retro Video Game Store. In the first of our Business Bites series we spoke to Anthony about his new venture.
How did you decide on the idea for the Retro store in Wexford?
“My decision for the Retro Gaming store in Wexford was more of a transition from collector to seller. I have been trading in gaming for over 20 years and it’s something that has been a hobby of mine since I was 6 years old. I grew up wanting to own a video game shop and even though it took longer than I imagined I got there in the end.
The idea was from just talking to people, for a small county there is quite a large group of retro gamers. In Ireland stock is in very high demand but the demand far outweighs the supply. I knew I could change that using my years of contacts and having bought out the stock of a closed down store from the UK the dream became a reality.”
How difficult was it to get up and running and what were the challenges?
“It is very difficult, not so much in the setting up because I already have a retail premises in the heart of Wexford Town which is very well known but in terms of getting stock and more importantly keeping the stock fresh. I was lucky with the purchase of my initial stock as I knew the owners of the UK store that had closed down and they were happy to do business with me. They also supplied me with their contacts around Europe.”
“The biggest challenge was funding. Even though I have a fairly successful retail store there was still the matter of an investment required. I did not want another business loan and even though I had money still put aside from my redundancy in 2014 I was planning on using that for my wedding next year.”
“I sat down with my partner and we went through the personal finances and also I did have some cash flow in my existing business that I could short term borrow from. My partner and family are very supportive so between the two sets of funds we made it work. After the first month of trading the small short term loan from my current business has already been paid back.”
How has business been since the launch and how has it been received?
“The business is busier than I thought it would. It’s funny the amount of people who walk past our shop window and double take when they see the old gaming consoles all displayed. They pop in to the shop even if it is just for a chat but very few leave without a nostalgic purchase. I have had people travel down from Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Kilkenny just to come into the shop and its fantastic meeting a community I have been a part of for so long face to face.”
You can check out The Retro Gaming Store through their Facebook page here.
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