When I was a young lad, managing my first game store at seventeen years old, I would hit up all my favorite places when I got paid. FYE fulfilled my music needs, Suncoast was my go-to movie retailer, and my own store, Software Etc… gave me my video game fix. I was probably my own best customer! I had to go to 3 different places to scratch the entertainment itch and there was certainly not a cool used shop where I could get some of things less than retail price. I think even then I had a little voice in the back of my head that said “wouldn’t it be nice…”
Twenty years later I get to live that dream. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already one of our customers (and you’re totally awesome for it), but there are also a bunch of people that might still be doing what I was doing back when I was a teenager… just maybe doing it online and paying too much! So, do local a favor and spread the good word, tell someone about this cool local shop you know of called Tradepost, whether there is a CD in front of it or not! Also check out our website if you haven’t done it yet, same great prices!!
I know that just sounds like a plug… but the purpose of these blog posts, for me, is to give you guys transparency about who Tradepost is and why it exists today and a little bit of what we have going on. I think that’s important if WE want to be important to YOU, the customer. There is a real story about why each of us come to work every day and I want to shed some light on that. I wish more companies did that; Invited their customers behind closed doors to see why and how they do whatever it is they do. Gave those customers a chance, if they wanted it, to understand their motivations, their drive and passion. If it exists anyways. Sometimes its just for money but I think every company started with a fire in their belly don’t you? Even better there are so many potential entrepreneurs out there and they probably don’t even know it. I don’t think I knew I was going to be the CEO of a company one day, but I knew I was meant for more and I had no lack of ambition.
I recently saw another local comic shop publicly announce that they were transitioning ownership. The new owner came out of the gates with a warning, a threat even, of how business was to be done at his shop and if you didn’t like it… well there’s the door. A lot of angry rants occurred, flames were cast, literal curse words were typed… and all from the new owner! I have to say I was blown away at the audacity this guy brought to the table. What an opportunity to make new friends, to talk about change and set the tone for his business… or literally anything BUT yell at the people who are your patrons. If I had been a previous customer, or was a potential future customer, I know from what I saw typed to his audience, that I would never step foot in his shop. Ever.
Today brick and mortar shops are competing against online convenience at every step. 20 years ago, there was no amazon, there was only the guy or gal in that store and the experience of picking up that new thing you had been waiting all week to pick up. Today those same retailers MUST provide a positive experience more so than ever. If you don’t do that, and if you don’t win on price or selection, you’re not going to make it.
I don’t want to see that guy fail. He’s a business owner like me, we all root for each other in our own way. I had a transition moment too with Tradepost 4 years ago this week. You better believe that what I communicated to my employees and customers held a lot of weight in my mind… and I sure wouldn’t lose sight of why our company existed in the first place, because of those employees and customers 1000%. Without them we’d be nothing.
CEO of CD Tradepost & Tradepost Entertainment