Here Be Books & Games is reopening its brick and mortar store at a new location in Summerville on Small Business Saturday, November 25. The owners, Tim and Tina McDuffie, are in the process of buying and refitting a business condo in the Travelers Executive Center at 810 Travelers Boulevard, Suite A2, less than a mile from the location where they held business for twelve years. Their Grand Reopening is scheduled for Saturday, December 2 to coincide with their usual 1st Saturday of the Month Game Night.
Much like a phoenix arising regenerated from its ashes, the new store will have a fresh focus on games and gaming only: primarily board games, but also roleplaying games, card games and related supplies and accessories. The McDuffies have lowered their regular prices on games by 15% to 20% off MSRP to be more competitive with online stores. The new retail space, which the McDuffies fondly call “The Tower” in reference to its second-floor location, features three game rooms where the McDuffies can continue to host their popular monthly Game Nights as well as organized play sessions, tournaments, other gaming events and even gaming groups.
The McDuffies were forced to close their popular book and game store, which had been a unique resource for books and board games in the Summerville community for 12 years, on September 30 when the new landlord, a group of out-of-state investors, quadrupled the rent. The McDuffies spent nine months searching for a new location for their business and had three promising options fall through. Out of time and with no place to go, the McDuffies put all of their books and games on sale and sold off most of their store fixtures. They started with a half-price book sale to get ready for their move to a house in downtown Summerville. Then when that deal fell through, sold books for $1 each and finally by the bag and box. “After the $1 sale, there was no coming back for the book store part of our business,” said owner Tina McDuffie. “Luckily, we can easily get more games from our distributors, though, and the game store can live on.”
After closing their brick and mortar store, the McDuffies initially planned to just sell games on the Internet through their online store. While searching for a commercial office where they could receive packages, provide local pick up, and hopefully host gaming events, the McDuffies found the business condo at 810 Travelers Boulevard, Suite A2 in Summerville that they’re currently in the process of buying. As a bonus, the commercial property is zoned to allow them to conduct retail business as well.
The McDuffies have been valued members of the community. Since opening in 2005, they not only provided affordable books for school kids from preschool through college, they regularly sent boxes of books to military members serving overseas. The bookstore offered an extensive collection of books, then thrived in recent years by expanding the inventory to include a wide variety of innovative games for people of all ages. The store’s monthly game night became a popular gathering place for people of all ages to come and learn how to play unique board games not offered anywhere else in the area. Now with the new shop, the McDuffies can continue to teach people how to play those modern board games – their favorite part of the job.
The McDuffies plan to host more gaming events and provide open gaming during business hours. Initially, Here Be Books & Games’ new brick and mortar shop will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 7pm with later hours during events and their online store open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The McDuffies are inviting local gaming groups to contact them regarding meeting at their shop to play in their new game rooms on a regular basis and will then increase their business hours accordingly to try to accommodate these groups. They’re also establishing a new, revised Loyalty Rewards Program and extending the hours of their monthly Game Night. Game Night will now start earlier, at 2 p.m., and run until after midnight.
When Here Be Books & Games announced on their Facebook page that they were reopening soon, customers Gerald Vanlandingham and Erin Kronman responded by posting videos of people jumping up and down in excitement and doing a happy dance. Anthony Eldridge posted pictures of fireworks and people squealing with joy and Misty Sullivan expressed the feelings of so many in the community with her, “eek! so excited!” post. The McDuffies are excited, too. They’re hoping the lower prices, ample gaming space, more frequent events and singular focus on games will attract even more local customers than before.
For more comments and additional details about the reopening and Grand Reopening of Here Be Books & Games, please visit the web site https://HereBeBooksAndGames.com or https://HereBeBoardGames.com and/or call (843) 695-1498.