Hello all! It’s your friendly neighborhood friendly local game store owner Matt here again, with some exciting news – and some reality checks!
First, we’re excited to announce that we will “reopen” for curbside only (no in store shopping) on May 16. According to the “NY Forward” regional reopening orders, we are permitted to restart curbside May 16, but are not permitted in-store sales (read about our region here, or the orders more generally here). These orders go into effect May 16, and while they may be amended at any time based on our regions health, they currently allow businesses in our classification to offer contactless curbside pickup, which is great! But with that comes a new set of challenges. Customers are not allowed into the store to browse, which makes things a bit difficult for a retail store. And we recently learned that taking a phone request to describe every puzzle in stock is a bit… unrealistic. ?
So we’re opening a massively updated online portal! You can find it at justgamesrochester.com/virtual-store or by hitting the “SHOP” link above. Just like your typical in-store shopping experience! Mostly.
Here Come the Caveats!
The online store was set up in the quickest way possible, which means while it has every item we currently have in stock, it may not have every item we can order. We’re working on that!
Further, some item names may look like they are in a type of shorthand, or truncated – this is due to a legacy issue with our old system that allowed a limited number of characters in an item name. Our internal naming conventions are now available for everyone to see! Oh no! ?
We are working hard to rectify all these items as quickly as possible, and we thank you for your patience as we make this transition. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions (starting Friday). And of course you are not limited to shopping via the online portal – you are always welcome to call us and a Just Games staffer will help you!
- Store phone line: 585-586-0586
We’ll Have New Store Hours
We currently won’t need to be on-site as much as when customers could come in a browse. But we need staff to process inventory going in and out of the store, and take phone calls. And we need availability for customers to come pick up their items! As of right now, here are our new hours (these may change as we monitor demand and bandwidth):
- 12-6 pm, daily.
Online Stock Should be Mostly Accurate, But Will Not be Perfect.
The online inventory is tied to our in-store system, including your member rewards points. Online “purchases” should update inventory numbers across all systems. However, there may be instances where the online portal is displaying incorrect stock amounts (it may think we have an item in stock when we actually do not). Sometimes this may be due to stock already being held for another customer, or it may simply be an inadvertent error. We will confirm stock status before we contact you, and we apologize if any online stock is inaccurate (this is always going to be a symptom of live inventory – it’s why most stores haven’t done it before! It’s always better to see and touch the item, but we’re doing our best with what we’ve got). If items are not in stock, we can let you know how soon we think they will be back in stock and contact you when they are available again.
We will also have a new form that you can use to create a special order for any item that you cannot find, or that we list as out of stock. And heck, you can even use it to request preorders.
Choose Curbside, Delivery or Shipping
You will conduct your ordering like any online shopping experience, but instead of actually buying, you are effectively creating and sending us a cart of items that will hold your items until we can process them for you directly.
- You will see several shipping options when you check out, In Store Pickup, Delivery and Shipped
- Choose In Store Pickup for curbside, Delivery to have our staff bring it to you at our next scheduled delivery day (generally Tuesday and Thursday), and Shipped to have it sent out via USPS
- We reserve the right to change Delivery to Shipped if enough staff are not available to do the deliveries. This will generally mean you get your items sooner if we do it; that’s why we’d do it.
Once we receive your order, we will pick the order and prep it for your selected method of delivery. Please ensure the email and phone number you give us are accurate and your voicemail is working. Also note our current hours of operation above, and allow us time to process. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Receiving Your Items
Here’s how it will work depending on the option you choose.
Curbside pickup is available during our new hours listed above. Once you have placed an order, you can generally pick it up during the next available store open hours. When you arrive at the store:
- Call the store at 585-586-0586
- We will place the items on a table outside the door for you to pick up.
- Please stay a safe 6-foot distance from the door, and other shoppers, as we deliver them to the table.
- Once the store door is closed, and our staff back inside, you may collect your items.
- You may not enter the store, and staff may not physically hand items to you, nor deliver items to your car. No exceptions.
For those who wish to have their games delivered to your home, we are again offering home delivery. We ask that you only use this service if you truly are not able to travel to us for curbside delivery. A minimum purchase of $50 is required, and a $10 delivery fee will be required. Currently we are able to deliver games within 20 miles of our store. Generally, that means these areas:
- Rochester Metro area
Please make sure when you check out that your delivery address is accurate. For the safety of our staff, we will deliver items to your front door, porch, or outside your apartment building. We will not enter any building. We will email or text you when we deliver your game.
Finally, the Current State of Product Availability is Not Exceptional
This is where I am going to try and manage expectations.
We are faced with several new challenges in simply being able to restock the store. We have major suppliers that are currently shut down. The entirety of Asmodee’s game catalog (which incoudes Fantasy Flight, Plain Hat, Catan, Z-Man, and others) is coming from a just TWO warehouses right now, and we are limited in how much we can purchase each week, so they can stay ahead of demand. Where once we were able to get many restocks in as little as a day, now we are looking at potentially much longer.
Most game companies have delayed the launch of their new releases. Some are not shipping product at all. Games Workshop, for example, is only just this week rumbling back to life worldwide. We expect it to be a while, up to 90 days, before this stabilizes at all. Probably longer.
Many popular games are out of print and new shipments are not expected for weeks or even months.
And puzzles? There are no puzzles. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit. Puzzles have never been in higher demand. Some major puzzle companies are not taking orders at the moment – they have nothing to sell. Others are weeks behind in fulfillment and very limited inventory. We have several puzzle orders outstanding with several publishers, and we hope they will arrive in a steady stream. The excellent thing about the new online portal is we will have automated lists that will show you exactly what is in stock at any one time.
So, we have limited hours, limited capability to let you browse, and limited ability to restock. But we’re open! ?
Thank you again for your patronage, and thank you for the opportunity to deliver quality fun in a time when it is sorely needed.