Matt here, putting on the owner hat again to talk about WPN programming. So, we’re working on a few changes in the store. Some of them are already obvious to you; robust live inventory online, easy shopping for Magic: the Gathering singles, D&D summer programs online. These adjustments are necessities, right now, but we believe that long term they will provide a better, smoother, more enjoyable customer experience! There’s more to come, but those are biggies right now.
Well, we’re pleased to note that our partners at Wizards of the Coast agree with us. Today they launched an update to the store metrics that allow stores like ours to qualify for the ‘Premium’ distinction. For those not familiar with the Premium distinction, it’s basically Wizards of the Coast’s “Flagship” recognition of the best stores from a customer experience standpoint. It makes sense that these requirements would change to reflect things like public safety during a pandemic, and I’m very pleased to say they have.
These metrics fundamentally alter the way Premium is achieved and maintained, and set an excellent precedent for stores to follow in. Credit where it’s due – this is great leadership from Wizards of the Coast. In a nutshell, here are the additions to the requirements for WPN Premium stores:
- In-Store Play Metrics Requirement Suspended.
- Online Sales Platform Now Required.
- Remote Play Offering Now Required.
- Accommodate social distancing in all areas of the store.
- All staff observes guidelines from health authorities (this is a permanent addition)
- Offer highly visible information on event attendance caps, including inside Wizards EventLink
- Allow event preregistration via Magic Companion
I’m excited to say that not only do we believe these are excellent ideas, we’re already doing them! Several of these, such as the suspension of in-store play metrics, mean your favorite local store (whether it’s us or someone else!) won’t be penalized for following whatever the local occupancy reductions are during COVID-19. No events for a while – no problem. Reduced events? Not an issue. This will, in turn, encourage stores to do the right thing and help combat the spread of the disease.
Everyone’s circumstances differ in this moment, and we do not want to encourage any member of the WPN to run events if they aren’t comfortable, aren’t permitted, or otherwise feel as though events aren’t a viable option for them. That is why we’re also suspending the Premium requirements to run all WPN programs and provide events that cater to all levels of play.
This is a big, big deal, and I am sincerely thankful to Wizards for making this change.
Now, as for remote events – we know that can be a little intimidating if you’re not used to it. But this Friday and Saturday evening, we’re running two new programs building on the success of FNM online and our “Standard League” for the last couple months. We have one for Historic on Arena, and one for Commander. You can read about them here, and talk about them in the Magic at Just Games Facebook group. Here’s my suggestion – give them a try! They both can be free if you like, and probably a little strange, but we’ll have fun!
Also, if you made it this far, Commander Green will be the next cool Premium thing – in foil! – that we’ll talk about here at Just Games. Stay tuned!