The Game Retailers Association (GRA) is an organization of brick and mortar game retail stores working together to forge a strong game market and vibrant local communities. The GRA
is a new association in its early stages. The association has just begun expansion to include an membership tier for Associate members to make it easier for newer stores and
people looking to start stores to benefit from GRA membership.
The Game Retailers Association (GRA) is a volunteer group of independent game retailers working to advocate for and curate sustainable, profitable and mutually beneficial
business practices and programs for it's members and supply chain partners. The GRA seeks to engage with industry partners on important issues, enhance the public image of
game retailers through education and exchange of best practices and support local game communities.
Game retailers have a long history of coming together to socially discuss the state of the industry and ways retailers could work together with their supply chain partners.
The drive towards a retailer association began in the late 90s, with retailers seeking to formalize with equal representation under the GAMA organization. A pivotal vote was made
to see if GAMA would expand its charter to grow into an "industry" organization or remain a "manufacturers" organization. When GAMA opted to remain an manufacturers organization,
the seeds of the GRA were born. In the 20 years since then, several groups of retails have come together to begin the work of establishing a GRA-like organization, but for
a variety of reasons, those efforts never came to fruition. Nonetheless, those efforts paved the way and helped show retailers that the need for a game retailers association
existed. As the popularity of games have grown over the last 30 years, in large part due to the efforts of indepedent retailers, the industry has begun to grow beyond its hobby
roots and is becoming more mainstream. This coupled with advances in technology, different distribution systems and the encroachment of retail chains from other industries,
led a collection of experienced retailers, many of which had been a part of previous attempts to organize, realize that the independent retailer needed a representative voice in
the current landscape that only an association of retailers could offer. And thus, the GRA was born.
Working With Manufacturers
The GRA seeks to work with game manufacturers and the Game Manufacturers' Association on a number of fronts. To openly discuss best retail practices for their goods, provide
feedback on packaging and marketing programs, exchange of market information, collaborate how to work together for the best flow of information and distribution
of the manufacturers' products and insure that independent retail channels are treated fairly and equally in the broader markets.
Working With Distributors
The GRA also seeks to work with game distributors to improve the distribution of information and products through them to the retail tier. The GRA will advocate for programs
and practices at the distribution level that provide the best climate for game retailers with physical store fronts to have a fair playing field in the marketing and sales of
games. To work with distributors to improve efficiencies and mutually enhance profitbility while enhancing GRA members ability to service their customers and local game
Working within the GRA and with Game Retailers
The GRA will enable the positive enchange of information among members in the effort to find and endorse best business practices among retailers and better define the varying
successful models to have emerged in game retailing. The GRA will strive to educate members regarding best practices and highlight and showcase them as examples to share with
the broader market. The GRA will work with its members to establish networking events for mutual education, the sharing of seminars and other educational content. For the first
time within the industry, the GRA is also uniquely positioned to enable its member companies to work together to aggregate market data, enabling member companies to operate with
a clearer understanding of the marketplace, and enabling the GRA as a whole to more effectively communicate and engage with other industry tiers in the advancement of its mission.
Working with Service Providers
While GRA members sell games and other enetertainment merchandise, they must engage with a wide assortment of service providers in the operation of their businesses. From the
purchase of office supplies, leasing store fronts, working with banks, paying for dependable merchant services, using freight companies, buying adequate insurance policies and
more. The GRA will seek to find and rate service providers for its members, giving them more informed choices when choosing which providers they will utilize in the operation of
their businesses. The GRA will seek to parter with proven service providers to bring benefits and programs to GRA members that will improve their businesses and save them money.
Working with the Media
To advance its mission, the GRA will seek to create and publish both position papers and white papers on topics important to GRA members and the industry. It will seek to create
media connections, such as necessary for the promotion of those bodies of work. Additionally, while each GRA member must engage with the media within its own local market, from
time to time, games in general can catch national attention for a variety of reasons. The GRA will seek to represent GRA members and game retailers in general on such issues and
may partner with other industry organizations to present a unified front on such matters when necessary.
Working with Game Communities
The GRA is not an organization established to directly engage with end consumers. That is the job of its member companies. The GRA, however, recognizes the imortance of such
actions to be achieved by its members. To that end, the GRA will promote the exchange of best practices on how to engage, support and promote their local game communities and
how GRA members can be a positive influence within them.