About the Game Retailers Association
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 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 its 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.
Are you a retailer that sells (non-electronic) games? Do you operate out of a B&M store front? Then you too could join the GRA and help the GRA become a powerful tool in aiding and protecting your business interests. Jump on over to the Join page to sign up.
Game retailers have a long history of coming together socially to discuss the state of the industry and ways retailers could work together with their supply chain partners. The drive toward a retailer association began in the late ’90s, with retailers seeking to formalize with equal representation under the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA). 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 a manufacturers organization, the seeds of the GRA were planted. In the nearly twenty years since then, several groups of retailers 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 was necessary. As the popularity of games have grown, in large part due to the efforts of independent retailers over the last thirty years, the industry has begun to grow beyond its hobby roots and is becoming more mainstream. This, coupled with the advance of technology, different distribution systems, and the encroachment on retail chains from other industries, led a collection of experienced retailers, many of which had been a part of previous attempts to organize, to 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 on a number of fronts. To openly discuss best retail practices for their goods, provide feedback on packaging and marketing programs, to seek for an exchange of market information, collaborate how to work together for the best flow of information and distribution of the manufacturers’ products, and to ensure 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 both information and products through them to the retail tier. The GRA will advocate for programs and practices at the distribution level that provide for the best climate for game retailers with physical store fronts to have a fair playing field when it comes to the marketing and sales of games. We plan to work with distributors on how they engage with independent retailers so both may benefit from improved efficiencies and greater profitability, while enhancing GRA members’ ability to service their customers and local game communities.
Working within the GRA and with Game Retailers
The GRA will enable positive exchange of information among members in the effort to find and endorse best business practices among retailers and better define the varying successful models that have emerged in game retailing. The GRA will strive to educate members regarding best practices and highlight agreed-upon best practices 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 entertainment merchandise, they must engage with a wide assortment of service providers in the operation of their businesses, including 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, allowing them to make more informed choices when selecting which providers they will utilize in the operation of their businesses. The GRA will seek to partner with proven service providers to bring benefits and programs to GRA members that will improve their businesses.
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 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 aid its members in their local markets or to engage directly with the local game communities, but it recognizes the importance of such actions to be achieved by its members. To that end, the GRA will promote the exchange of best retailer best practices on how to engage, support, and promote their local game communities and how GRA members can be a positive influence within them.