It was an unusual move to save a fledgling local business.
But if it works, who’s to judge?
Dragon Port Games & Comics hasn’t just been selling games and comics in downtown Duluth since 2008, it regularly hosts gaming events and tournaments and is a sort of drop-in center for avid gamers.
But located on the downside of Superior Street at 3 S. Fourth Ave. W., the little shop can easily be missed by potential new customers. And with sales down this year, co-owner Donny Krosch Jr. is taking a hit. And he’s worried.
“November was particularly bad,” he said. “So we’re in a tight spot with some bills. We’re in a situation where we need to get sales in, and we’re in some trouble.”
The gaming community — who are into board games and role-playing adventure games — had rallied behind the store when it first opened. Maybe they would again to keep it going.
“If this is a bad month, there’s a chance we will have to close or do something really dramatic,” Krosch said.
So on Monday, Krosch sent out an e-mail plea to his friends and to Dragon Port’s Facebook friends, asking them to buy something at the shop, perhaps a holiday gift for somebody. The e-mail didn’t end with those receiving it. Some forwarded it to others to get the message out. And it soon was posted on the Perfect Day Duluth blog.
“We need you to help us out this holiday season,” Krosch pleaded in his e-mail. “In the next five weeks, in order to fend off some serious negative changes to the store, we need to have a big sales month. If this doesn’t happen, the future is bleak.”
To help boost sales, the store also has a 20 percent off sale going on.
“We love everything the gaming and comic community has done for us, and we hate to ask for more, but we have little choice,” Krosch wrote. “ So if you enjoy our events, our staff, and everything we try to help bring to the gaming community, we need your purchases sooner rather than later.”
So far, the unusual plea seems to be working. Sales are up a bit. But the true impact will take time since Fridays and Saturdays are the shop’s busiest days and it has some big events coming up: Friday Night Magic, Warhammer Fantasy Tourney on Dec. 3, Gaming & Comic Auction on Dec. 10 and Warhammer 40k Tourney on Dec. 17.