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Play N Trade, 5424 Forest Drive #118: March 2010   9 comments

Posted at 10:21 pm in entertainment,stores

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Here's another vacancy in the little strip in the Wal-Mart plaza off of Forest Drive at I-77. It's right down the sidewalk from the (still vacant) Stevie B's PIzza and Check N Go and across the parking lot from the former Shoe Carnival.

Commenter "Nobody" says that as of a few days ago, the storefront had both Closed For Remodeling and non-payment of rent signs posted, presumably by different parties. As of today, it is innocent of any signs, but the interior has been completely cleaned out. I have to admit that I know almost nothing about modern video games, so I don't know if there are systemic factors here as in the video rental market, or if this is just a case of the generally bad economy.

(Hat tip to commenter "Nobody".)

Written by ted on March 25th, 2010

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9 Responses to 'Play N Trade, 5424 Forest Drive #118: March 2010'

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  1. Ted...

    I'm not certain for sure as to why this location for Play-N-Trade failed. However, during my travels with my job I had heard this location was poorly run and the staff was suspect at best.

    Play-N-Trade, from what I understand is a franchise concept that with the right amount of capital, can put you in a location and distribute new and used video games for sale. Similar to GameStop, just with a whole lot fewer locations. They also focused on the classic games, more so than GameStop does now.

    Plus, if the management stinks, there was no way to change it until the franchise contract ran out.

    The next closest one to Columbia is in Evans, GA, I think.

    Jason

    26 Mar 10 at 9:43 pm

  2. Ted...

    I'm not certain for sure as to why this location for Play-N-Trade failed. However, during my travels with my job I had heard this location was poorly run and the staff was suspect at best.

    Play-N-Trade, from what I understand is a franchise concept that with the right amount of capital, can put you in a location and distribute new and used video games for sale. Similar to GameStop, just with a whole lot fewer locations. They also focused on the classic games, more so than GameStop does now.

    Plus, if the management stinks, there was no way to change it until the franchise contract ran out.

    The next closest one to Columbia is in Evans, GA, I think.

    Jason

    26 Mar 10 at 9:43 pm

  3. sorry for the duplicate comments...

    Jason

    26 Mar 10 at 9:44 pm

  4. Jason's a bit incorrect in assuming the staff's to blame. I was an extremely regular customer (as were my kids), and the staff - from manager on down - were not only friendly and helpful, but also ran a great store. I got to know them well, and found out that sales is what pretty much killed them in the end. Having a Gamestop in the next shopping center definitely didn't help matters. I miss this store greatly - it was my favorite game store in Columbia.

    Thor

    15 Jun 10 at 8:22 am

  5. @Thor - I had not personally visited this particular Play + Trade, and what I stated was what I had heard was from other gamers and customers in the area.

    Jason

    17 Jul 10 at 8:20 am

  6. My husband and friend owned and managed this store, and I can tell you that the economy sucked every penny from us. It wasn't bad sales. Gamestop destroyed this store's customer base as they have all game stores in the area. These guys put their heart and soul into the store and it was tragically disappointing when it ended. Advertising for the location suffered as well, had it been in a more "prime" spot maybe that could have helped us broaden our customer base. But, from having worked closely with the owner, I can tell you that he (as well as my husband) loved that store and we were all deeply saddened when it's time came to an end. In response to the first post; Since you had never visited the store, it is unfair to pass judgment. The staff was kind, honest and generous with their customers, and a patron had to have been incredibly inappropriate and disrespectful to have received anything less than a warm response. To the rest of you, thank you for the positive comments, I know that Brian & Jeremy miss their regulars and thank you for building the relationships that helped us stay afloat as long as we could. We wish everyone the best and mourn this loss. -Maggie on behalf of Brian and Jeremy, Play-N-Trade staff.

    Maggie

    5 Jan 11 at 10:24 am

  7. Commenter

    andrewe96

    1 Jun 11 at 12:21 pm

  8. @Maggie - I was incorrect in my assumptions about the store. I was just relaying the recollections of others that had visited there.

    Jason

    1 Jun 11 at 1:40 pm

  9. I'd talked to Brian shortly before I and my ex-husband left town and, indeed, GameStop managed to kill them off. They were always friendly and Brian was a standup guy. My ex-husband used to frequently come by and help at the store, I guess as an unofficial staff member sometimes. I was saddened to see them go, and I hope Brian is doing well as well as the others affected.

    Lyndsey

    5 May 13 at 11:53 pm

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