We were out of town for most of last week, but that didn’t prevent progress from being made at the storefront.  Craig and his crew have framed up the office and the bathrooms, and the plumbing is pretty much complete.  I stopped by yesterday, on my lunch break, to check things out.   As you can see from the picture, the bathrooms have been framed out and partially sheet-rocked.  A small water heater has been installed above the bathroom ceiling, and all the plumbing is in place.  The small heater will save us some money on electricity, since it doesn’t have to keep too much water heated and the run to the faucets is so short.  In the other corner (upper right of the photo), the office has been framed out.  They’re going to adjust one wall to add a window, but other than that, it’s ready to go.
 
IMG_0089
We also walked through and identified all the places we need power drops.  The landlord provides 15, so we had to spend a little extra to get what we wanted, but it should work out nicely in the long run.  We have a few outlets located close to the ceiling, in case we want to install monitors or whatnot.
Beyond the build-out and the new sign, we also managed to get a few other things accomplished.  In particular, we’ve ordered our POS.  Despite what we said earlier, we’ve decided to go with ShopKeep.  We were pointed to them by Chase Paymentech (our potential merchant service), and they impressed me more than any other POS vendor.  Not because their product is necessarily the best (it definitely has some deficiencies compared to LightSpeed, Bindo, and others), but because they were the only company that consistently refused to bash their competition, and only spoke about what their product could do.  They offer a free 14 day trial, so we’ve ordered our hardware and have started playing around with the backend service.  They’re also running a promotion that gets us a free EMV / NFC reader that, in theory, works with Apple Pay.
We’ve also received a care package from Steve Jackson Games, which was incredibly cool of them.  It included a few demo copies of some of their games, as well as some sweet give-aways we can provide to our customers in the store, and some posters and such.  We also have our first inventory orders in, mostly as trial runs to make sure we know what we’re doing.  If all goes well, we’ll have our first in-store products in the first week in January.
Additionally, our phone service is scheduled to be installed on January 5th, and we should have our internet service scheduled in a few days – we’ve placed the order, we just need to get on their installation schedule.
Today, our Carpenter, Randy Mountain, is at the site installing the blocking so that we can hang the slate wall safely after the sheetrock goes off.  For those that don’t know (I didn’t), blocking is just boarding nailed into the steel studs that are used to frame the walls.  Since the studs are metal, using them as a mounting point is a bit of a challenge.  So, Randy is there today, mounting boards to make sure everything hangs securely.
And, finally, we’ve updated the merchandise store, and have a bunch of items for sale with our new and really really final logo on them.
With any luck, we’ll have more to report when the weekend is done.