A new game store opened in Carencro, Louisiana, on Feb. 3, 2020. It may seem like nothing special but rather than focusing on retail, CajunGamer prioritizes supporting the community and the gamer culture.
There is a GameStop or Walmart in nearly every across the entire country, making it effortless to find a store nearby to purchase a video game. It’s even easier to buy from Amazon at the tap of a finger while sitting at home.
“Retail is dying. Amazon is doing a perfect job at killing off retail because people would rather stay at their house and order it,” Aaron Smith, owner of CajunGamer, said.
Smith established CajunGamer with an idea in mind to counter this trend in retail and make it stand out as one of, if not the, only gamer-centric store in Louisiana.
“People want a service. So, I built a little less than half of my revenue generating centers of the store on a service,” Smith said.
CajunGamer sells retail merchandise like trading cards, video games and board games. The store also allows customers to play on high-end PCs or consoles connected to the mounted TV. With the focus on emphasizing community interaction, customers don’t enter the store just to buy a game. They can go to socialize, make friends or learn about a new release. Even if a customer isn’t there to make new friends, they can still play Dungeons & Dragons with their own group at the game table in the front of the store. Smith said there are even plans to host tournaments—for both esports and casual play—and game trading nights between customers.
The merchandise in the store is not purely gaming related. There are comic books in mint condition, stylized watches in cases, skateboard decks mounted on the walls, old-school cartoon figurines on shelves and clothing hanging on racks.
“If you’re a gamer, you play and do everything that’s nerd culture. Chances are you have watched anime. Chances are you have an interest in a board game. Chances are you’ve played video games, whether it’s on your phone, PC or console. So, I wanted to take the word ‘gamer’ and leave it open to all gamer activities,” Smith said.
Video showcases the inside of Cajun Gamer.