This educational post was provided by Player One Amusement Group.

No matter the type of entertainment facility or business you run, if it has redemption games, then your prize counter is essential to a high performing game room. Not only does it drive game play, but it can also drive repeat visits. It is key to think of your redemption counter as an attraction, given the significant impact it can have on your game performance and earnings.

As such, it requires attention and the first consideration is location. There is not one single magic spot to build out a redemption counter, but it is recommended to be placed somewhere visible from your main entrance. Since it is common for guests to select prizes at the end of their visit, or look at prizes before they play, the proper placement can help with the flow of traffic, as well as general operational efficiency.

Your redemption center needs to fit your distinct audience. Therefore, the prize mix is extremely important. Since trends that work at one location might not work in another location, it is helpful to have a broad mix of prize offerings and test different products to determine what works best for your facility and customers.

Another key is the frequency of guest visits. Are you seeing the same guests every two or three weeks, or just once a year? The answer will help direct your product choices. Ask your patrons what they would like to see in the counter and what items they suggest you carry. You can also get a great idea on trends with different products like toys, electronics, and other categories by perusing your local retailers and looking at the end caps. The latest trends and hot products will be concentrated there.

Make sure to carry merchandise of varying price points or ticket values and ensure that each item has a ticket value clearly displayed – this helps your team members and guests. Do not make the process difficult by having too many options with similar ticket values. This extends the selection time, resulting in longer lines, slower decisions and more items to stock.

Candy and sweets are one of the biggest sellers in the redemption counter. Make sure to stock some of the smaller single piece items and also stock the larger full sized candy bars and brands. Think about what is hot, what sells in the stores, and what kids really want. Presentation is everything and if you have fully stocked bins of brand name popular items, it will look like a candy store. Not only can you take advantage of great margins, but candy can be priced low while maintaining a higher perceived value to your customers.

Two trademarks of a great redemption counter are:

  1. It is organized and well-stocked. It should provide your customers with easy access to all the amazing merchandise you have to offer.
  2. It is easy to restock by allowing for quick access and easy upkeep.

Some redemption counters have too much “negative space” and this is space that goes unused and can make the counter look less full. Take advantage of shelving, hooks, baskets, bins, and use your wall space and counter capacity more effectively. Create a consistent look, and let the product attract the guests. Also, keep it bright with lights in order to really let it pop! Refill, refill, and constantly refill the bins! A half empty or empty bin or rack looks less appealing and flat. Think about retailers, grocery stores, and the toy store. You will never see these look half full or empty, and if so, it leaves a negative impact. If you have not tried implementing these strategies, give it a shot. There is a lot to be gained by spending a little extra time to organize your merchandise.