Last year, I wrote two Retail Reviews for Game Depot in Holyoke, MA. There were two separate locations at that time, and I had favorable experiences with both. Earlier this year, the decision was made to consolidate both locations into one main store, and the results are for the best with more inventory, more attention to customers, and a newly-dedicated retro section.
The unified store is located on 245 Main Street in Holyoke, MA. This is the first location that I reviewed back in May of 2013. Upon entering, the layout is still the same; games for the PlayStation 2, original Xbox, Gamecube, Xbox 360, Wii, and PlayStation 3 are located along two aisles. The combination of inventory drastically increased the store’s PlayStation 2 game inventory, which is big enough now that game cases have to be “spined” instead of facing out. The other platforms are represented well, although the Gamecube selection is a bit lacking. (That can’t be helped, of course, if customers aren’t trading Gamecube games in.) Display cases at the front of the store have a nice array of Nintendo DS and 3DS games, along with some Sony PSP and Vita games. There’s even some new-generation games to look at, for those who have upgraded to the WiiU, PlayStation 4, and/or Xbox One. The pricing for all of these games ranges from below to at PriceCharting values; bargain hunters can and will often find a few games for less money than anticipated.
The main draw for me is the new retro section of the store. Consoles, games, and accessories from the first five console generations are located in this area.
The supply of NES and Nintendo 64 games is perhaps Game Depot’s biggest strength. While there aren’t a lot of uncommon games, what there is for inventory here is priced at or below average and is perfect for those looking to start a collection or for those looking for affordable expansion to their libraries. There is also a decent number of original PlayStation games, and all of them are complete with case and manual. The Genesis and NES sections are a little bit smaller, but there is still some great stuff to find while looking. For handheld gaming fans, the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance platforms are well-represented by available games. There is also a small amount of Dreamcast and Saturn games available, along with some boxed Dreamcast VMUs.
The staff here– which consists of the two guys who ran each location before the consolidation– is fantastic. Both are well-versed in gaming-related knowledge, and that’s impressive when considering that the store also handles cell phone sales, other electronic sales, computer repair, and more. That kind of flexibility allows the store to do well, even during leaner gaming periods (such as the summer months). Both guys are very personable and genuine, which is important to keep customers coming back.
My updated Retail Review Grade for this store is an A.
There is a solid inventory of games to choose from here, which especially appeals to those just getting into retro collecting/library building or for those looking to add a few games to a growing library. While I’d like to see more games for Genesis and Gamecube, the store can’t be faulted for not carrying what hasn’t (yet) been traded in. The pricing is more than fair and consistently lies at or sometimes even below PriceCharting standards. Despite my tight cash flow and limited trade-ins, visiting this store has allowed me to gradually build my retro library for a reasonable amount of money. The staff is great, offering just the right amount of attention while being armed with sufficient knowledge to answer most questions. If you’re in the greater Hartford/Springfield area, Game Depot is worth at least a visit; don’t be surprised if you wind up spending at least a little bit of money while you’re there.
My latest #RetailReview revisits Game Depot in Holyoke, MA. Did consolidation help or hurt this store?
Last year, I wrote two Retail Reviews for Game Depot in Holyoke, MA. There were two…