PORTLAND, Ore. — With just 30 days to find a new location and move thousands of units of inventory, owners of Video Game Wizards, husband and wife Lacy and Dominic Kalberer aren't sure what the future holds.
"Unfortunately, it's going to take a lot financially to move – to create the same atmosphere," said Lacey.
VGW has made it a goal to be a family-oriented video game and movie shop for almost the last three decades. The Kalberers have owned the shop since 2005, but the original owner opened VGW in Southeast Portland at 97th and Foster in 1991.
“It’s been a great adventure for us, we’ve seen a lot of families come back with their kids," said Lacy. "We’ve just seen people take these new stages in their life and it’s been great – to be part of that community."
And their community is sad to see them go. Two customers, who both said they had been shopping at the store for decades, were keen to hear details about where they would be moving when the 7-Eleven next door takes over their space. The lease that VGW has had since the Kalberer's took over has been year-to-year without issue. However, the owner of the space has allowed 7-Eleven to take over the new lease. The Kalberers said they understand that the owner needs to do what is in their best interest.
But the Kalberers don't have a location yet. Just one of the issues that presents itself when having to move an entire shop full of retro and new games and equipment.
"We have to find a suitable location," said Dominic, "And just the manpower to move everything and keep track of everything and get it set up in time."
The video game industry doesn't sleep. Traders and collectors are constantly on the hunt, according to Lacy. So it is imperative that this small business not have too long of a lapse between locations.
“We are just a husband and wife team with a little kid so we’re just trying to make sure that our lives and our employees' lives transition smoothly through this," she said. "That’s a big financial burden that we weren’t prepared for.”
But the Kalberers are keeping their heads up.
"We're trying to take it as a positive... for growth," said Dominic.
In the time between locations, VGW's website will remain active where customers can purchase and peruse their inventory.