BattleStations Gaming owner Steve Heiden says every job he’s ever had and every school he’s attended was in preparation for him to open the gaming center in 2012.
“I’ve wanted to do this since I was 14.”
Heiden says “my whole dream” was to become a Fortune 500 company.
Instead, he’s closing the business at Preston Village near the northeast corner of Central and Greenwich on Dec. 24.
“Stuff went really well for us at the beginning,” Heiden says. “We tried to foster growth.”
Starting in February, though, he says he saw sales begin to decline.
“I’ve seen declines of 5 percent to 28 percent in revenue.”
Heiden says his play stations still did well, but his retail sales continued to drop.
“We did actually try to combat all that,” he says.
He added online sales and a lounge area.
Heiden says he had to make some especially difficult decisions, such as which bills to pay or whether to pay himself.
“They’re not fun decisions.”
He says he sees other small businesses and even big-box retailers struggling, too.
“It just makes more sense for us to close up shop than continue to weather the storm,” Heiden says.
He’s not completely giving up on the concept, though.
“I’ll do it again.”
Heiden says his wife is encouraging him to work for someone else for a few years and regroup.
“I can tell you right now, I’m frustrated. I’m emotional,” he says. “But I’m going to start by picking up all the pieces.”