Switch Theme:

Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit  [RSS] 

End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 07:00:00


Post by: tjnorwoo


Just a thought. Could Covid19 be the end of the local game store? I don’t know how businesses will last an extended quarantine. I hope they will. Wanted to see what the communities thoughts were.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 07:45:05


Post by: queen_annes_revenge


No.

If business dont survive, new ones will start up afterwards.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 08:41:14


Post by: ValentineGames


With 60% of businesses and shops slated to vanish in the UK during this pandemic and game and model shops already vanishing...


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 09:00:54


Post by: H.B.M.C.


This won't last forever...


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 09:02:12


Post by: Sunno


Many stores will struggle and go under. However the impact will be different as the gaming scene here in the UK seems to be different to US and other places.

Unless your talking GW stores, the majority of UK gaming seems to be in clubs. These may be hosted in a store but many are held in private halls, clubs and other locations. These will be fine. In the US where it seems to more store based, it could be more of a concern.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 10:14:44


Post by: Flinty


But surely if gaming in the US is based in shops, then there is a greater demand for those shops. As soon as the lockdowns finish there will.be an immediate demand and any stores that have gone under will leave a gap in the market for.new.start ups.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 10:39:04


Post by: Haighus


I have a feeling that this pandemic will see an acceleration in the move away from brick-and-mortar in general, but won't outright kill it. There will probably be less stores long-term after the economy has bounced back, but still some.

FLGSs, as already mentioned, have a degree of protection by offering a service that requires a physical presense, as well as stock that can be ordered online. Many people don't have a space they can game in at home.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 11:42:13


Post by: Wayniac


Maybe. Personally in the US I wouldn't mind a breaking the hold the FLGS has on wargaming. There aren't many, relatively speaking, clubs like in the UK but most gaming goes on in stores so are totally beholden to the whim of the store often including what games are allowed to be played there and that's not even getting into the unspoken influence a game store has on people's interest in other games (i.e. can I buy it at my preferred game store). On top of that when there are multiple game stores in an area I've legit seen it become something like a gang war (nonviolent of course) or city-state where each game store's regulars act like it's their "turf" and other game stores are rivals/enemies.

I've seen way too often (and have even been that person) where someone suggests a cool new game only to be met with outright hostility because the game store can't/won't/doesn't stock it so nobody cares or wants to acknowledge it exists. For years and largely still outside of very small pockets my area is 100% Warhammer since that's all the game stores stock. Even mentioning or asking about other games is met with ignoring at best or anger as worst.

I wouldn't mind seeing that go away finally so wargaming can have more variety again.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 11:45:17


Post by: ValentineGames


I think people in the US overestimate how many clubs the UK has...
It really isn't much at all.
Without the FLGS we'd have nothing
Although "local" is definitely not a thing.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 13:45:58


Post by: Grot 6


 tjnorwoo wrote:
Just a thought. Could Covid19 be the end of the local game store? I don’t know how businesses will last an extended quarantine. I hope they will. Wanted to see what the communities thoughts were.


Businesses will be fine. They are just going to have to work harder.

As fast as these businesses open, people will be spending like sailors. as my personal example- Our local scene is inconvenienced, they are all looking at each other, then their watch, then go back to talking comics, games, and movies...

In my local area, this stuff doesn't exist. We are all just on the receiving end of someone else's beatings.

You want to know what is really going to be affected- DISTRIBUTORS.

They have always been the bane of game stores, they have just shown the weakness of the system in their complete incompetency of being able to continue, when other businesses are passing them by with money to spend- ONLINE.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 13:59:11


Post by: Trondheim


It depends on what you define as a brick and mortar shop. My local store who is my main source for all things miniature related dose well and sells a varied amount of figures and terrain. But it also sports a wide range of comics, mangas and other literature. But time will tell I suppose


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 14:08:02


Post by: Skinnereal


FLGS often have to diversify, like Trondheim says.
But, with space in a town-centre shop being a premium, not many get the chance.
Out-of-town or on the outskirts lose passing trade. Yet, we all know where to look.

B&M gaming stores will have to offer more, after the current enforced push to buy online.
The distributors cutting prices with streamlining and other costsaving measures are one way for that to happen.
Another age-old problem is rent and business rates.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 14:09:07


Post by: Jjohnso11


I think stores will have to adapt to conducting business in a new way and part of that will be adding an online front that they can use to sell miniatures.

There are people who crave that face to face interaction and want to see the product before they buy. I also prefer the instant gratification of giving someone money and immediately taking my new thing home.

#firstworldproblems - waiting for the mail to arrive with my new expensive thing that I just bought.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 15:32:10


Post by: totalfailure


Distributors are NOT the problem. Some companies do not have the time or resources to ship every little order to dozens of tiny stores, nor does every business want to have 2000 separate accounts to manage just to stock their shelves, and open a new one every time some new company comes along. Have you ever actually seen the paperwork to open an account most places, Grot? Contact info, banking info, photos of your store, merchandising mandates, price restrictions...and you wonder why people want to have a distributor?


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 15:45:47


Post by: Commodus Leitdorf


Well, atleast in my neck of the woods, so long as Magic the Gathering exists there will be game stores. After all its the multiple tournaments and open events that keep gaming stores open here.

Larger stores that also have space for wargaming however...that's harder to tell. I know my local store does have a webstore and is still shipping stuff out. But I imagine they are not getting as much as they would have if they still had foot traffic.

it's why I'm refraining from buying online until it opens up so I can drop a few hundred bucks there.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 16:09:23


Post by: Flinty


Town centres wont be commanding premium for much longer. The number of high streets that consist entirely of phone case pop ups, charity shops and hairdressers that noone really goes to means that a gaming store with a cafe type atmosphere would fill nicely. Just need to wait for the business rates system to catch up with reality.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 16:28:14


Post by: Vaktathi


 tjnorwoo wrote:
Just a thought. Could Covid19 be the end of the local game store? I don’t know how businesses will last an extended quarantine. I hope they will. Wanted to see what the communities thoughts were.
I suspect it will not be the end of brick and mortar game stores in general, though it may spell the end of many of those currently around.

When all this is over, and even if we irrevocably change the way we do many things, social in-person and group gaming is still going to be a thing. People are still going to want to sit around a table and play Warhammer, Magic, DnD, etc, and the game store will still serve that niche.

That said, I foresee that expectation of hygiene standards of players, crowd management at stores, and cleanliness of facilities, is going to change. The BO smelling gaming hall I don't think is going to be acceptable going forward, nor is packing 50 yugio or magic players onto 5 tables cheek to jowl into 600 square feet of gaming space.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 17:10:50


Post by: Elbows


Short term, yes, many local mom-and-pop shops (read: 96% of all hobby/game stores) will close up shop.

But the market for them will not suddenly end and never return. Covid will pass, and the world will resume its normal ticking.

Leasing and property companies will be desperate to shift space, so in actuality the opportunity for brick and mortar stores will actually be quite good, and those with the capability will open a new store, or simply re-open. Retail space costs will be at a low we've not seen in...a long time.

Same thing with movie theatres. Everyone is panicking about AMC etc. closing shop. People will still want to go see movies, and theatres will re-open. It may not be the same mega-corporations, but human interests will not change simply due to an illness. Could we see a several year gap in many of these industries/businesses? Absolutely.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 17:34:59


Post by: tjnorwoo


Thanks for all the feedback. Everyone is going through the same thing. It’ll be interesting to see how things settle.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
Looks like the stores in my area are using social media presence to shift to online sales


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 17:51:27


Post by: Jjohnso11


 Elbows wrote:
Short term, yes, many local mom-and-pop shops (read: 96% of all hobby/game stores) will close up shop.

But the market for them will not suddenly end and never return. Covid will pass, and the world will resume its normal ticking.

Leasing and property companies will be desperate to shift space, so in actuality the opportunity for brick and mortar stores will actually be quite good, and those with the capability will open a new store, or simply re-open. Retail space costs will be at a low we've not seen in...a long time.

Same thing with movie theatres. Everyone is panicking about AMC etc. closing shop. People will still want to go see movies, and theatres will re-open. It may not be the same mega-corporations, but human interests will not change simply due to an illness. Could we see a several year gap in many of these industries/businesses? Absolutely.


I agree about the movie theatre point. I wonder if this will generate an increase in drive thru movies again with people staying in their cars maintaining social distancing while watching movies.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 17:56:19


Post by: The Newman


 Elbows wrote:
Short term, yes, many local mom-and-pop shops (read: 96% of all hobby/game stores) will close up shop.

But the market for them will not suddenly end and never return. Covid will pass, and the world will resume its normal ticking.

Leasing and property companies will be desperate to shift space, so in actuality the opportunity for brick and mortar stores will actually be quite good, and those with the capability will open a new store, or simply re-open. Retail space costs will be at a low we've not seen in...a long time.

Same thing with movie theatres. Everyone is panicking about AMC etc. closing shop. People will still want to go see movies, and theatres will re-open. It may not be the same mega-corporations, but human interests will not change simply due to an illness. Could we see a several year gap in many of these industries/businesses? Absolutely.


The US restaraunt business is projecting a decade to get back to where they were pre-covid. Fast food has barely been affected, sit-down places (especially the mom-and-pop type places) are going under left right and center.

Covid isn't killing brick-and-mortar by itself. Amazon was killing brick-and-mortar well before this happened, covid is just a brush-fire in a forest that was already sick. The thing is, sometimes a forest is sick because it hasn't had a brush-fire in a while. The businesses that do make it through are likely to be stronger than they were going in because covid forced them to adapt in ways that they should have been doing anyway.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 19:00:51


Post by: Easy E


 Elbows wrote:

But the market for them will not suddenly end and never return. Covid will pass, and the world will resume its normal ticking.



Until there is a vaccine, will it just pass? Won't it still be out there, transmitting and being a risk to people for a long time to come? Will it really ever be "safe" again like it was before? Not for a while, the question is how long? How long will some sort of 3-6 foot social distancing will be needed going forward? I can not say.

Like many here, I agree that the local game store that was around when this started are mostly going to be gone. No small business, but especially niche retail like a FLGS; has the reserves to keep going without income coming in on a daily or weekly basis. The stimulus package in the US will not help them in time or effectively IMHO. It was not designed too. It is all ready too late for most of them, they just haven't realized it yet. I say this as a former downtown small business owner that had a shop closure due to water damage for a few months. We came back, but were never the same. I expect the same for these local businesses.

That doesn't mean some FLGS will not come back and do fine. Most will not. I also expect there to be limitations on them that will impact the business model that did not exist previously. This will impact the profitability (all ready very slim. i have run the numbers before) and unless their is some sort of "disruption" not be sustainable for new start-ups. Many will try and fail, and only 1 in dozens will last past a year, and 1 in hundreds past 5 years.

The FLGS was all ready dying. This will put it on the endangered species list.




End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 19:32:21


Post by: Commodus Leitdorf


It will take some time to get back to normal. Until there is a vaccine or enough people have been infected herd immunity can kick in many of the procedures we are doing now will continue well into next year (although not as severe).

As for FLGS it depends on a store by store basis. Stores that rely on Card game Tournaments may be hurt badly if distancing has to continue. But stores that have online component can at least persist. Honestly? No one really knows how this will shake out until it does.

If you want your FLGS to continue, buy from them. I know certain online places may be cheaper...still buy local if you want to have a gaming space.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 19:50:58


Post by: Elbows


I'm not overly concerned with how the restaurants recover - but they will. Maybe not the same restaurants, and hopefully not the same boring mega-corporate run ones...but people will always want food. Even if it's just drive throughs, or eating outside at spaced out tables - picking up your food at a counter, etc.

I'm not concerned about what the "industry" thinks it needs to recover. There are no limit to active, quick-thinking entrepreneurs who will fill that void. Oddly I think Covid could be good for a lot of industries from a consumer standpoint. Killing off some of the old, dry, boring mega-corporate entities which dominate certain industries. Would I be sad for an instant if Applebees, Chili's, TGI Friday's, etc. went out of business? God no. Would I be sad if smaller mom and pop stores bought those locations and turned them into actual interesting, more unique businesses? Not at all. Those buildings will still exist and someone will be desperate to lease them, etc.

As mentioned, could drive-in movies return...maybe? My point is simply that the consumer desire will not dissipate or disappear. Some things will change because of Covid and people will either embrace them, or return to the old ways when feasible (and it'll be feasible at some point).

People are panicking about live sporting events and concerts...again they'll return at some point. People won't suddenly stop wanting to hear live music or watch live sports. Trust me, when there is a consumer interest in something, it'll return as soon as possible, in whatever form possible. It may look and feel a little different - again, likely on for a time, but it'll be there.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 20:13:47


Post by: ccs


 Easy E wrote:
 Elbows wrote:

But the market for them will not suddenly end and never return. Covid will pass, and the world will resume its normal ticking.



Until there is a vaccine, will it just pass? Won't it still be out there, transmitting and being a risk to people for a long time to come? Will it really ever be "safe" again like it was before? Not for a while, the question is how long? How long will some sort of 3-6 foot social distancing will be needed going forward? I can not say.

Like many here, I agree that the local game store that was around when this started are mostly going to be gone. No small business, but especially niche retail like a FLGS; has the reserves to keep going without income coming in on a daily or weekly basis. The stimulus package in the US will not help them in time or effectively IMHO. It was not designed too. It is all ready too late for most of them, they just haven't realized it yet. I say this as a former downtown small business owner that had a shop closure due to water damage for a few months. We came back, but were never the same. I expect the same for these local businesses.

That doesn't mean some FLGS will not come back and do fine. Most will not. I also expect there to be limitations on them that will impact the business model that did not exist previously. This will impact the profitability (all ready very slim. i have run the numbers before) and unless their is some sort of "disruption" not be sustainable for new start-ups. Many will try and fail, and only 1 in dozens will last past a year, and 1 in hundreds past 5 years.

The FLGS was all ready dying. This will put it on the endangered species list.


That's just business as usual.
The strongest & smartest make it, and all those with poor-to-no plans/resources become a memory.



Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Commodus Leitdorf wrote:

...still buy local if you want to have a gaming space.


Or if you enjoy local infrastructure like paved roads, etc.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 20:37:37


Post by: techsoldaten


I've been learning about FLGS finances from owners who have gone under due to stay at home orders. Bit of a horror show, the ones I've been dealing with.

Thin margins, inventory bought on credit from distributors (not banks,) highly dependent on foot traffic, seasonal variations in demand, strong competition from the Internet and shrinkage are significant constraints. The majority of the ones I've been talking to rely on Colleges for customers and there's no guarantees students are coming back in the Fall. Distributors - the ones who send inventory to shops - are not doing that well themselves.

OTOH - cost per sq ft for retail is very low right now, there are deals to be made on long term leases. Stimulus bills at federal and state levels are very friendly to someone starting a new business. After a few months of quarantine, it's going to feel good to get out.

Bottom line - don't expect a replacement for each FLGS that goes under, especially ones in college towns. The underlying business conditions were difficult to manage before this virus hit, it remains to be seen if anything changes to make it better. A lot will depend on manufacturers and whether they're willing to do anything to help out retail.

I suspect retail closures will happen in waves, there are the ones who can't survive the shutdown, then there are the ones who decide to get out after another bad year. The later are going to have a lot of inventory that needs to be liquidated and there will come a point where they stop honoring minimum pricing guarantees in retail agreements. 50% off MSRP is a bigger threat to FLGSes than this virus ever will be and I expect to see massive amounts of that on eBay starting around November.

Aside from expanding the margins to retailers, one area where manufacturers could make a difference: removing minimum pricing guarantees from retailer agreements, Otherwise the FLGS continues losing sales to Internet retailers, and they may not be able to compete with some of the fire sales that are coming over the next 12 - 24 months. More importantly, there are a lot of things that end up on the shelves and never get sold, and the FLGS owner can't sell it online because they have a bottom price they have to honor. Give them a way to discount the gak out of it and that's going to have an impact on their bottom lines.

Another area where manufacturers could make a difference is in-store exclusives. GW does exclusives for their shops, they could wonders by extending the courtesy to FLGSes. Other manufacturers could help themselves by increasing the in-store marketing, I've seen a few metric tons of swag in the past month and 99% of it is GW, X-WING and MAGIC. Bones, Reaper, PP, etc really need to look at their ROI on marketing, just some posters would make a huge difference.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 22:20:18


Post by: Easy E


ccs wrote:

The strongest & smartest make it, and all those with poor-to-no plans/resources become a memory.








Yes, it is business as usual and FLGS are not going to make it. Even the well run ones will get killed and possibly not come back.

Then, the industry of small retail in general is in free fall.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 22:23:57


Post by: totalfailure


It will definitely kill off weaker stores, and the longer it goes on, even some of the better prepared may not make it. Then again, a lot of game stores are already poorly capitalized, and pretty much perpetually operating in crisis mode. This has just taken it to another level; coronavirus will just more quickly kill stores that were probably going to fail anyway, along with some others not well adapted to online selling perhaps.

Of the three stores closest to me, one was already in poor shape and the other two were not well prepared to do any online selling. They are probably under stress now, and will likely do more with online if they do make it through. They both relied heavily on walk in business only.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/14 22:46:13


Post by: Argive


Im hoping In the UK, perhaps the best thing that can come out of all of this, is that maybe... just maybe... they will finally look at business rates in the realise what a dumb idea it is, and understand that its the main reason there are less and less small indepndant high street brick and mortar places being opened or making it.

Small non-franchised business should be exempt or at least pay a tiny fraction... On top of actual rent, as well as tax the profit margin prospects for anything is just laughable..

If you are costa/starbucks then you dotn care. the business rate you pay you just claw back in the offshore account shenanigans.

You are not only creating revenue in terms of sales taxes etc but you are also providing employment if you hire like 2-3 people. If you gott to fork out a hilarious amount for "business rates" why would you bother if maybe at the end of it all you will break even and are basically one bump away from going bankrupt.

The local independent shops are in the same boat as any high street retailer.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/15 00:49:02


Post by: ccs


 Easy E wrote:
ccs wrote:

The strongest & smartest make it, and all those with poor-to-no plans/resources become a memory.








Yes, it is business as usual and FLGS are not going to make it. Even the well run ones will get killed and possibly not come back.

Then, the industry of small retail in general is in free fall.


Sure, go ahead & laugh. Is it going to be a rough(er) future for a bit for any retailer not named Amazon ? Yes. Yes it will.
But there'll still be FLGS (and other small retail). And some of them will be the same ones as were around two months ago.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/15 01:14:58


Post by: Vulcan


 Elbows wrote:
I'm not overly concerned with how the restaurants recover - but they will. Maybe not the same restaurants, and hopefully not the same boring mega-corporate run ones...but people will always want food.


Sadly, those are the ones most likely to survive as they have the cash to hire lobbyists to ask for a larger-than-fair share of the government handout pie.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/15 10:28:45


Post by: torgoch


 ValentineGames wrote:
I think people in the US overestimate how many clubs the UK has...
It really isn't much at all.
Without the FLGS we'd have nothing
Although "local" is definitely not a thing.


I'm not sure this is true. I've travelled a lot in the UK across the last twenty years, and everywhere I've lived has had gaming clubs,often multiple gaming clubs. Norwich, where I last lived had 6 miniature gaming clubs, 2 GW focused, others more histroical or alternative company orientated and one FLG you could play in... and the all those clubs predated the FLG and will still be going once the FLG shuts down. Unless by FLG you mean a games workshop, they are ubiquitous.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/15 13:29:02


Post by: Easy E


ccs wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
ccs wrote:

The strongest & smartest make it, and all those with poor-to-no plans/resources become a memory.








Yes, it is business as usual and FLGS are not going to make it. Even the well run ones will get killed and possibly not come back.

Then, the industry of small retail in general is in free fall.


Sure, go ahead & laugh. Is it going to be a rough(er) future for a bit for any retailer not named Amazon ? Yes. Yes it will.
But there'll still be FLGS (and other small retail). And some of them will be the same ones as were around two months ago.


Sorry, I don;t mean to come across as a jerk. I actually agree with most of what you said and i think we have the same general conclusions.

However, in today's day and age "Smarter and Stronger" have very little to do with it. Unless there are specific definitions for what smarter and stronger means. In my experience it is the ability to sustain losses, the ability to leverage other people's money, and your inbuilt efficiencies that make the difference.

Small-Businesses subsidize larger National businesses. I once accidentally got the bill from a distributor for a National retailer that was in the same field as me. They got 20% off the top instantly due to economies of scale. So therefore, all us "Little" guys were subsidizing the national players. I am pretty sure nothing has changed in the Distribution world to alter that. My local Chamber of Commerce did nothing to help me, but bent over backwards to help the National members. Then they used my Dues money to push tax breaks and other policies that did not help me or my business. My local government had me subsidize the property tax of the big chain retailers because the big national companies were getting tax breaks for bringing "jobs". Even though I employed more people than the local national chain equivalent because creating jobs actually mattered to me. Meanwhile, all the small business owners around me were too busy trying to cut each other's throats while the bit our of town chains kepts stomping them into the ground. It was really a strange experience being a family business propping up Nationally recognized brands in exchange for getting undercut on price, out marketed in a conventional sense, and fighting for the same customer base.

Therefore, I think the definitions of Stronger and Smarter are really open for discussion.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/15 13:52:41


Post by: prowla


Some of the hobby stores have been doing ok, actually, with people looking for more stuff to do at home. People have been buying quite a lot of minis and models to build, AFAIK.

Around here the shops are allowed to stay open for retail, as long as there are no large groups of people inside. So I guess depends on how large part of the shop's revenue is made by people just hanging out at the store. If it's a gaming cafe or something, then it's obviously hit harder than someone who just sells gaming products.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/15 15:32:00


Post by: The Newman


 Vulcan wrote:
 Elbows wrote:
I'm not overly concerned with how the restaurants recover - but they will. Maybe not the same restaurants, and hopefully not the same boring mega-corporate run ones...but people will always want food.


Sadly, those are the ones most likely to survive as they have the cash to hire lobbyists to ask for a larger-than-fair share of the government handout pie.

And to rub salt in since if they can afford to hire lobbyists they probably didn't need much of a hand-out in the first place.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/15 15:52:15


Post by: Vaktathi


Restaurants have been facing an apocalyptic bubble for a while now for a variety of reasons, we're just finally seeing it happen.

That industry will recover too, but we're also going to have to accept that it may be some time before we can get literally anything we can imagine delivered to our door for $15 in half an hour, or have multiple options for every conceivable taste to cycle through around town, and we're going to have to be ok with many botique places not cutting their margins to the bone in order to make *everything* in-house that a subcontracted specialist couldn't do just as well or better.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/15 17:09:34


Post by: tneva82


 prowla wrote:
Some of the hobby stores have been doing ok, actually, with people looking for more stuff to do at home. People have been buying quite a lot of minis and models to build, AFAIK.

Around here the shops are allowed to stay open for retail, as long as there are no large groups of people inside. So I guess depends on how large part of the shop's revenue is made by people just hanging out at the store. If it's a gaming cafe or something, then it's obviously hit harder than someone who just sells gaming products.


Here stores can be open as well(went there on tuesday as a matter of fact).

Sure hope the FLGS survive. If not good bye hobby for me. I don't buy and paint just for sake of painting and no FLGS, no place to play. There's reason why I shifted to buying models directly from FLGS where possible(mail order items I usually order direct from GW as to FLGS it can take months before GW bothers delivering. Though if not in a hurry order from FLGS just to not reward GW for their unfair practice of screwing stores on delivery times on those items)


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/16 07:50:32


Post by: TwilightSparkles


In the Uk, provided GW has it in stock, if a FLGS orders by Wednesday they will typically get direct items with that week's delivery. So maybe it's a time issue for overseas ?

Anyway I'd agree that "smarter" FLGS stores can survive this.

Closest store to me has just shut completely , indefinitely. Stock still on the shelves. He's on Facebook. If that was me I'm n ebay the day after lockdown ordering packaging then I'm hammering Facebook / eBay selling my stock best I can. But nope, it's all sat there. Not smart.

Another stores is actively pushing the stock they have , doing a raffle and telling people what they have. Another is offering free local delivery. Another UK store is offering to buy smaller stores stock at cost price in bulk because they have the reach to sell it whereas others maybe don't. Mantic Games just carried on with longer despatch times and showed people the measures they had put in place.

The real issue is a month from now when some of the supply chains die, especially GW.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/16 19:10:22


Post by: Easy E


 TwilightSparkles wrote:


Anyway I'd agree that "smarter" FLGS stores can survive this.

Closest store to me has just shut completely , indefinitely. Stock still on the shelves. He's on Facebook. If that was me I'm n ebay the day after lockdown ordering packaging then I'm hammering Facebook / eBay selling my stock best I can. But nope, it's all sat there. Not smart.


It is only smart if you still make money. If you make no money and put in a lot of work..... is it still smart?


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/16 19:13:19


Post by: techsoldaten


Is GW still shipping anything? Had the impression nothing has been going out from the factory and distributors in the US were closed up.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/16 19:14:08


Post by: Elbows


 Easy E wrote:
 TwilightSparkles wrote:


Anyway I'd agree that "smarter" FLGS stores can survive this.

Closest store to me has just shut completely , indefinitely. Stock still on the shelves. He's on Facebook. If that was me I'm n ebay the day after lockdown ordering packaging then I'm hammering Facebook / eBay selling my stock best I can. But nope, it's all sat there. Not smart.


It is only smart if you still make money. If you make no money and put in a lot of work..... is it still smart?


If you've pulled the plug...and considering numerous companies have shut factories, which means scarcity of items, then it's a pretty smart move to shift that stock.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/16 21:20:53


Post by: Waaagh_Gonads


The owner of my FLGS is not happy with GW which makes a very large portion of his turnover.

Here in Australia the stores can be open for sales, but restrictions on gatherings and number of people, so things like role play and magic the gathering groups are out of luck.
Due to time restrictions in store, normal table top games are out as well.
But he is still open.

GW shut down delivery to stores world wide.
The stock is in the warehouse here in Australia and other countries. It is ready to ship.

The owner is desperate for hobby items, paints, sprays, brushes. People are getting through models but they still want specific items.

For the life of me I cannot see why GW cannot work according to the rules of specific countries and resupply stores with stock they have in their warehouse for that country.
Just hold off new releases until a world wide basis for releases can be re-established.
When the stock is gone, it is gone, but when the worldwide distribution gets going again they just start resupplying the warehouses.

Distributors for other games have gone this route and the sales are working. In my local town I was the only person getting Marvel Crisis Protocol. There are now 6 in the last 3 weeks with another few looking to get in all via my FLGS and all players getting it because GW stock not available.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/16 21:26:15


Post by: timetowaste85


Because the countries of the world all gave varying precautions, GW looked at those and said “we feel the best option is to keep our employees home safe, on paid leave because we can afford to do so, including our warehouse pickers”? They made a choice for safety. Maybe on the side of the extreme, but they’re putting their employees safety first and keeping them paid at the same time. Something I haven’t heard any other big name company do completely. They should be applauded, not spat on for this decision. I say good on them.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/16 23:36:46


Post by: Waaagh_Gonads


 timetowaste85 wrote:
Because the countries of the world all gave varying precautions, GW looked at those and said “we feel the best option is to keep our employees home safe, on paid leave because we can afford to do so, including our warehouse pickers”? They made a choice for safety. Maybe on the side of the extreme, but they’re putting their employees safety first and keeping them paid at the same time. Something I haven’t heard any other big name company do completely. They should be applauded, not spat on for this decision. I say good on them.


As I Indicated depends on the country.

Australia, shops are open, builders building, trade men going to houses to work., warehouses operational. I am going to the shops today to buy sports socks and running shorts, as my old ones are worn out, new sports shoes for my son and dropping money in the bank, then straight back home.
My medical practice is as strong as ever, even with the social distancing and the implementation of phone consults.
In mY local health district with 250,000 or so people we have had 42 case, 15 are still active and they are all in isolation. 1 new case in the last 10 days here.

U.K. and as far as I can determine is in complete lockdown.

So the warehouse should be on lockdown in U.K., excellent, and as you indicated should be applauded, but in Australia with almost zero community spread and an almost complete curb stomping of the disease thus far why should there be no resupply of stocked items, when the staff are at work twiddling their thumbs.




End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/16 23:59:07


Post by: Overread


 torgoch wrote:
 ValentineGames wrote:
I think people in the US overestimate how many clubs the UK has...
It really isn't much at all.
Without the FLGS we'd have nothing
Although "local" is definitely not a thing.


I'm not sure this is true. I've travelled a lot in the UK across the last twenty years, and everywhere I've lived has had gaming clubs,often multiple gaming clubs. Norwich, where I last lived had 6 miniature gaming clubs, 2 GW focused, others more histroical or alternative company orientated and one FLG you could play in... and the all those clubs predated the FLG and will still be going once the FLG shuts down. Unless by FLG you mean a games workshop, they are ubiquitous.



I've found a few things are true with UK clubs:

1) Quite a few tend to form around a school group or similar aged group. The problem is they often don't focus enough on recruitment. Indeed whilst there might be a lot of clubs I find that many are fairly poor at advertising themselves both in the real world and even online; where you'd think many shoudl be even better considering the geeky standard membership base. Facebook has improved this a lot as people do more likely check it out compared to forums and fan webpages; but even so I've often had the feeling clubs in general could do a LOT more to recruit.

2) In light of point 1 I've found that local stores are almost essential. GW or 3rd party; they act as a constant "hub" of attention and focus. They are a constant in the sea and they also tend to be far more active in getting new people into the hobby and games. Therefore they are often a powerful reinforcement agent for keeping clubs going. Similarly (esp for 3rd party where they don't have abig parent company for support) the clubs often help the local store hang around. I've seen a few times where clubs fail to grow and the store eventually dies or stops selling GW products.
That said a good store will help recruit and funnel gamers toward clubs.


3) A lot of the game stores I've seen are TINY. Partly a reflection of the market, but also the high prices that the highstreet has now to operate on, even a lot of once large GW stores have downsized over the years as they've gradually moved from central to edge of central regions. Tiny stores make for exceptionally limited shelf space so before you even touch on the costs of buying in stock; there's a drastically limited amount of room to display anything. This really hurts because it means that casual purchases can be really harmed. It's hard to get someone new into the game when almost everything you want to sell them is "Oh we can order that for you". Especially today where many will think "eh I can order it online for less" and then promptly forget about it once they leave the store. It also eats into casual buying and selling for existing customers.
MTG - really has this market area secured well - it requires a tiny amount of shelf space and the latest block can even fit on the till desk and tempt people with "Oh want a single pack" etc... Wargames are never going to compete that well for space; however tiny stores don't do either side any favours.


Personally I think that at present the only thing that is doing really well on the busy modern highstreets are food outlets. Big or small towns the places selling food are often looking busy and more affluent. Meanwhile a lot of hobby, craft and similar stores are often appearing to struggle; those that don't tend to be those where the owner already owns the property outright and bought it decades ago (ergo no long standing mortgage etc... its fully their property). I think many gaming outlets, if they want to survive, are going to end up pairing with chain or local food outlets; or taking the work on themselves. The other option is a big warehouse and online trade, however that market, whilst in theory huge, is niche in terms of how many big stores it can support and compete with each other and its already quite full.
I think stores that can mix food and perhaps other avenues into wargaming in general, can at least bolster their earning potential and survive and perhaps even thrive.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 11:41:16


Post by: Wayniac


Not looking good here. Just read an article saying one of the local store owners was arrested not keeping his store closed. The others around here shut down temporarily. This is just showing more and more it's about tyranny and control than anything else, so I do have a fear for stores in the wake of this widespread fear and panic over something that's not half as bad as it's being made out to be.

However like I said before, I wouldn't mind breaking the stranglehold and influence that game stores have on wargaming


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 12:00:05


Post by: Overread


Wayniac wrote:

However like I said before, I wouldn't mind breaking the stranglehold and influence that game stores have on wargaming



As I noted in my post I don't think this is the right attitude. In my view local stores support gamers and wargaming in general if the situation is setup right. A store acts as a beacon of highstreet attention and, providing the owner wants to sell the stuff, should promote the attraction of new customers all the time. They are a cornerstone of recruitment.

A local should be more than happy to support local clubs too, because all the club really needs from the store is an A4 spot somewhere on the window/desk to promote their venue and gaming nights and times - meanwhile the club should be able to support the store with increased sales through increased gaming and player retention in the club environment.



I think the whole "stranglehold" is the wrong attitude to take. It's the view that the store is against anyone gaming outside of their shop and that they'd discourage anyone starting their own club. Personally it sounds to me more like the kind of argument people make when they want a local club but don't want to actually organise it themselves; since that can include some costs and a fair bit of time and effort to get going. I think if you really want a local club then its up to you to put the effort into making it and making it work, rather than blaming the shop for not doing it for you.




Note since stores are not always perfectly run I'm sure there are horror stories out there of store owners who had some kind of vendetta or hatred of anyone who doesn't game in their store and somesuch. It's my impression that this is greatly in the minority and that such establishments often don't tend to last in the long term anyway since the store owner is taking such a poor attitude to consumer relations.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 12:30:43


Post by: spaceelf


FLGS are in a difficult situation. In the past they have lived off of revenue from MTG, comics and such. However, MTG has been trying to boost online formats for a while and can cut into physical card sales. The same goes for comics.

It has been commented that even miniatures are being effected by digital products, with 3d printing being an alternative for more and more people (especially with the high cost of minis these days.)

Then you need to factor in the fear of contagion. With the pandemic people may be less likely to attend large tournaments which are the mainstay of stores. This may be especially true for children, as their parents may not let them come to the store.

Now, people can say, any one of these things is not a big deal, however they are happening all at once.

Brick and mortar stores need to create a reason for people to come there. To make it a destination. Hang out, play in tourneys, see neat models, and terrain, learn in person, etc.

It is just difficult. Destinations, like amusement parks are considering closing.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 12:39:06


Post by: tneva82


 TwilightSparkles wrote:
In the Uk, provided GW has it in stock, if a FLGS orders by Wednesday they will typically get direct items with that week's delivery. So maybe it's a time issue for overseas ?



Even the webstore kits? Not talking about stuff you find on shelves but the non shelf items. Stores get smaller discount(small enough those aren"t really giving profit to stores) and have other restrictions as well(literally max cap store can order per month)


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 12:40:44


Post by: auticus


I think the whole "stranglehold" is the wrong attitude to take. It's the view that the store is against anyone gaming outside of their shop and that they'd discourage anyone starting their own club.


I will back Wayne up on this one. Not all FLGS are like this. But the community inside it can get VERY territorial and also very influential on what games are allowed to be played.

I have a couple of the very best FLGS I've ever been to in my area. The owners are wonderful and bend over backward to help accommodate my events.

But the communitiese within those FLGS can very much strangle out other games.

In my experience its not the FLGS itself but the community within. It gets very territorial very fast. If you've only got one store in your area, or even two, and both of those are dominated by local personalities that don't want anything to do with other games, there will be a lot of pressure on the people playing within to toe the line, and I find people are more than happy to toe the line to not rock the boat and keep things smooth. Same with crossing store boundaries.

Obviously not all like that but I've known my share of people that go out of their way to treat the other communities in an area as if they are some kind of rival gang that you should avoid at all costs.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 12:42:34


Post by: tneva82


 Waaagh_Gonads wrote:

So the warehouse should be on lockdown in U.K., excellent, and as you indicated should be applauded, but in Australia with almost zero community spread and an almost complete curb stomping of the disease thus far why should there be no resupply of stocked items, when the staff are at work twiddling their thumbs.




The products are done and shipped from uk. Uk can't keep sending stuff from uk to there when uk is locked up.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Wayniac wrote:
Not looking good here. Just read an article saying one of the local store owners was arrested not keeping his store closed. The others around here shut down temporarily. This is just showing more and more it's about tyranny and control than anything else, so I do have a fear for stores in the wake of this widespread fear and panic over something that's not half as bad as it's being made out to be.

However like I said before, I wouldn't mind breaking the stranglehold and influence that game stores have on wargaming


Ah right us should order stores to shutdown but not enforce or it's tyranny. Makes perfect sense...to totally illogical beings


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 13:33:05


Post by: Easy E


 auticus wrote:
I think the whole "stranglehold" is the wrong attitude to take. It's the view that the store is against anyone gaming outside of their shop and that they'd discourage anyone starting their own club.


I will back Wayne up on this one. Not all FLGS are like this. But the community inside it can get VERY territorial and also very influential on what games are allowed to be played.

I have a couple of the very best FLGS I've ever been to in my area. The owners are wonderful and bend over backward to help accommodate my events.

But the communitiese within those FLGS can very much strangle out other games.

In my experience its not the FLGS itself but the community within. It gets very territorial very fast. If you've only got one store in your area, or even two, and both of those are dominated by local personalities that don't want anything to do with other games, there will be a lot of pressure on the people playing within to toe the line, and I find people are more than happy to toe the line to not rock the boat and keep things smooth. Same with crossing store boundaries.

Obviously not all like that but I've known my share of people that go out of their way to treat the other communities in an area as if they are some kind of rival gang that you should avoid at all costs.


That isn't a problem with the FLGS, it is a problem with people. Why punish the FLGS?

I use to have some "not nice" people come to my coffee shop when I bought it that made the entire place less welcoming. They were long time shoppers, and very consistent. As a store owner I had to think hard about what I wanted to do? Removing long-time, consistent, paying customers who were part of the community had a lot of follow-on effects. Plus, there was the question of if I could replace their revenue with new sales once they were gone. In a small community, if you just up and kick them out, there is blow back.

After making enough changes to "their favorite hang-out" they decided to leave. That took about 3 months. Then it took another 6 months to consistently replace their income. 9 months of work to shift the environment of the store because of "the experience created by customers". Even looking back now, I wonder if it was worth it or if it hurt more than it helped.

In an even lower margin, niche customer business like a LGS, there is very little chance I am attempting to turn away any customers. I need every single one to try and break even. If I excommunicate a popular community member there is a HUGE risk to that, and little chance I can make it back up on "new" traffic.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 13:56:02


Post by: Waaagh_Gonads


tneva82 wrote:
The products are done and shipped from uk. Uk can't keep sending stuff from uk to there when uk is locked up.


I see we are coming at this from different ideas at what stage of the supply chain it is we are talking about.

UK, USA and China are the primary manufacture locations of GW product.
It is then distributed from those locations to their warehouses in those countries and subsidiary countries (Canada for the USA for example)

But products are also shipped to other regions...
Japan
Asia/Pacific which is based in Australia

In those secondary hub countries there are warehouses that fulfill the needs of local stores, online orders for those regions and FLGS distribution.

I think you are talking about the primary point, and yes I agree in those countries that it should be shut down currently.

But if at the secondary warehouses such as in Australia where the stock is there, the staff are at work, and there is no restriction for them to distribute as long as they maintain appropriate social distancing guidelines whilst preparing orders, then why should they not be able to distribute stock already there (not new releases to maintain worldwide release schedule)?

Other sub distributors for other companies in Australia are getting the products for gaming and hobby gear out. Just GW has it all in house so it has stopped completely.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 13:59:02


Post by: TwilightSparkles


tneva82 wrote:
 TwilightSparkles wrote:
In the Uk, provided GW has it in stock, if a FLGS orders by Wednesday they will typically get direct items with that week's delivery. So maybe it's a time issue for overseas ?



Even the webstore kits? Not talking about stuff you find on shelves but the non shelf items. Stores get smaller discount(small enough those aren"t really giving profit to stores) and have other restrictions as well(literally max cap store can order per month)


Yep , it’s less discount depending on store - usually 5-10% - but other than that it doesn’t matter what it is, if GW has it they can order it e.g Ork Stompa, finecast white boxes, etc - stuff that’s GW Direct.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 13:59:58


Post by: Wayniac


 Easy E wrote:
 auticus wrote:
I think the whole "stranglehold" is the wrong attitude to take. It's the view that the store is against anyone gaming outside of their shop and that they'd discourage anyone starting their own club.


I will back Wayne up on this one. Not all FLGS are like this. But the community inside it can get VERY territorial and also very influential on what games are allowed to be played.

I have a couple of the very best FLGS I've ever been to in my area. The owners are wonderful and bend over backward to help accommodate my events.

But the communitiese within those FLGS can very much strangle out other games.

In my experience its not the FLGS itself but the community within. It gets very territorial very fast. If you've only got one store in your area, or even two, and both of those are dominated by local personalities that don't want anything to do with other games, there will be a lot of pressure on the people playing within to toe the line, and I find people are more than happy to toe the line to not rock the boat and keep things smooth. Same with crossing store boundaries.

Obviously not all like that but I've known my share of people that go out of their way to treat the other communities in an area as if they are some kind of rival gang that you should avoid at all costs.


That isn't a problem with the FLGS, it is a problem with people. Why punish the FLGS?

I use to have some "not nice" people come to my coffee shop when I bought it that made the entire place less welcoming. They were long time shoppers, and very consistent. As a store owner I had to think hard about what I wanted to do? Removing long-time, consistent, paying customers who were part of the community had a lot of follow-on effects. Plus, there was the question of if I could replace their revenue with new sales once they were gone. In a small community, if you just up and kick them out, there is blow back.

After making enough changes to "their favorite hang-out" they decided to leave. That took about 3 months. Then it took another 6 months to consistently replace their income. 9 months of work to shift the environment of the store because of "the experience created by customers". Even looking back now, I wonder if it was worth it or if it hurt more than it helped.

In an even lower margin, niche customer business like a LGS, there is very little chance I am attempting to turn away any customers. I need every single one to try and break even. If I excommunicate a popular community member there is a HUGE risk to that, and little chance I can make it back up on "new" traffic.


I've still seen the FLGS encourage/push the behavior though. Like they wont' let any games they don't stock be played, but also won't offer to order games that aren't mainstream. Or are openly hostile to certain elements (there's a store here that I've heard just outright hate historical games and won't let them be played in the store) or just push the idea there's only one game (i.e. Warhammer). So they are often just as guilty. The players are the main instigators but the store doesn't do anything to help the situation and often encourages it.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 14:20:28


Post by: Platuan4th


Wayniac wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
 auticus wrote:
I think the whole "stranglehold" is the wrong attitude to take. It's the view that the store is against anyone gaming outside of their shop and that they'd discourage anyone starting their own club.


I will back Wayne up on this one. Not all FLGS are like this. But the community inside it can get VERY territorial and also very influential on what games are allowed to be played.

I have a couple of the very best FLGS I've ever been to in my area. The owners are wonderful and bend over backward to help accommodate my events.

But the communitiese within those FLGS can very much strangle out other games.

In my experience its not the FLGS itself but the community within. It gets very territorial very fast. If you've only got one store in your area, or even two, and both of those are dominated by local personalities that don't want anything to do with other games, there will be a lot of pressure on the people playing within to toe the line, and I find people are more than happy to toe the line to not rock the boat and keep things smooth. Same with crossing store boundaries.

Obviously not all like that but I've known my share of people that go out of their way to treat the other communities in an area as if they are some kind of rival gang that you should avoid at all costs.


That isn't a problem with the FLGS, it is a problem with people. Why punish the FLGS?

I use to have some "not nice" people come to my coffee shop when I bought it that made the entire place less welcoming. They were long time shoppers, and very consistent. As a store owner I had to think hard about what I wanted to do? Removing long-time, consistent, paying customers who were part of the community had a lot of follow-on effects. Plus, there was the question of if I could replace their revenue with new sales once they were gone. In a small community, if you just up and kick them out, there is blow back.

After making enough changes to "their favorite hang-out" they decided to leave. That took about 3 months. Then it took another 6 months to consistently replace their income. 9 months of work to shift the environment of the store because of "the experience created by customers". Even looking back now, I wonder if it was worth it or if it hurt more than it helped.

In an even lower margin, niche customer business like a LGS, there is very little chance I am attempting to turn away any customers. I need every single one to try and break even. If I excommunicate a popular community member there is a HUGE risk to that, and little chance I can make it back up on "new" traffic.


I've still seen the FLGS encourage/push the behavior though. Like they wont' let any games they don't stock be played, but also won't offer to order games that aren't mainstream. Or are openly hostile to certain elements (there's a store here that I've heard just outright hate historical games and won't let them be played in the store) or just push the idea there's only one game (i.e. Warhammer). So they are often just as guilty. The players are the main instigators but the store doesn't do anything to help the situation and often encourages it.


And I've seen many stores across the country in the 8+ states I've lived in remove problematic elements like that and be very willing to order/offer new products if people show interest in them. That's a very large brush you're tarring stores with because of your local's store owner being apathetic to the environment being created in their store.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 14:24:29


Post by: spiralingcadaver


 Easy E wrote:
However, in today's day and age "Smarter and Stronger" have very little to do with it. Unless there are specific definitions for what smarter and stronger means. In my experience it is the ability to sustain losses, the ability to leverage other people's money, and your inbuilt efficiencies that make the difference.

Small-Businesses subsidize larger National businesses. I once accidentally got the bill from a distributor for a National retailer that was in the same field as me. They got 20% off the top instantly due to economies of scale. So therefore, all us "Little" guys were subsidizing the national players. I am pretty sure nothing has changed in the Distribution world to alter that. My local Chamber of Commerce did nothing to help me, but bent over backwards to help the National members. Then they used my Dues money to push tax breaks and other policies that did not help me or my business. My local government had me subsidize the property tax of the big chain retailers because the big national companies were getting tax breaks for bringing "jobs". Even though I employed more people than the local national chain equivalent because creating jobs actually mattered to me. Meanwhile, all the small business owners around me were too busy trying to cut each other's throats while the bit our of town chains kepts stomping them into the ground. It was really a strange experience being a family business propping up Nationally recognized brands in exchange for getting undercut on price, out marketed in a conventional sense, and fighting for the same customer base.

Therefore, I think the definitions of Stronger and Smarter are really open for discussion.

100% this. Social Darwinism is such a dated economic model with the current economic inertia that scale and influence have, that just masks the old "bootstraps" myth in egoistic pseudoscience to claim that our disparities in wealth are based on raw ability rather than history and luck. Your ability to leverage your wealth to weather these crises is all that's going on: if (say, in small retail), your profits probably aren't fantastic, you rely on a physical and social visibility (regulars and walk-ins, not orders) and are a luxury business, which are boosted by impulse buys and high turnover of trendy new products, your numbers will likely be tanking right now. Then it becomes little other than how long can you weather the economic drought (savings, loans, overhead (rent, staff, whatever investments in products you made based on now-old information, etc.) and how quickly can you bounce back, nothing to do with your human qualities. This isn't about ability, this is about economics (and as Easy E mentioned, industry politics, but that's mostly beyond me other than in the abstract).


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 14:34:32


Post by: techsoldaten


 Easy E wrote:
That isn't a problem with the FLGS, it is a problem with people. Why punish the FLGS?

I use to have some "not nice" people come to my coffee shop when I bought it that made the entire place less welcoming. They were long time shoppers, and very consistent. As a store owner I had to think hard about what I wanted to do? Removing long-time, consistent, paying customers who were part of the community had a lot of follow-on effects. Plus, there was the question of if I could replace their revenue with new sales once they were gone. In a small community, if you just up and kick them out, there is blow back.

After making enough changes to "their favorite hang-out" they decided to leave. That took about 3 months. Then it took another 6 months to consistently replace their income. 9 months of work to shift the environment of the store because of "the experience created by customers". Even looking back now, I wonder if it was worth it or if it hurt more than it helped.

In an even lower margin, niche customer business like a LGS, there is very little chance I am attempting to turn away any customers. I need every single one to try and break even. If I excommunicate a popular community member there is a HUGE risk to that, and little chance I can make it back up on "new" traffic.

Without trying to sound too judgmental, this kind of attitude is a huge turn off to me. Once I realize a store has a preferred class of customer, I never go there again.

It has something to do with networks, the idea that there's an optimized collection of customers who cause more and more to come in. But the more I think about it, the more it feels like herd mentality and short term thinking. I try to avoid those kinds of people in the first place.

Which brings me back to the current health care crisis. In the US, there are places that are heavily impacted by this virus, there are places that are not. While it will take some study to understand the factors at work, heavy use of elevators and air quality appear to have the biggest impact on outcomes.

Have a feeling brick and mortar is dead in major cities (at least in the US) that have had health emergencies. Unemployment is > 40% in NYC and 60% in LA, there's not going to be enough of a population with discretionary income to support stores in places like this. While San Francisco hasn't had the kinds of outcomes of the other two, everyone is telecommuting - restaurants are going out of business at a record rate. No one is going to want to go somewhere and spend money, the people there operate off these rules-based social contracts and just don't deviate.

I guess that brings me around to your coffee shop. Do you think having the right class of customers helps or hurts you during this pandemic? Are you counting on that group coming back after this all settles?

Because what I think comes next is something akin to a gaming club, the cost of commercial real estate and warehouse space is very low right now. I'm talking with someone about leasing 5,000 sq feet in a modern office building for < $10k a month in a high-end location right now, near public transportation. A month ago, that same space rented for $13 / sq ft, and the owner is willing to go in on anything between 12 months and 10 years.

Those kinds of deals make it attractive to set up membership clubs of any variety. I could see people in different places creating gaming clubs entirely separate from hobby stores. That would fill a void and allow everyone to just buy from online sources, which are more cost efficient. At that point, with cheap space, I don't know if there's an in-crowd to be had.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 14:37:24


Post by: Overread


 Waaagh_Gonads wrote:
tneva82 wrote:
The products are done and shipped from uk. Uk can't keep sending stuff from uk to there when uk is locked up.


I see we are coming at this from different ideas at what stage of the supply chain it is we are talking about.

UK, USA and China are the primary manufacture locations of GW product.
It is then distributed from those locations to their warehouses in those countries and subsidiary countries (Canada for the USA for example)

But products are also shipped to other regions...
Japan
Asia/Pacific which is based in Australia

In those secondary hub countries there are warehouses that fulfill the needs of local stores, online orders for those regions and FLGS distribution.

I think you are talking about the primary point, and yes I agree in those countries that it should be shut down currently.

But if at the secondary warehouses such as in Australia where the stock is there, the staff are at work, and there is no restriction for them to distribute as long as they maintain appropriate social distancing guidelines whilst preparing orders, then why should they not be able to distribute stock already there (not new releases to maintain worldwide release schedule)?

Other sub distributors for other companies in Australia are getting the products for gaming and hobby gear out. Just GW has it all in house so it has stopped completely.


It might be because of how government is paying out the furlough payments to companies. It might be that if GW only part shuts down it might not get all or any of the payment; it might risk not getting any of it and it might complicate the process so it takes longer to apply. So its more beneficial for them to shut the whole thing down. You also have to consider that sometimes staff abroad rely a lot on central managers to provide information etc... so if one part of the company is closed down the other parts end up needing to shut down too.


Plus as noted the GW factories are down; stock in overseas markets can't get replenished. GW's view might be its better to shut everything down and hold stock abroad so that when they restart there's a buffer period overseas before stock runs out fully. Giving GW time to get stock made and shipped out so that their entire company remains operational at roughly the same time. Rather than have overseas sites run out of stock and take weeks/month or more before they "come back online" even when the UK end has been online the whole time.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 15:11:44


Post by: Skinnereal


If one region has stock, people are likely to want to buy and resell.
GW's total closure stops that flow to FLGSs that are still open, and the online stockists. Once they run out, GW will have total control of the restock process.
As said, if there is a buffer stock sat on shelves and in depots, that will hold out for a while before the next shipments arrive.

So, if GW has just shut up shop for a while, when it opens up, things should be more normal more quickly.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 15:28:18


Post by: timetowaste85


 Waaagh_Gonads wrote:
 timetowaste85 wrote:
Because the countries of the world all gave varying precautions, GW looked at those and said “we feel the best option is to keep our employees home safe, on paid leave because we can afford to do so, including our warehouse pickers”? They made a choice for safety. Maybe on the side of the extreme, but they’re putting their employees safety first and keeping them paid at the same time. Something I haven’t heard any other big name company do completely. They should be applauded, not spat on for this decision. I say good on them.


As I Indicated depends on the country.

Australia, shops are open, builders building, trade men going to houses to work., warehouses operational. I am going to the shops today to buy sports socks and running shorts, as my old ones are worn out, new sports shoes for my son and dropping money in the bank, then straight back home.
My medical practice is as strong as ever, even with the social distancing and the implementation of phone consults.
In mY local health district with 250,000 or so people we have had 42 case, 15 are still active and they are all in isolation. 1 new case in the last 10 days here.

U.K. and as far as I can determine is in complete lockdown.

So the warehouse should be on lockdown in U.K., excellent, and as you indicated should be applauded, but in Australia with almost zero community spread and an almost complete curb stomping of the disease thus far why should there be no resupply of stocked items, when the staff are at work twiddling their thumbs.




GW is a British company operating all over the world. They are not an Australian company. They’ve erred on the more extreme British side and treated ALL of their workers the same. Doesn’t matter if they’re in America, Australia, Antarctica or on Pluto. Again, they should be applauded; they’re one of (if not the only) company that shut down completely other than a WFH website that pays full salary to all their employees. Sorry/not sorry that you can’t get your toy soldiers from GW. But they made a decision that is company wide, not cherry picked all over the world. And whether you and your store appreciate GW showing equal respect to all their employees’ safety, that’s how it is. As I said in the Covid thread, posts like this really show you the true character of some.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 15:41:28


Post by: Easy E


Spoiler:
 techsoldaten wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
That isn't a problem with the FLGS, it is a problem with people. Why punish the FLGS?

I use to have some "not nice" people come to my coffee shop when I bought it that made the entire place less welcoming. They were long time shoppers, and very consistent. As a store owner I had to think hard about what I wanted to do? Removing long-time, consistent, paying customers who were part of the community had a lot of follow-on effects. Plus, there was the question of if I could replace their revenue with new sales once they were gone. In a small community, if you just up and kick them out, there is blow back.

After making enough changes to "their favorite hang-out" they decided to leave. That took about 3 months. Then it took another 6 months to consistently replace their income. 9 months of work to shift the environment of the store because of "the experience created by customers". Even looking back now, I wonder if it was worth it or if it hurt more than it helped.

In an even lower margin, niche customer business like a LGS, there is very little chance I am attempting to turn away any customers. I need every single one to try and break even. If I excommunicate a popular community member there is a HUGE risk to that, and little chance I can make it back up on "new" traffic.

Without trying to sound too judgmental, this kind of attitude is a huge turn off to me. Once I realize a store has a preferred class of customer, I never go there again.

It has something to do with networks, the idea that there's an optimized collection of customers who cause more and more to come in. But the more I think about it, the more it feels like herd mentality and short term thinking. I try to avoid those kinds of people in the first place.

Which brings me back to the current health care crisis. In the US, there are places that are heavily impacted by this virus, there are places that are not. While it will take some study to understand the factors at work, heavy use of elevators and air quality appear to have the biggest impact on outcomes.

Have a feeling brick and mortar is dead in major cities (at least in the US) that have had health emergencies. Unemployment is > 40% in NYC and 60% in LA, there's not going to be enough of a population with discretionary income to support stores in places like this. While San Francisco hasn't had the kinds of outcomes of the other two, everyone is telecommuting - restaurants are going out of business at a record rate. No one is going to want to go somewhere and spend money, the people there operate off these rules-based social contracts and just don't deviate.

I guess that brings me around to your coffee shop. Do you think having the right class of customers helps or hurts you during this pandemic? Are you counting on that group coming back after this all settles?

Because what I think comes next is something akin to a gaming club, the cost of commercial real estate and warehouse space is very low right now. I'm talking with someone about leasing 5,000 sq feet in a modern office building for < $10k a month in a high-end location right now, near public transportation. A month ago, that same space rented for $13 / sq ft, and the owner is willing to go in on anything between 12 months and 10 years.

Those kinds of deals make it attractive to set up membership clubs of any variety. I could see people in different places creating gaming clubs entirely separate from hobby stores. That would fill a void and allow everyone to just buy from online sources, which are more cost efficient. At that point, with cheap space, I don't know if there's an in-crowd to be had.


Thankfully, I am out of the Coffee Shop business and had been for about a year. However, my store did have a 3 month shutdown when I owned it due to water damage from a poorly installed ice maker before I owned it. I moved all business to a second location i had and it was a lot of work.....

.... that led to nothing but trouble. My family and employees worked very hard to make things available for our customers at the old location and all we got was negative energy from the few folks that DID make it to the other location. Meanwhile, the people at the second location did not mesh well with the folks from the other location. Overall, it was a disaster. I wish I had just taken the insurance money and closed the first location down instead of powering it through and staying open there another two years. We lost a lot of customers that never came back during that time.

As for FLGS, times are different now, but I have a feeling most small businesses owners won't be getting any sympathy from their customers for these tough times. Contrary to many, I don't think anyone will be coming flooding back.... even it we did get back to pre-COVID-19 normal. Which we won't. Why? because people/customers have now created new habits and methods of purchase and playing that they will hold onto instead of changing back to how this were before. Then layer o the fact that the virus will still be a part of daily life.

As I heard one writer put it, "I care about the economy. I just care a lot more about my mother." Same applies to the old FLGS model.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 18:50:48


Post by: TwilightSparkles


I very much doubt this mythical stock buffer exists because all the UK stores are saying when it's gone that is it, and it's why Outpost is buying up trade stock.......

Going to take ages to replenish it because some of it is stuff that wouldn't otherwise have even sold out. My local has sold out of nearly everything and some of its sat on shelves since he opened ....

Another store that sells mainly toys has sold nearly all its stock and they charge RRP!

When GW does reopen they've also got to implement social distancing which will slow down everything at Nottingham unless they can accelerate the move if warehousing to East Midlands Gateway. Guarantee that if that move had been done sooner they'd be operating distribution/online.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/17 20:31:08


Post by: Skinnereal


 TwilightSparkles wrote:
I very much doubt this mythical stock buffer exists
Yep, some stuff will take a long time to turn up on shelves again.
If you don't order it, they won't make it, and the shelves will have generic stock on them first.
After this blows over, tell your FLGS or local GW what you want them to buy in. GW will have a good idea about what sells and what doesn't, but how much of that was "it was there, so I bought it"?
 TwilightSparkles wrote:
which will slow down everything at Nottingham unless they can accelerate the move if warehousing to East Midlands Gateway.
Coventry was promised a GW site at the West Midlands Gateway .
There's only one way to solve this..... FIGHT!


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/18 00:21:09


Post by: Vulcan


 timetowaste85 wrote:
Because the countries of the world all gave varying precautions, GW looked at those and said “we feel the best option is to keep our employees home safe, on paid leave because we can afford to do so, including our warehouse pickers”? They made a choice for safety. Maybe on the side of the extreme, but they’re putting their employees safety first and keeping them paid at the same time. Something I haven’t heard any other big name company do completely. They should be applauded, not spat on for this decision. I say good on them.


Yeah, I've given GW a lot of... raw sewage... in the past about many things, but I have to give them full credit here. I can't name another international corporation that has put their employees first this way. Not just their physical health, but their economic well-being too. That's going above and beyond for their people.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/18 01:14:17


Post by: Platuan4th


 Vulcan wrote:
 timetowaste85 wrote:
Because the countries of the world all gave varying precautions, GW looked at those and said “we feel the best option is to keep our employees home safe, on paid leave because we can afford to do so, including our warehouse pickers”? They made a choice for safety. Maybe on the side of the extreme, but they’re putting their employees safety first and keeping them paid at the same time. Something I haven’t heard any other big name company do completely. They should be applauded, not spat on for this decision. I say good on them.


Yeah, I've given GW a lot of... raw sewage... in the past about many things, but I have to give them full credit here. I can't name another international corporation that has put their employees first this way. Not just their physical health, but their economic well-being too. That's going above and beyond for their people.


Starbucks gave us the option of full PTO at our regular pay and amount of hours from last month until at least May 4th or $3 extra pay for those of us that volunteered to work. That extra pay is being extended until at least June and will be given to everyone after they return to work.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/18 23:16:00


Post by: Vulcan


 Platuan4th wrote:
 Vulcan wrote:
 timetowaste85 wrote:
Because the countries of the world all gave varying precautions, GW looked at those and said “we feel the best option is to keep our employees home safe, on paid leave because we can afford to do so, including our warehouse pickers”? They made a choice for safety. Maybe on the side of the extreme, but they’re putting their employees safety first and keeping them paid at the same time. Something I haven’t heard any other big name company do completely. They should be applauded, not spat on for this decision. I say good on them.


Yeah, I've given GW a lot of... raw sewage... in the past about many things, but I have to give them full credit here. I can't name another international corporation that has put their employees first this way. Not just their physical health, but their economic well-being too. That's going above and beyond for their people.


Starbucks gave us the option of full PTO at our regular pay and amount of hours from last month until at least May 4th or $3 extra pay for those of us that volunteered to work. That extra pay is being extended until at least June and will be given to everyone after they return to work.


Well, that makes two then.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/19 01:05:45


Post by: timetowaste85


Yup. Next time I want a latte, I’m going to Starbucks to say “thank you”.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/21 13:47:22


Post by: Easy E


My company paid everyone to stay home for four weeks before they began to furlough store and warehouse people. However, the furloughed people got to keep their insurance benefits. Everyone also got a bonus from the previous year and extra cash in their 401K.

Pretty good deal.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/21 14:54:05


Post by: techsoldaten


 Easy E wrote:
My company paid everyone to stay home for four weeks before they began to furlough store and warehouse people. However, the furloughed people got to keep their insurance benefits. Everyone also got a bonus from the previous year and extra cash in their 401K.

Pretty good deal.

Do you work for a tabletop gaming company?


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/21 23:27:22


Post by: Vulcan


 techsoldaten wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
My company paid everyone to stay home for four weeks before they began to furlough store and warehouse people. However, the furloughed people got to keep their insurance benefits. Everyone also got a bonus from the previous year and extra cash in their 401K.

Pretty good deal.

Do you work for a tabletop gaming company?


It's pretty good for most any company these days...


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 01:38:59


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


 timetowaste85 wrote:
Because the countries of the world all gave varying precautions, GW looked at those and said “we feel the best option is to keep our employees home safe, on paid leave because we can afford to do so, including our warehouse pickers”? They made a choice for safety. Maybe on the side of the extreme, but they’re putting their employees safety first and keeping them paid at the same time. Something I haven’t heard any other big name company do completely. They should be applauded, not spat on for this decision. I say good on them.



Wait. GW are paying all of their employees to stay home, even when they can’t work from home?


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 06:40:46


Post by: stroller


"Wait. GW are paying all of their employees to stay home, even when they can’t work from home?"

Yes


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 09:54:16


Post by: Overread


 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
 timetowaste85 wrote:
Because the countries of the world all gave varying precautions, GW looked at those and said “we feel the best option is to keep our employees home safe, on paid leave because we can afford to do so, including our warehouse pickers”? They made a choice for safety. Maybe on the side of the extreme, but they’re putting their employees safety first and keeping them paid at the same time. Something I haven’t heard any other big name company do completely. They should be applauded, not spat on for this decision. I say good on them.



Wait. GW are paying all of their employees to stay home, even when they can’t work from home?


Yes, though governments providing payments are also something I would expect GW to be tapping into for additional support. So they'll be using government aid as well as their own resources. For GW its likely not beneficial to drop staff; especially when most of their stores are already down to only one or two people. There's very little chaff there to actually dump.

It's not like a super store where they've perhaps half a dozen trained high level staff and then a large body of underlings who are mostly only there to work the tills and stock shelves - ergo low skill easy to retain and non-critical.

So yes I'd expect GW wants to hold onto the majority of their staff. It means high running costs, but they've got resources to tide them over. We might see, at some stage, a backlash whereby the rate of releases slows for a time due to them using money now that was originally earmarked for moulds and suchlike - until such time as resuming sales and operations allows them to recover.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 10:27:03


Post by: Skinnereal


 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
 timetowaste85 wrote:
... they’re putting their employees safety first and keeping them paid at the same time....

Wait. GW are paying all of their employees to stay home, even when they can’t work from home?
The UK government is promising that they will pay 80% of a companies employees' wages, if they send them home.
Most companies here are getting told the same thing. I can't remember whether GW said this before or after the 80% announcement.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 11:44:56


Post by: General Hobbs




Just some food for thought. In the area north of Baltimore, in 2000, there were 2 game stores where you could play 40k. One was a comic book store and another was the Armory, before it got bought out by Diamond, I believe. There were Games Workshop stores in at least 2 locations, North of Baltimore, and the Headquarters store ( when GW was in Maryland).

Fast Forward to 2019. Over the years, GW stores opened and closed in several places, until all of the Maryland stores were in southern locations. There are two game stores in Bel Air Maryland, one in Timonium Maryland, one in Cockeysville,one in Essex and one south of Baltimore. Of the two stores that were around in 2000, one closed around then and the other became a solely comic book store around 2012 and finally close.

So yeah....stores will close, and others will fill the vacuum. I went from having 2 places from 2000 to 2006 to play in ( I didn't go to GW stores to game, except for the GW Bunker), to living within 5-10 minutes of 2 stores, and within 30 of 3 others.

I can't say if they will survive this crisis.

I know a famous store to the north of Maryland is in a lot of trouble....They have been around forever, but may not make it now.

Now here's some more bad news. I've worked as a sales manager at two game companies. Most of them operate on a credit basis. That is, a store opens an account, buying their initial stock with cash. If they pass the credit checks, the game company extends them credit, and they pay for their product on a regular basis.

So Bob's Wargame Company extends 20,000 dollars of credit to Mikey's Games and Comics. Mikey might only pay a 1000 bucks a month on his credit, but is able to keep getting product in to sell.

If a lot of these game stores go belly up and can't pay off their credit, the game companies lose out big time. Mikey's not shipping back the product...it's being sold off so Mikey can pay as many of his bills before he shuts down. Or he takes the cash and runs ( Had that happen to an account). Or they charge Peter Jackson's credit card ( Had that happen by one of my accounts).


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 14:25:32


Post by: Easy E


 techsoldaten wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
My company paid everyone to stay home for four weeks before they began to furlough store and warehouse people. However, the furloughed people got to keep their insurance benefits. Everyone also got a bonus from the previous year and extra cash in their 401K.

Pretty good deal.

Do you work for a tabletop gaming company?


No, but a lot of big companies are trying to find a way to keep people getting paid, because without consumers every business dies. Of course, there is a limit to what they can do. When big companies like mine are starting to get desperate for cash and rescind these types of deals, then you know small companies that were not sitting on a huge pile of cash are hurting more.

As General Hobbs points out, most B&M are buying on credit. When they can not pay it back that will have a ripple effect to the distributor and then the game companies.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 16:13:42


Post by: ccs


 Overread wrote:

So yes I'd expect GW wants to hold onto the majority of their staff. It means high running costs, but they've got resources to tide them over. We might see, at some stage, a backlash whereby the rate of releases slows for a time due to them using money now that was originally earmarked for moulds and suchlike - until such time as resuming sales and operations allows them to recover.


And we'll no doubt see a price hike.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 19:45:29


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


GW’s strength here again is a total lack of debt.

Sure, they’re not getting much in the way of income at the moment. But, with no debt to service, their overall running costs during a shutdown should be relatively negligible - just things like any building rents (I don’t know if they rent their HQ, or own it outright. May be a land lease?).

Compared to other retailers who may have borrowed to expand, that’s a fortunate position. And given their stellar profit margins of the past few years, I can’t see them not riding this out.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 20:12:48


Post by: Overread


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
GW’s strength here again is a total lack of debt.

Sure, they’re not getting much in the way of income at the moment. But, with no debt to service, their overall running costs during a shutdown should be relatively negligible - just things like any building rents (I don’t know if they rent their HQ, or own it outright. May be a land lease?).

Compared to other retailers who may have borrowed to expand, that’s a fortunate position. And given their stellar profit margins of the past few years, I can’t see them not riding this out.


When you look at a lot of the big names that die during financially troubling times, debt is a huge thing that often kills them. Even the airlines are the same; with many you see that its not so much running and operating costs that's the problem. It's the huge debt that they got in to grow that large in the first place. Debts that don't stop and which, even if they hold off on payments, still sit there gathering interest. Fast growth of many big highstreet names can be a good thing, but it seems that the fast growth and load of debt that it typically results in; is often what drives in the nail and kills them off when times take a downturn.


I'd imagine GW might own their current site; if not then rent and rates would likely be budgeted for a a year ago. Indeed most of their running and operating costs were likely budgeted for a while back and are fairly stable too. So I'd also expect them to ride this out.


As I said earlier, if GW dies in this then chances are things have taken a significantly nasty turn for the UK (at the very least). GW has good profits; good sales and no debt. They've also got a huge rafter of things they can sell off if they really have too and if any ting else they can farm out their IP even more to turn some quick money in an emergency. We'd all rather Uwe Bol made a Warhammer film than Warhammer went under.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/22 20:29:06


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


They’ve also got a pretty solid Pile O’Cash to rely on.

When you look at other companies going cap in hand for a Government bailout because they don’t have cash reserves, it’s really quite remarkable.

Now, had this happened just after the financial crash? Yeah. Big trouble for them!


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/23 07:39:55


Post by: Skinnereal


As soon as GW properly opens up again, they'd better have enough servers to handle the load.
The number of us who have not bought anything for a while, with very little to have spent money on in that time, that website is going to get hammered.

The same with online stockists. When the HW flow starts back up, it's going to be pot-luck as who gets the GW stock you want.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/23 13:16:14


Post by: Commodus Leitdorf


The lockdown has done wonders for my "Don't buy anything until you paint all the other stuff on your list" commitment. I am getting a crazy itch to drop money on stuff though, so I can't wait till my local store opens. Although I could probably just hit up their website....Gah I just hate paying for shipping for a place that's 20 minutes away.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/23 19:28:58


Post by: ccs


 Commodus Leitdorf wrote:
The lockdown has done wonders for my "Don't buy anything until you paint all the other stuff on your list" commitment. I am getting a crazy itch to drop money on stuff though, so I can't wait till my local store opens. Although I could probably just hit up their website....Gah I just hate paying for shipping for a place that's 20 minutes away.


Could you call them for curb-side pickup?


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/28 08:19:11


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


Relevant.

GW are reopening their foundry and mail order in a limited capacity. And to help out Indy stores?

They’re making this chap



Available to FLGS free of charge. Time for us to crack on and support our Indies, no?

Must hit up my local FLGS, see if they’re getting in any. I want one, and also hoping to Loot a few ( without simply clearing their shelves, because that’s not Looting)


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/28 08:59:12


Post by: Skinnereal


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
... and also hoping to Loot a few ( without simply clearing their shelves, because that’s not Looting)
That's exactly looting, but we know what you mean.
I was holding off putting an order in at my FLGS, due to conflicting info on their site. I'd better message them quickly, to get a place in the queue for that bloke, whatever they're charging.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/28 18:58:35


Post by: Commodus Leitdorf


ccs wrote:

Could you call them for curb-side pickup?


Actually that is an option! But, unfortunately, they are on shorter hours then normal. By the time i'm off work and can get there its closed. So that's not an option sadly.

Also damn, I don't even play 40k and I'd like that model!


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/28 19:03:50


Post by: Stevefamine


Putting in a second order to my local store. They mail same day so I see it within 2 days. First order came with a free GW glue and this one with a free black wash big pot


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/29 07:59:46


Post by: Skinnereal


They are giving between 1 and 4 of these models per store :(
It was a nice gesture, but making it hard for the FLGS to look good with this.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/29 11:06:43


Post by: Overread


Who knows, pressure from the stores might make GW open the models up for general production runs so that stores can order more.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/29 11:56:41


Post by: Wayniac


 Skinnereal wrote:
They are giving between 1 and 4 of these models per store :(
It was a nice gesture, but making it hard for the FLGS to look good with this.
So a PR stunt like expected. I'm laughing that people actually thought otherwise and fell for the "hey everyone GW is such a great company look what they're doing" routine yet again.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/29 18:16:59


Post by: Kanluwen


Wayniac wrote:
 Skinnereal wrote:
They are giving between 1 and 4 of these models per store :(
It was a nice gesture, but making it hard for the FLGS to look good with this.
So a PR stunt like expected. I'm laughing that people actually thought otherwise and fell for the "hey everyone GW is such a great company look what they're doing" routine yet again.

Like I said in the thread on the topic, people don't seem to understand that these models when they are done for GW events?

They're distributed in limited numbers to only the GW stores, with anyone wanting one after the physical stock runs out having to effectively pay for a Made to Order figure. They usually are not available at independents at all. When the 500th store Primaris Lieutenant and Nighthaunt hit, accounts were that GW shops had 20ish of each model with a limit of 1 per person.

How many independent shops do people think are out there? Even just independent retailers with trade accounts with GW? Because looking at the shopfinder, I can find 17 independents within 100 miles of me...compared to 3 GW shops(which are 1, 60, and 89 miles from me) .

I'm sure someone has the exacting numbers of GW shops, but I would be curious if there is similar for independents.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/30 07:44:23


Post by: Skinnereal


If they'd have thrown in a few of the other exclusives, to bulk up the numbers, they'd have been OK.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/30 14:48:36


Post by: Commodus Leitdorf


I mean, yeah a limited run model is a PR stunt. So? Maybe I wont be able to get one, I'll live. Frankly the fact that GW is even trying to throw non-GW Brick and mortar stores a bone at all is note worthy. Especially given GW's actions in the last 15 years.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/30 15:06:04


Post by: techsoldaten


 Commodus Leitdorf wrote:
I mean, yeah a limited run model is a PR stunt. So? Maybe I wont be able to get one, I'll live. Frankly the fact that GW is even trying to throw non-GW Brick and mortar stores a bone at all is note worthy. Especially given GW's actions in the last 15 years.

Spoke with a very angry FLGS owner yesterday. Her understanding is the model is free with orders.

Her store has been closed for 3 months, she has inventory. She thinks online retailers, who have been selling all this time, are the only ones who will truly benefit.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/30 15:41:13


Post by: Kanluwen


Given that GW hasn't been shipping orders at all from their warehouses, I can't imagine why online retailers would be benefiting.

This is seeming to be trade account based. Online retailers that don't have a physical storefront can't qualify for trade accounts, from what has been said over the years.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/30 17:16:07


Post by: Commodus Leitdorf


 techsoldaten wrote:
 Commodus Leitdorf wrote:
I mean, yeah a limited run model is a PR stunt. So? Maybe I wont be able to get one, I'll live. Frankly the fact that GW is even trying to throw non-GW Brick and mortar stores a bone at all is note worthy. Especially given GW's actions in the last 15 years.

Spoke with a very angry FLGS owner yesterday. Her understanding is the model is free with orders.

Her store has been closed for 3 months, she has inventory. She thinks online retailers, who have been selling all this time, are the only ones who will truly benefit.


Yeah that does make sense. Our local store does have an online store as well so they've still been able to get stuff out to people and are currently super low on stock since they haven't been able to get orders from GW.

This whole thing is clearly going to ding stores that don't have an online presence.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/04/30 17:38:39


Post by: ccs


I'm resigned to having to pay more via EBay....


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/03 15:56:31


Post by: Wayniac


EDIT: not worth getting into this argument


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/06 17:44:56


Post by: RiTides


I had to remove a post and those replying to it.

If you need to start a post by saying "I know this will get me a warning" and subverting the swear filter, obviously it's not going to be appropriate or something we can keep up...

Also guys in the future, if there's an issue like that, please just hit the yellow triangle rather than responding in kind. Thanks everyone


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/06 18:12:54


Post by: Slipspace


 techsoldaten wrote:
 Commodus Leitdorf wrote:
I mean, yeah a limited run model is a PR stunt. So? Maybe I wont be able to get one, I'll live. Frankly the fact that GW is even trying to throw non-GW Brick and mortar stores a bone at all is note worthy. Especially given GW's actions in the last 15 years.

Spoke with a very angry FLGS owner yesterday. Her understanding is the model is free with orders.

Her store has been closed for 3 months, she has inventory. She thinks online retailers, who have been selling all this time, are the only ones who will truly benefit.


That's not exactly the case, at least not in the UK and I'm fairly sure GW will be using the same system in all countries for deciding which stores get how many models. From speaking to my FLGS owner it seems GW are giving the free models out according to the amount of GW stock ordered over a certain (fairly long) period of time. His shop doesn't sell a huge amount of GW stuff so he's only getting one. As pointed out above me, GW have been shut down for about 8 weeks now so online stores aren't getting any benefit from their ability to trade through the lockdown since they couldn't order from GW.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/06 18:46:56


Post by: Jjohnso11


I'd be interested in the statistics of those small businesses that closed during this time. Specifically did those businesses: 1. Maintain a large stock; 2. Have an online presence or sell product online; 3. Diversify their online sales (eBay, Amazon) vs using a purchased online web store.



End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/06 20:45:11


Post by: Phobos


A game store is a lifestyle business. That is, you do it because you enjoy it, not because it makes a lot of money. As such, most are very poorly run because when you do a business model on a game store, it just doesn't work.

"So here's the plan, I'm gonna sell this dude a box of minis and accessories for an army, and out of that $200 purchase, he's going to camp in my store every week for the next umpteen years not needing to buy anything else because I've already sold him what he needs. But wait, I can sell him a bag of chips and soda!"



End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/06 21:37:49


Post by: insaniak


Well, yes, it doesn't work if your business plan revolves around just selling a bag of chips every week. Successful gaming stores do a little more than that.

And, honestly, I don't understand why any retail business in this day and age doesn't have a webstore.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/06 22:16:56


Post by: Phobos


Well, I was obviously being tongue in cheek, but the basic premise of my statement is valid and true. What else can you sell that guy other than a new army book every few years?

As to the having a webstore, it really isn't as simple as just turning on the webstore switch. You have to pay to have the site set up, pay for hosting, pay for someone to maintain it, both in terms of the physical sever itself as well as the products and listings on it, pay to have someone pick, pack & ship the items, pay for and store shipping supplies, pay for shipping, pay someone to answer customer service emails, etc... the list goes on with stuff I'm not even thinking of offhand.

And for what really? How much extra profit will all that generate, if any? Who is going to buy a box of space marines from Bobs random game store instead of Miniature Market or any of the other established etailers? Oh and by the way, those marines better be rock bottom prices (in other words very low profit margin), because on the internet, that is ALL you have to compete with.

I totally understand why a small business doesn't have a webstore.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/06 23:43:59


Post by: insaniak


 Phobos wrote:
Well, I was obviously being tongue in cheek, but the basic premise of my statement is valid and true. What else can you sell that guy other than a new army book every few years?

For the most part, the sales are going to come from new customers (either new to the game, or an existing customer looking to start a new army or game), rather than the guy with the finished army who is not interested in another. But if you're running a store with gaming space, then monetising that space through organised play events is going to be essential as well.


As to the having a webstore, it really isn't as simple as just turning on the webstore switch. You have to pay to have the site set up, pay for hosting, pay for someone to maintain it, both in terms of the physical sever itself as well as the products and listings on it, pay to have someone pick, pack & ship the items, pay for and store shipping supplies, pay for shipping, pay someone to answer customer service emails, etc... the list goes on with stuff I'm not even thinking of offhand.

And for what really? How much extra profit will all that generate, if any? Who is going to buy a box of space marines from Bobs random game store instead of Miniature Market or any of the other established etailers? Oh and by the way, those marines better be rock bottom prices (in other words very low profit margin), because on the internet, that is ALL you have to compete with.

Yes, I'm well aware of the costs of running a webstore. The thing is, for small stores those costs are going to be negligible on top of the website that they should already have anyway, and the tradeoff is opening up another potential sales avenue, in a time when fewer and fewer people are walking into physical stores. Those 'established etailers' all started with nothing as well... and as more and more retail moves online, local stores are going to have to learn to compete with them if they want to survive.

Not to mention that having the option to sell online would have come in incredibly handy for those stores right now, if only to keep selling to their regulars.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/07 00:21:53


Post by: ccs


 Phobos wrote:

And for what really? How much extra profit will all that generate, if any? Who is going to buy a box of space marines from Bobs random game store instead of Miniature Market or any of the other established etailers? Oh and by the way, those marines better be rock bottom prices (in other words very low profit margin), because on the internet, that is ALL you have to compete with.


Depends. If what I want is sold out at MM, etc but Bob's Random Game Store has what I want when I want it.... Cost can be = MM price on up to full retail. And I don't have an issue paying legit shipping.
For example: A few years back (2015?) I built a Finnish army for Flames of War (15mm WWII). Battlefront was sold out of certain Fin specific units/vehicles & said it'd be weeks-months before they'd be restocked. No local shop had the pieces. MM, Warstore & NobelKnight were all out of stock. There were a few on Ebay for purely ridiculous prices. So I just did a general search.
And thus my Finnish Stugs are sourced from: two random stores in the USA, a shop in Vancouver Canada, one somewhere in England, and a shop in Paris France. Total cost? About $5 shy of MSRP + around $30 in shipping. And about a 10 day shipping delay overall until the last tanks arrived (the order from Canada was the slowest). Wich was cheaper than the EBay route & turned out to be way faster than ordering through my local shop/Battlefront.
BTW, the shop in Paris was quite surprised to get an order heading to NE Ohio, USA.....


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/07 00:28:23


Post by: insaniak


Yup, I've done similar in the past when I was looking for something specific.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/09 18:01:26


Post by: TwilightSparkles


I'd agree that scarcity of stock is a chance for smaller stores to get some sales. I bought some Star Wars Legion from Belgium that was sold out in the UK.

What's surprised me is how many uk FLGS are not online. Outpost (uk based) has been buying up any stock they can in bulk from other stores who want to generate cash, and they e had some absolute gems , which they've sold at RRP OR 10% discount - I picked up a long OOP boxed game that goes on eBay for far more - I've bought it to play btw - and this must have been sat somewhere unsold ? They've had OOP underworlds, stuff that's so old it's now direct only , etc

I think what this has done is shown who is able / willing to adapt to make the most of it.

Long term a big problem coming up is how/when anyone can get a game in - club meetings are going to fall under the same rules as clubs /pubs and stores are likely going to have to enforce occupancy limits and distancing. Without straying too far off topic, those limits is going to kill the scene at nearly every FLGS as , using rough math, :

My local probably has a limit of around 80-100. That's very busy and every table in use. To enforce distancing between tables I'd say that's down to 20. But then no one can get to the stock as it's around the ground floor walks with tables in the middle. To stop that , say 10.

Can't have 10 people gaming as that prevents browsing.



End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/09 18:12:08


Post by: Overread


Thing its running online isn't just putting up a website; its marketing; its having a back-end of the store setup for boxing up products; it means having packaging material and a lot of boxes ready to pack things up and staff with time to pack. For some smaller stores they might only have one or two staff on hand at any one time who also have to serve living customers through the door.


I'd say the other issue is that onilne already has some big names so if you're going online to trade chances are you might end up on ebay or with a small no-name store that, unless you put big money into advertising, is likely only to make a small income. The internet is great, but you've already got giants like Wayland, Element and Firestorm games.



Gaming in stores is likely to remain banned until the lockdowns lift entirely. The issue with it is that you're bringing together two people for a prolonged period of time in an enclosed space. Even with a table between them they are going to be sharing the air. So if one is infected the other is certainly able to be infected too - along with any store staff.

Shopping "sort of" works right now because you're spread out and the time you spend in store is limited as much as possible. So you're exposed to far less air sharing potential.


Gaming is likely worse than a restaurant where you might go with family (people you are already exposed too) and serving staff are not hanging around you all the time - even then you might be in an enclosed room for an hour or two. For wargames its certain contact with a different person for what could be 4, 5, 6 or more hours at a time.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/26 19:52:47


Post by: Commodus Leitdorf


Well my Local Gaming stores all open this week. I already dropped 150 bucks on stuff I probably didn't need but who cares! Just glad they are open and seem fine so far...but well see.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/26 20:07:15


Post by: Easy E


I hope my doom and gloom predictions were all wrong!


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/26 20:59:00


Post by: Gangland


One shop opened this last week around me as well.


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/26 23:21:52


Post by: ccs


At least two of my local shops are open.

The one I call "home" never truly closed though.
They have a side business making a line of paints & resin car models. The orders kept coming in, so they just kept mixing paint, casting models, & shipping stuff out.... Since they were there anyways they also did curbside pickup. Just the owner & one employee working away about 6 hrs/day in the basement.
Now they're back open for walk in customers & limited gaming.

The other comic/game shop closed down completely, but I see on their site they're open again. No idea about their in-store gaming though.

I haven't checked on the other three (though I only really care about one of them).


End of the brick and mortar? @ 2020/05/26 23:45:17


Post by: Sasori


Right now most of the stores in my area are open for picking up stuff, but the gaming tables are still closed.