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Made in gb
Stitch Counter






Rowlands Gill

The group that i used to work with at my store have all left now, most of us couldn't justify the prices to customers and got fed up of being scolded by the company when we tried to give people honest advice and find the cheapest way for them to enjoy the hobby.


Mr Gundammecha, I salute your integrety!

That attitude is highly commendable. It's good to know that not everyone working for the Evil Empire are wallet-raping egomaniacs!

Cheers
Paul 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




Posted By Osbad on 11/28/2006 1:47 AM
The group that i used to work with at my store have all left now, most of us couldn't justify the prices to customers and got fed up of being scolded by the company when we tried to give people honest advice and find the cheapest way for them to enjoy the hobby.


Mr Gundammecha, I salute your integrety!

That attitude is highly commendable. It's good to know that not everyone working for the Evil Empire are wallet-raping egomaniacs

 

Thanks Osbad. When I worked for the company we all knew that there were two kinds of staff.

Those that go up to a kid and say "Here buy this Land Raider! Its cooooool and has big guns and is only 30 pounds!"

Then there are those who say "buy a five man squad of marines, come to our beginners weekends, and see how you enjoy the hobby. If you decide its not for you you've only spent 6 pounds. If you decide you love it you can expand your army to include another squad and a captain, and later on buy the rule book/core game"

I couldn't look a kid in the eye and rip them off. Its love of the hobby that made me want to work at GW, a love of the hobby that all of my friends at my store shared. We remembered what it was like at 12 yrs old to open that first blister pack and stick that model together. I always used this ethic in any retail job that I had whilst a student. Treat your customers with respect and kindness and they will keep coming back, shaft them and exploit them and they won't. Its a shame that a lot of people don't think about how THEY would like to be treated themselves before they deal with others.

For example I never did the in your face approach. I never ran up to people who were browsing to say "Hello what do YOU collect/ What are YOU into?" The hobby is just one part of my life thats full of a wide range of interests. I would just greet people in a friendly way and chat to them, even about non GW things, movies, comics whatever. Work out why they are in the store, what they are interested in and what they are likely to like.

It's easy to demonise "red shirts" and whilst some are muppets I agree there are others like myself and my friends that worked hard to try and promote the hobby in a non coporate way and give people the most cost affective ways to enjoy the hobby.

   
Made in gb
Daring Dark Eldar Raider Rider




Between a rock and a hard place

For example I never did the in your face approach. I never ran up to people who were browsing to say "Hello what do YOU collect/ What are YOU into?"


Good God, I hate it when they do that. Especially if you're in a bad mood when all you want is for someone to press the cash machine buttons with minimum of fuss.

A friend of mine worked in a GW, he was told to greet everyone like that, and many employees took it literally. The best redshirts are the ones who recognise what a player is after and act accordingly.

"The Imperium looks at it this way. Your armor can either protect you from an anti-tank rocket, or a garden hose. But not both".
DragonPup

"I'd rather be drowned in options than parched in the desert of GW's production schedule."
Phryxis 
   
Made in us
Foul Dwimmerlaik





Minneapolis, MN

yeah there are two types of people who shop. The ones who want to be waited and doted upon, hand and foot. or the ones who want to be left alone because they either know what they want, or want to decide for themselves. The latter type usually initiate contact with the retailer if they have any questions.

Good customer service recognizes who are who.

   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






Posted By Wolfstan on 11/24/2006 8:24 AM
Tom Kirby, Director of Games Workshop Group, was reported Thursday to have purchased 142,000 shares at £350.00 GBP each, for a total value of £497,000.00 


How much do the shares cost, and who do I see to buy mine?



At Games Workshop, we believe that how you behave does matter. We believe this so strongly that we have written it down in the Games Workshop Book. There is a section in the book where we talk about the values we expect all staff to demonstrate in their working lives. These values are Lawyers, Guns and Money. 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






Ok, I found them. 390. and looking like a winner. Good stock to have for the holidays.



At Games Workshop, we believe that how you behave does matter. We believe this so strongly that we have written it down in the Games Workshop Book. There is a section in the book where we talk about the values we expect all staff to demonstrate in their working lives. These values are Lawyers, Guns and Money. 
   
Made in us
Plastictrees



Amongst the Stars, In the Night

Posted By Grot 6 on 11/29/2006 5:37 PM
Ok, I found them. 390. and looking like a winner. Good stock to have for the holidays.

You obviously haven't read the rest of the thread. Enjoy loosing your money!

OT Zone: A More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villany
The Loyal Slave learns to Love the Lash! 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
The Tyranny of Evil Men




Los Angeles

Posted By nyarlathotep667 on 11/29/2006 8:04 PM
Posted By Grot 6 on 11/29/2006 5:37 PM
Ok, I found them. 390. and looking like a winner. Good stock to have for the holidays.

You obviously haven't read the rest of the thread. Enjoy loosing your money!
Nyarly, don't say things like that!. There's a chance that the GW management will do yet another share buyback to drive up the price just a touch more.  And then we wait to see if (when) the bottom falls out.  God, I love that term.

"The last known instance of common sense happened at a GT. A player tried to use the 'common sense' argument vs. Mauleed to justify his turbo-boosted bikes getting a saving throw vs. Psycannons. The player's resulting psychic death scream erased common sense from the minds of 40k players everywhere. " - Ozymandias 
   
Made in us
Foul Dwimmerlaik





Minneapolis, MN

I may be a huge GW hater. But I really want to see the company succeed. (I hate because I care) But I am kind of wearing rose colored glasses when waiting for new management when stuff like this happens.

They can charge what they want for their products. Just make it worth the expenditure and I am happy.

   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






Posted By nyarlathotep667 on 11/29/2006 8:04 PM
Posted By Grot 6 on 11/29/2006 5:37 PM
Ok, I found them. 390. and looking like a winner. Good stock to have for the holidays.

You obviously haven't read the rest of the thread. Enjoy loosing your money!



Gotta say, you have a nose for it. I've been doing some stock homework for the past couple of hours, and if anything, Id just say to keep this one for a day or two and bump it back off. I don't understand the mentality of spreading yourself out like they have. If anything, you'd think they would shore up a few of the bleeding wounds of the branch companies and try to keep a h andle on the holiday season. Is the GW group responsible for all of the companies in this fashion as well? Sabertooth, Forgeworld, etc.?

Between the current market trend of the prepaints, and the rise of oil price,  what do you all think will be GW's answer to the upsurge in the floundering gaming market? Do they have another five or ten years left? Or is the Video(Game) going to kill the miniatures star as well?




At Games Workshop, we believe that how you behave does matter. We believe this so strongly that we have written it down in the Games Workshop Book. There is a section in the book where we talk about the values we expect all staff to demonstrate in their working lives. These values are Lawyers, Guns and Money. 
   
Made in us
Plastictrees



Amongst the Stars, In the Night

Don't get me wrong, I really, really want GW to succeed and come out of the current tailspin they are in. But with Tom Kirby at the helm, I just don't see it happening. And him owning such a controlling interest is going to make it a very expensive proposition to get rid of him. My great hope is that this will happen after a third year of successive losses and shrinking of unit sales. Perhaps even come early February when the mid-year report comes out. But I'm not holding my breath.

Grot6: Yes, GW is the parent company for Sabertooth, Forgeworld, Black Library and others subdivisions. While in other companies a lot of drag can be attributed to bloat in their subdivisions, I think what's really killing them is bloat in the management of their flagship operations coupled with a corporate culture of arrogance, elitism and fanaticism that breeds scorn on their customers and an unwillingness to allow effective input. The terrible state of affairs with the FAQs, rules and continual price hikes point to this.

As far as market trends, oil prices have more effect on transportation costs than actual production (GW has said in their financial reports that materials are no more than 1% of the product's actual cost). And unlike radio, video (games) will never kill the miniature stars! Board games and scale modeling are still vibrant markets, and tabletop wargaming is basically a combination of the two. All three allow for constructive use of ones time and gaming requires more social interaction. Likewise, prepaints are only feeding a niche left unfilled now: those that want to wargame, but don't have the time to model.

OT Zone: A More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villany
The Loyal Slave learns to Love the Lash! 
   
Made in gb
Stitch Counter






Rowlands Gill

Things come and go in phases. There is a certain "faddishness" in the wargames market. The LotR films had an obvious impact on sales attracting many who would otherwise not have bought models from GW. This, to a large extent, has evaporated now of course - the so-called "LotR bubble" which Kirby always bangs on about (somehow he seems to believe a bubble can defy the laws of physics and burst twice!). What is less well publicised is the bubble effect on their other games. The pre- and early- teens market where (it appears to this jaded old hack) GW are aiming their marketing guns are notoriously "faddish", and by appealing to this market GW are at the mercy of whatever new trend comes along.

The "core gamer" appears not to be marketed at much by GW these days, which would indicate that potentially we don't figure highly in their sales demographic profile.

The decision GW management have to make is whether to appeal to the "core gamer" who has high demands, and expects much more "value for money" than the average teenager does. Or go all out for the "kiddie dollar" - which is less demanding but more fickle.

What the "LotR bubble" masked was an underlying fall in sales volume for non-LotR product.

If you do some simple maths on GW's turnover, it reveals the following:

Firstly take the published turnover figures

Year Turnover(£k)
2006 115,150
2005 136,647
2004 151,775
2003 129,109
2002 108,557
2001 92,634

Eliminate the effects of RPI increases:

Year RPI(%)
2006 2.5
2005 2.8
2004 3.0
2003 2.9
2002 1.7
2001 1.8

This gives us comparable figures so that we can look at Turnover excluding the inflation effect:

Year T/o at 06 prices(£k)
2006 115,150
2005 140,473
2004 160,705
2003 140,670
2002 120,289
2001 104,492

If you want to see a graph of that:



This shows me that GW's 2006 Turnover (ie "total sales revenue" ) was lower in real terms in 2006 than for every year since 2001. But, bear this in mind - the figures from 2002 onwards INCLUDE LotR sales - which at their peak were something like 28% of volume (I think Jervis blurted that out at a Games Day sometime back), and are now running at an alleged 15% (unconfirmed). Given overall values are the same as for 2001, then 40k and WFB sales are down 15% on their value 5 years ago, and maybe moreb because I'd bet a lot of money on GW prices having risen on average a lot higher than the basic rate of inflation!! That is one heck of a tumble my friends!

What does this imply? WFB and 40k are suffering, and losing ground, but Kirby fails to acknowledge this, and instead would prefer to blame it all on "the LotR bubble".

If the kiddies are persuaded to buy into "Skull Pass" instead of the latest Wii or whatever, then all well and good. But if historical trends continue then I forsee 1 of 2 things happening:

1/ GW crash and burn and go all out for kiddie sales by selling out to Hasbro or the like and becoming even more of a toy factory; or
2/ GW retrench and focus on core "core gamers" who have been alienated, as they are the only people they have left to sell to.

I may be a "prophet of doom". I certainly hope so. I hope GW continues to employ 1000's of staff for years to come. But I do think GW senior management are playing a high risk strategy and are being economical with the truth as to the problems they face.

How on earth hiking prices beyond the reach of kids' pocket money or the competition for "core gamers'" attention will ever help them out of this hole is beyond me!

I look forward to seeing their half-yearly results, due out in January, with interest!

Cheers
Paul 
   
Made in ro
Regular Dakkanaut




Bucharest, Romania

I'm not sure if Kirby's assessment is wrong. Using Osbad's numbers, here is what I came up with.

LOTR's peak GW's sales revenue was 160,705 and LOTR accounted for about 28% of that. That would mean the rest of GW's products accounted for 115707.

Assuming 3% growth (I used 3% as a general inflation mark, totally arbitrary) Then here is what GW should make without LOTR:

2001: 104492
2002: 107626
2003: 110855
2004: 114181
2005: 117606
2006: 121135

If you assume a 3% growth of sales revenue every year, starting 2001, then in 2004 (at the supposed LOTR peak), GW's estimated sales revenue would be 114181 for all the non-LOTR sales. That's not too far off from 115707. Now I can't estimate the 2002, 2003, or 2005, because Osbad said 28% at the peak.

So up to this point, GW is doing ok, they're growing and the LOTR line looks like its doing well for them.

Now, where it gets interesting is in 2006. Based on the same 3% sales revenue growth, then GW should be making 121135 on their non-LOTR lines. But they aren't, they only cleared 115150. Assuming LOTR brings in 15% of sales revenue, then the non-LOTR lines only brought it 97878. Which would be a 21% drop in non-LOTR sales in 2006.

Did the bubble burst? Yes and I don't necessarily think Kirby is wrong. A 20K drop in 2005 is not really a burst when GW gained 20K a year for three straight years. That's a return to normalcy. If you look at what GW would make in 2005 at 3% growth (117606) and add 15% from LOTR, then you would get 135246, which isn't far off from the actual 140,473.

Now in 2006, ok, the bubble burst and GW is getting schallacked. I won't speculate why because Dakkites have already beaten that horse into oblivion. But I do agree that non-LOTR sales are down and in a big way.


GW is banking on increased sales of new plastics which was done to reduce long term costs of metal models. By keeping "special" units and characters metal, they attract the vet gamers who look for these models to add flavor to their already large armies, while the younger players stick with plastics until they get a big enough army. If GW wanted to only sell to the newbies, then why not put out lower quality plastics (like Skull Pass) all the times, and sell them at a cheaper price? Because they still sell and want to sell to vet gamers, attracting us with newer and cooler plastic models to convert.

But I think Os forgot a 3rd choice for GW: Cut and Run, wait, sorry, wrong problem.

Choice 3. Go big on plastics. The plastics are a long term solution. GW might be smart enough to leave prices alone and wait for the prices to catch up with market demand (which has obviously become low right now). No company can fix profit problems over night, so by going with mostly plastics, they are hoping to increase interest, reduce costs (compared to metals), and shore up profits in the long term.

Just my worthless 2 cents

-Jmz

"In The Grim Darkness Of The Far Future, There Is No Reason To Be Ashamed Of An Unfurnished Basement." ~ Jester (talking about Wraithlord gibblies) 
   
 
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