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Made in us
Stalwart Veteran Guard Sergeant





SF Bay Area

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.

Tyler


 
   
Made in gb
Castellan of Dol Guldur





Bodt

No.

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

Heresy World Eaters/Night Lords Genestealer cults.

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Made in gb
Legendary Dogfighter




england

With 60% of businesses and shops slated to vanish in the UK during this pandemic and game and model shops already vanishing...
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

This won't last forever...

   
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Been Around the Block




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.
   
Made in gb
Wise Ethereal with Bodyguard







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.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

Terranwing - w3;d1;l1
51st Dunedinw2;d0;l0
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Made in gb
Boom! Leman Russ Commander





The Shire(s)

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.

 ChargerIIC wrote:
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Made in us
Enigmatic Chaos Sorcerer




Tampa, FL

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.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/04/14 11:45:16


- Wayne
Formerly WayneTheGame 
   
Made in gb
Legendary Dogfighter




england

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.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






 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.



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 no
Archmagos Veneratus Extremis





Hefnaheim

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
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Heroic Senior Officer





Gone-to-ground in the craters of Coventry

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.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/14 14:08:43


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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw (probably)
Clubs around Coventry, UK 
   
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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.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





Armpit of NY

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?
   
Made in ca
Dangerous Outrider




Montreal, QC Canada

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.

Commodus Leitdorf Paints all of the Things!!
The Breaking of the Averholme: An AoS Adventure
"We have clearly reached the point where only rampant and unchecked stabbing can save us." -Black Mage 
   
Made in gb
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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.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

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The Last Chancer Who Survived




On moon miranda.

 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.

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Powerful Phoenix Lord






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.

 
   
Made in us
Stalwart Veteran Guard Sergeant





SF Bay Area

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

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/04/14 17:41:11


Tyler


 
   
Made in us
Sure Space Wolves Land Raider Pilot






 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.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 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.

   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

 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.



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Made in ca
Dangerous Outrider




Montreal, QC Canada

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.

Commodus Leitdorf Paints all of the Things!!
The Breaking of the Averholme: An AoS Adventure
"We have clearly reached the point where only rampant and unchecked stabbing can save us." -Black Mage 
   
Made in us
Powerful Phoenix Lord






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.

 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut



NE Ohio, USA

 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.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/14 20:21:11


 
   
Made in us
Ancient Chaos Terminator





Eye of Terror

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.

   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

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.

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





Armpit of NY

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.
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch






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.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/04/14 22:48:45


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AngryAngel80 wrote:
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NE Ohio, USA

 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.
   
 
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