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Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

 Sim-Life wrote:
GW will never crash. The closest they came was during the Kirby era and if they didn't fail then I don't know what will kill them. It's hard to imagine someone WORSE than Kirby at the reigns.


It's important to remember that Kirby wasn't all bad and turned the company around financially when he took it over originally. I think the main issue is that he got too disconnected from the actual customerbase and became far more focused on the shareholder value than the product value. Considering the amount paid for their new website system (paid to his wifes company) he might have had more of an eye to bleeding off money that he could rather than investing into the company. I also wonder if wasn't malicious but also attempting to follow business practices of some other market segments and systems.

Whatever it was I think it was an issue that grew and developed rather than was just flat out bad all throughout. His focus was in the wrong direction and it didn't help that he seemed to like running a very isolationist style company - departments very strongly separated from each other; even very strong separate from the customerbase to the upper reaches of the company.

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Longtime Dakkanaut




 Overread wrote:
 Sim-Life wrote:
GW will never crash. The closest they came was during the Kirby era and if they didn't fail then I don't know what will kill them. It's hard to imagine someone WORSE than Kirby at the reigns.


It's important to remember that Kirby wasn't all bad and turned the company around financially when he took it over originally. I think the main issue is that he got too disconnected from the actual customerbase and became far more focused on the shareholder value than the product value. Considering the amount paid for their new website system (paid to his wifes company) he might have had more of an eye to bleeding off money that he could rather than investing into the company. I also wonder if wasn't malicious but also attempting to follow business practices of some other market segments and systems.

Whatever it was I think it was an issue that grew and developed rather than was just flat out bad all throughout. His focus was in the wrong direction and it didn't help that he seemed to like running a very isolationist style company - departments very strongly separated from each other; even very strong separate from the customerbase to the upper reaches of the company.


This.

Kirby took a company losing money and turned it around.

He did a lot of weird stuff. The animosity towards customers, the weird secrecy obsession, etc., etc.. all true. But financially GW might well have crashed if Kirby hadn't come in at the time he did.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

It might even have been that GW originally trying to cater to creativity and customers too much had resulted in part of the original financial problems. Many a person has taken a hobby into a company and produced a fantastic product that then went on to cripple them because they got so focused on the customer and product that they lost sight of the finances.

It's basically the extreme other end of the scale to what we saw at the end of the Kirby era and many of the policies. In truth a company needs a healthy balance of both sides at all times - too much of one and you end up with problems.
Too much focus on customer and product and the finances can suffer
Too much focus on the finances and such and the product and consumer can suffer.

Either way leads to company death (the latter is typically slower than the former)


IF anything I think the potential most lasting damage might be the internal fragmentation of teams at GW itself in terms of sharing information between them on upcoming products and projects and changes and such. Hopefully this might start to change and resolve itself provided that the rivalries and power struggles between teams are not too bad but its super hard to predict anything along that scale without any view of the actual inside world of GW.

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Focused Fire Warrior




United States

 Overread wrote:


IF anything I think the potential most lasting damage might be the internal fragmentation of teams at GW itself in terms of sharing information between them on upcoming products and projects and changes and such. Hopefully this might start to change and resolve itself provided that the rivalries and power struggles between teams are not too bad but its super hard to predict anything along that scale without any view of the actual inside world of GW.


This hits the nail on the head. How many complaints about balance in 40k isn't so much that the army is broken as a whole, but rather that it's broken when compared to rules written for other armies by other writers? GW writers not talking to each other is a meme in the community, and they need to really work on getting rid of that perception of them.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






When people mention the “Kirby era” never forget almost everyone in charge now was hired by Kirby and signed off on Kirby’s plans. Like his little red book, GW’s employment practices and the annual price rises etc.
Only reason he got shoved overboard is he became to much of the public face for GW’s problems it made it very easy to jettison him and a lot of the negative pr went with him. A FB and a new pr company later and we have nu-GW.

Your last point is especially laughable and comical, because not only the 7th ed Valkyrie shown dumber things (like being able to throw the troopers without parachutes out of its hatches, no harm done) - Irbis 
   
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San Jose, CA

Ishagu wrote:I remember when a can of cola from a vending machine was 20 pence. Now its £1.50-2 depending on where you are.

Some things increase in price lots, some not so much - I don't feel GW are at an unreasonable price point.

It could be expensive if you're in a hurry to put together an army and make lots of purchases, that's true. Any initial start up to a hobby can have a high cost if unchecked.


2 quid for a freakin soda, man that's gotta blow.

The initial buy in for 40k isnt that big(hobby side alone), it's when you want to play bigger games that the costs go up. You can get many many hours out of painting a tac squad for relatively cheap.

   
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Douglasville, GA

Honestly, if GW's goal is to sell models, they should probably focus on providing well-balanced rule books and offer those for free. Can't think of a better way to push models than for all of them to be "good" in the game, and free books means more people are gonna see them and say "Wow! This looks like fun!"

   
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Fixture of Dakka





 BoomWolf wrote:
What's with the hate boner stone people in dakka have for GW...

They are dying better than ever and you guys are thinking "gosh I hope they are going down"... Wtf...


It has been hard ever since they cant use the investor reports or icvv2 to claim the company is about to fail.

This is just the newest iteration of that mentality and it seems Legends managed to stir the muck up from the floor.

When I was a kid during second edition i didn't have the money to buy a 2000 point army. I got into the game by playing hero quest, drooling over mail order catalogs, and Frankensteing units together.

It took a very long time.

These days? I can add a unit and keep pushing through kill Team or shadespire. I can build up pieces through War Cry. I can dabble in standalones like Aeronautica.

There are more avenues into the hobby than ever.

   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




GW will crash if they make a succession of poorly received models, allow the games to go stale and competitors produce something better.

This happened circa 2012-2016. The nadir has to be the AoS launch.

If I was to put a date on things turning around, its probably the deathwatch overkill box. This felt like something the old GW would never have had the courage to do.

From then on almost every model release was a hit (imo anyway). This then went into overdrive with 8th edition, de facto AoS 2nd edition and GW have been throwing out new and old game systems faster than plastic addicts can buy it.

GW was perhaps also fortunate that even as the rage over AoS burned brightly, and 7th was a bloated, unfair, unfun mess, both X-Wing and Warmahordes also started to acquire ever more bloat, and, imo at least, started to feel ever more tired. I also feel Warmahorde's plastic sculpts are dire, and while they compare okay to GW 2012~ era, they now look varying shades of embarrassing.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

PP hit a wall with their plastic not working out so great and their mess of launchign 3rd edition along with crippling their consumer outreach program and forums. I honestly hope the new CEO they have taken on will turn things around as I'd hate PP to fall apart to nothing.

I'd rather hope that a MIV might well be on the table to help restore order and clear things up - right now I feel that they are coasting for an edition on a core loyal fanbase, but bleeding their casual players and lacking recruitment of new players in a large scale.

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Hamburg

These days? I can add a unit and keep pushing through kill Team or shadespire. I can build up pieces through War Cry. I can dabble in standalones like Aeronautica.

There are more avenues into the hobby than ever.

This is indeed a smart move GW made.
Not sure what a no-deal Brexit would bring. Its still BJ's favorite.

Former moderator 40kOnline

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Fixture of Dakka




UK

 wuestenfux wrote:
These days? I can add a unit and keep pushing through kill Team or shadespire. I can build up pieces through War Cry. I can dabble in standalones like Aeronautica.

There are more avenues into the hobby than ever.

This is indeed a smart move GW made.
Not sure what a no-deal Brexit would bring. Its still BJ's favorite.


No Deal or Deal or whatever limbo we are in is just a mess. Whenever any final choice is made it will still be a mess for a considerable while until it settles down. GW has one bonus in that their home market and US markets are very large and likely more than able to sustain them if trade with the EU nations gets a bit choppy for a while.

The most likely result is that trade to the EU gets more expensive with tariffs, legal things and slower with customs. Slower customs might just mean it messes with stock distribution and GW might have to shift how much they produce and when it gets shipped so that it can make it through on time. This could cause a minor delay in releases in a block for everyone or a few "slow weeks" as GW might trickle out a release rather than release it all in one to let the next batch make it through. Increases in trade tariffs might be a harder pill to take because that could push prices up to the customer - though I think GW has enough profit cushion within their company that it won't sink them.

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Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I wonder if they will move manufacturing the the EU.

   
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Fixture of Dakka




UK

 Da Boss wrote:
I wonder if they will move manufacturing the the EU.


Very unlikely. It's a huge cost got setup a factory and then stock it with moulds (esp since the plastic ones easily cost in the region of £100K) and then staff it with a highly trained staff for production and distribution. Not to mention the red tape of setting up overseas factories and the like. GW will have enough trouble with the red tape on their local stores.

The only markets I can see GW opening up a dedicated factory for are America and China region factories. Ergo ones logistically a very long way away where the transport costs are significant and where a local production facility could result in long term savings and better stock provision with less pressure on their core factory. That said these are big costs and come with high risk. GW might well feel that its less risk for them to focus production in their Nottingham factory site where they've got it all under one roof and under direct control and then simply soak the transport costs.

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 Overread wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
I wonder if they will move manufacturing the the EU.


Very unlikely. It's a huge cost got setup a factory and then stock it with moulds (esp since the plastic ones easily cost in the region of £100K) and then staff it with a highly trained staff for production and distribution. Not to mention the red tape of setting up overseas factories and the like. GW will have enough trouble with the red tape on their local stores.

The only markets I can see GW opening up a dedicated factory for are America and China region factories. Ergo ones logistically a very long way away where the transport costs are significant and where a local production facility could result in long term savings and better stock provision with less pressure on their core factory. That said these are big costs and come with high risk. GW might well feel that its less risk for them to focus production in their Nottingham factory site where they've got it all under one roof and under direct control and then simply soak the transport costs.


You see the EFTA still exists.
So some countries will rarely really care. Coughlike us swiss

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Hamburg

 Overread wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
I wonder if they will move manufacturing the the EU.


Very unlikely. It's a huge cost got setup a factory and then stock it with moulds (esp since the plastic ones easily cost in the region of £100K) and then staff it with a highly trained staff for production and distribution. Not to mention the red tape of setting up overseas factories and the like. GW will have enough trouble with the red tape on their local stores.


However, in order to complete a trade agreement with the EU will take time since all 27 members have to agree.
For instance, it took 7 years to complete a free trade agreement between EU and Canada.
As soon as the Brits are out of the EU, all trade agreements between EU and other countries like Canada do not longer hold for GB.
This is certainly bad news also for GW.

Former moderator 40kOnline

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Fixture of Dakka




UK

Aye but in theory trade agreements outside of the EU for the UK shouldn't take 7 years to complete because it should just be two countries at the trade table. Such as in your example the UK and Canada. Trade with the EU might be more difficult and messy, but in the end there's so much trade going back and forth that there's reason for both sides to want to trade - its more just getting over the hump that is political posturing.

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Hamburg

 Overread wrote:
Aye but in theory trade agreements outside of the EU for the UK shouldn't take 7 years to complete because it should just be two countries at the trade table. Such as in your example the UK and Canada. Trade with the EU might be more difficult and messy, but in the end there's so much trade going back and forth that there's reason for both sides to want to trade - its more just getting over the hump that is political posturing.

I wouldn't be too enthusiastic.

The EU has a free trade agreement also with Japan. Japanese car manufacturers currently move out of GB to produce at home or eventually in the EU.
USA is another problem. There are certain problems that hampered a deal with the EU. E.g. EU farmers say in France were not happy with the deal negotiated with USA and the deal wasn't made and was postponed (ad infinitum?). The people in UK are smart enough so that they will not be pulled over the barrel. Don't count on Trump with his America first politics. It doesn't fit into Johnson's gain back control.

Former moderator 40kOnline

Lanchester's square law - please obey in list building!

Illumini: "And thank you for not finishing your post with a "" I'm sorry, but after 7200 's that has to be the most annoying sign-off ever."

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Norn Queen






 Overread wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
I wonder if they will move manufacturing the the EU.


Very unlikely. It's a huge cost got setup a factory and then stock it with moulds (esp since the plastic ones easily cost in the region of £100K) and then staff it with a highly trained staff for production and distribution. Not to mention the red tape of setting up overseas factories and the like. GW will have enough trouble with the red tape on their local stores.

The only markets I can see GW opening up a dedicated factory for are America and China region factories. Ergo ones logistically a very long way away where the transport costs are significant and where a local production facility could result in long term savings and better stock provision with less pressure on their core factory. That said these are big costs and come with high risk. GW might well feel that its less risk for them to focus production in their Nottingham factory site where they've got it all under one roof and under direct control and then simply soak the transport costs.
Shipping is not expensive. It's literally cheaper to catch fish in Scotland, ship it to China for processing, then ship it back to Scotland, that's how cheap shipping is. Now, obviously if you're going to send everything via aircraft, that is expensive.

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Southampton, UK

 Overread wrote:
Aye but in theory trade agreements outside of the EU for the UK shouldn't take 7 years to complete because it should just be two countries at the trade table. Such as in your example the UK and Canada. Trade with the EU might be more difficult and messy, but in the end there's so much trade going back and forth that there's reason for both sides to want to trade - its more just getting over the hump that is political posturing.


There's also a bit of an issue that we (the UK) don't really have any experienced trade negotiators, because we've not needed any for 40-odd years...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-48943551
   
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Sunny Side Up wrote:

Kirby took a company losing money and turned it around.

He did a lot of weird stuff. The animosity towards customers, the weird secrecy obsession, etc., etc.. all true. But financially GW might well have crashed if Kirby hadn't come in at the time he did.


I think people overestimate the effect of Kirby on many of the things usually pinned on him. He was a chairman, not CEO (well he was CEO also briefly), of course as a chairman he was instrumental in choosing and hiring people and he probably had signifant effect on corporate culture. But he did not make most of the actual business decisions. As said, all the Kirby people are still in charge.

Despite all the doom & gloom in early 2010's, GW remained financially very healthy company at the time. They were not growing - and that was worrysome at the time for long-term future of the company - but they were not anywhere close on being in actual distress. Much maligned initial release of AoS was supposed to be death knell for the company, but actual numbers told that it did nothing on company's finances. It points to that WHFB was pretty much dead and GW was right to put it down and replace it with something fresher - anything.

What could take GW under in short-term is if someone much larger takes over the company, seeing strength of its IP and attempts to expand it to 'mainstream' without the institutional knowledge of the niche business GW has. Similar what happened with Rackham but in larger scale. It's a scenario often seen in niche businesses, outside investors see a company with 'potential', rush in, dump the money, take enormous risks, devalue the brand and fail miserably. But at least at the moment, GW is probably too big and expensive to be attractive for such financial adventurers.




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Backfire wrote:
GW remained financially very healthy company at the time


Completely wrong. GW was "healthy" if you only look at the profit number every quarter, but the underlying foundation was in dangerously poor shape and the final profit number was a half-truth produced by accounting tricks. GW only got there through aggressive cost cutting and increasing prices to compensate for shrinking market share, both of which are unsustainable strategies. GW was about to be in a position where they were going to have to either make significant changes or face a net loss every quarter until bankruptcy. It's fortunate that GW seems to have turned things around quite a bit, but let's not pretend that there was never any danger just because they managed to make the right changes in time.

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
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 Peregrine wrote:

Completely wrong. GW was "healthy" if you only look at the profit number every quarter, but the underlying foundation was in dangerously poor shape and the final profit number was a half-truth produced by accounting tricks. GW only got there through aggressive cost cutting and increasing prices to compensate for shrinking market share, both of which are unsustainable strategies. GW was about to be in a position where they were going to have to either make significant changes or face a net loss every quarter until bankruptcy. It's fortunate that GW seems to have turned things around quite a bit, but let's not pretend that there was never any danger just because they managed to make the right changes in time.


Nonsense. GW was nearly debtless, had healthy profit and decent cash reserves. It's true there were worrying signs and they had to make changes (most notably killing off WHFB as it existed), but much repeated claims how they were couple of years away from bankcrupcy - and funny how they were always "couple of years away [from collapse]" - were complete fantasy.

GW reports half-years, not quarters.

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I don't know if I agree with some of the sentiments. Children(especially boys) will always want to play with plastic toy super soldiers..

Yes tech is giving young uns opportunity to waste time with tech, but I think its one of the reasons GW is not going anywhere any time soon. As long as they maintain a high street presence and high streets are a thing new generations will continue to walk past these shops and get hooked on awesome toy solidiers..

I would much rather my kids play with overpriced pieces of plastic and do something with their hands and use their imaginations than sit in their room for 12 hours playing some gakky FPS.

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AngryAngel80 wrote:
I don't know, when I see awesome rules, I'm like " Baby, your rules looking so fine. Maybe I gotta add you to my first strike battalion eh ? "
 
   
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Backfire wrote:
Nonsense. GW was nearly debtless, had healthy profit and decent cash reserves. It's true there were worrying signs and they had to make changes (most notably killing off WHFB as it existed), but much repeated claims how they were couple of years away from bankcrupcy - and funny how they were always "couple of years away [from collapse]" - were complete fantasy.

GW reports half-years, not quarters.



You'd be surprised how fast a company can go from "debtless and cash reserves" to "gone". See the history of TSR for a very relevant example. GW's profits were pretty small relative to their revenue, which means they weren't very far from those numbers going negative. And their overall trend was definitely downward, with failing sales being temporarily hidden by unsustainable cost cutting and price increases. There's a definite limit on how much you can cover a fall in revenue by closing retail stores to save money before you run out of things you can cut without causing catastrophic long-term damage. And once a game starts to fail it turns into a death spiral where losing players results in more of the remaining players and potential customers having nobody left to play with anymore, followed by those players dropping out and taking away the next wave of losses.

Would it have been a year or two? I don't know, nobody can predict it exactly. But it was definitely an alarming trend and it was quite plausible that GW could have been entering the first stages of the death spiral with another year or two of those trends continuing.

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
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 Peregrine wrote:
Backfire wrote:
Nonsense. GW was nearly debtless, had healthy profit and decent cash reserves. It's true there were worrying signs and they had to make changes (most notably killing off WHFB as it existed), but much repeated claims how they were couple of years away from bankcrupcy - and funny how they were always "couple of years away [from collapse]" - were complete fantasy.

GW reports half-years, not quarters.



You'd be surprised how fast a company can go from "debtless and cash reserves" to "gone". See the history of TSR for a very relevant example. GW's profits were pretty small relative to their revenue, which means they weren't very far from those numbers going negative. And their overall trend was definitely downward, with failing sales being temporarily hidden by unsustainable cost cutting and price increases. There's a definite limit on how much you can cover a fall in revenue by closing retail stores to save money before you run out of things you can cut without causing catastrophic long-term damage. And once a game starts to fail it turns into a death spiral where losing players results in more of the remaining players and potential customers having nobody left to play with anymore, followed by those players dropping out and taking away the next wave of losses.

Would it have been a year or two? I don't know, nobody can predict it exactly. But it was definitely an alarming trend and it was quite plausible that GW could have been entering the first stages of the death spiral with another year or two of those trends continuing.


Yes, possibly. The numbers were nothing like today. 10% profit, as it was, is really respectable. Still, speculating the demise is a pretty shaky stance to take when even with sales declines there was little to indicate they would turn unprofitable for quite some time.

Criticizing the mishandling of the games? Perfectly good. I couldn't say we'd be in the spot we are now without people who raised a stink.
Portending the doom of the company? A step too far into impotent rage.

And here we are - people worrying about doom when the numbers are spectacular. What justification is there now?

   
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 Daedalus81 wrote:
Still, speculating the demise is a pretty shaky stance to take when even with sales declines there was little to indicate they would turn unprofitable for quite some time.


There really was. GW's profit margins at the time were small, and were getting worse. Remember, revenue and market share for their one remaining product were both declining, GW was just able to cut costs and raise prices enough to temporarily make up for those losses. A slight increase in the rate of losses or running out of things to cut would have resulted in a net loss for the company, and a failure with 8th edition could have killed the company almost overnight.

Portending the doom of the company? A step too far into impotent rage.


Hardly. Maybe some people were raging, but the majority of the discussion was calm and rational analysis of a company in trouble. Do you call it "impotent rage" when investment analysts look at a company in detail and recommend that you shouldn't invest money because the long-term prospects are worrying?

What justification is there now?


There isn't. And I've made it quite clear that I'm talking about GW's historical financial state, not the current situation.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/09/10 04:31:59


There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
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You'd be hard pressed to find any financial institution recommending a sell position for any of their troubled period.

   
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Racerguy180 wrote:
Ishagu wrote:I remember when a can of cola from a vending machine was 20 pence. Now its £1.50-2 depending on where you are.

Some things increase in price lots, some not so much - I don't feel GW are at an unreasonable price point.

It could be expensive if you're in a hurry to put together an army and make lots of purchases, that's true. Any initial start up to a hobby can have a high cost if unchecked.


2 quid for a freakin soda, man that's gotta blow.

The initial buy in for 40k isnt that big(hobby side alone), it's when you want to play bigger games that the costs go up. You can get many many hours out of painting a tac squad for relatively cheap.



agreed. part of the problem is the perception that you need a 2000 point army to play, but I bet a LOT of more casual players start with whats in a starter box and play with much smaller armies. This is proably WHY GW put the patrol detachment into the rule book, I bet they found that a lotta casual players are happy to play with just the startr box contents and 1 or two "cool" additional boxes.

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Well a starter, a unit or two and then a unit here and there as seen fit is the way I usually it done.
   
 
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