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Made in us
Maddening Mutant Boss of Chaos





Boston

Okay, I'm not one to indulge in anti-GW rants.  But this bit (from Tom Kirby's "preamble" to GW's 2006 financial report, from GW's investor relations webpage) really hit my buttons.

ahem:

"On the 'investor relations' section of our corporate web site (which has all our annual reports since 2001, and the institutional presentations we make) there is a place where people can post questions for me to answer. Mostly they are about what new models we are planning (read White Dwarf), or why we haven't got a store in Omaha, Nebraska (yet), or why we put our prices up all the time (we don't) but every now and then I get one that touches on something that needs to be explained. Blair Svendson from Missouri asked '[why am I] seeing my favorite independent hobby stores going out of business?'. He was referring to the United States, and so is my response. This is a question that concerns all of us at Games Workshop - staff, managers, customers and owners. I'm not certain I know THE answer, but I have an explanation that fits the facts. Most of these small owner-manager hobby stores have thrived over the last 20 years or so on role play games, collectible card games (CCGs) and niche merchandise from fantasy movie imagery. Role play games and movie merchandise are in decline; CCGs can now be bought in mass market outlets which hurts hobby store sales. Many of these stores carry our products very successfully, but they are not enough to support the whole store. Additionally many of these stores are run as lifestyle enterprises rather than as for profit businesses; when times get hard they sometimes respond slowly and weakly which can be, and has been in many cases, disastrous."

Considering how poorly GW-US has been treating independent retailers over the last few years, this "explanation" is not just disingenuous, it's offensive.

 


   
Made in us
Maddening Mutant Boss of Chaos





Boston

Probably should have included a link: http://investor.games-workshop.com/investor_relations/financial_results/Results2006/full_year/preamble2006.htm

   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Bucharest, Romania

In some respects TK is right. I've known some FLGS owners who are in the business not for a profit, but more in it to buy products they like/collect and think there are enough like minded people in their locale who will supprt them. I watched one FLGS owner open 1/2 a box of Magic card packs because he was searching for a card he wanted. Now, that's nice and all for him, but not a smart business practice.

Another FLGS owner I knew refused to expand their product line beyond miniatures. No comics, little roleplaying, no movies, no art or figurines, nothing. Needless to say they were out of business in 8 months.

On the other hand, I knew a guy in Lompoc, CA who sold very little GW, but sold a multitude of everything else. To the point that it cluttered the store. According to him, he made $100K a month. A MONTH! But he didn't get personally involved with his stuff either. He sold things he thought he could sell (and sell well).

Anyway, I think TK is right in some respects. I'm sure there are enough FLGS owners on this forum that will disagree with him. I can't speak for GW's actions towards FLGS owners, b/c I don't know. But if their tactics for keeping folks from selling GW products on-line is any indication of how they treat the FLGS, then TK is missing something.

-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) 
   
Made in us
Blood-Drenched Death Company Marine




Unforunately I partly agree with him. Most of the FLGS I've shopped at have been more club house then business.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





To be fair, what he's saying isn't entirely false, at least in my experience working in a hobby shop. The place has lost a good many customers to kids buying their CCG stuff elsewhere, then coming in to use their tables. He is exaggerating, though. Role playing books and any type of collectibles have never done enough business to support the store, so I'd hardly call them crucial. Heck, the latter is often limited to special order stuff by the comic regulars. Comics, Magic, and Warhammer are what support the store. He also tosses aside the idea that the steadily climbing expense associated with one of the store's most popular products doesn't help matters either. The store is finding a way to survive, but barely.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






He is dead right, unfortunately.

What he hasn't said is what he's going to do about it. And that I'd be interested in. Obviously he can't (and isn't responsible for) fix the problem, but I'm curious how he'll adjust.


"I've still got a job, so the rules must be good enough" - Design team motto.  
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut



Alpharetta, GA

True story about a FLGS I went to about a month ago. First of all, it was almost impossible to find. It was tucked away in a small office park that held mostly Business-to-Business operations, one martial arts studio, and no other retail. Their sign was nice and advertised comics, CCGs, Warhammer, WarMachine, and RPGs.

The first indication of trouble was the 15 year old working the counter. Nothing wrong with employing kids, but they should be responsible enough not allow their friends to hang out in the store all day playing Magic where customers are supposed to bring items to check out. They should also not being using the 'f' and 's' word every five seconds. I admit I can make a pirate blush with my language, but this is not the place for it. What if I was a parent who came in with my kids and was looking at getting them into this hobby?

The next problem was that the store had NO COMICS for sale. I asked about comics and the kid said "we don't sell comics". I wanted to ask why they paid for a sign that listed 'comics' on it, but figured it would be a waste of time. As for RPG's they had about a dozen or so D&D books. They had almost no WarMachine stuff other than a few starters and a few basic blisters. The 40K selection was better but limited to new releases and most Marine and Tyranid stuff. The CCG section consisted of boxes and binders full of singles and about 1 box of boosters. It seemed that any box/pack of any CCG that came into the store was immediately opened by the store management/employees so they could have first pick. I looked around for a bit and there were a bunch of kids in another room playing Magic. After a few minutes I realized there was no one in the store over the age of 18.

This store proclaims to be one of the premier gaming stores in the area and say they have been in business for years. I don't know how you stay in business with what appears to be less than $5000 in stock. But this store is typical of the "fly-by-night" game stores that have been popping up recently. They come in, have very little stock, and operate out of the cheapest rental space they can find. The store is really just a front for the owner and his club/friends/employees to buy at discounted prices. The store hangs on for a bit, but eventually people realize they never have what they want, don't really seem to care about customer service, and you may even feel like you are intruding on some private party when you go to shop. Sure they may offer to special order anything you want. Why would I drive there to do that when I can simply go online, order it myself, and have it delivered to me.

The real problem with these stores is that they divide the gaming customer base and full service stores feel the pinch as customers shop elsewhere. Larger gaming stores that are just holding on my end up going under when these little places pop up. Then in a year when the little places close, no gaming stores are left in the area.
   
Made in us
5th God of Chaos! (Yea'rly!)




The Great State of Texas

I agree with 90% of that.  The industry itself is on the second year of a minis decline (someone quoted an industry rag that sales were down 20% in 2004 and 25% in 2005).  While there is likely a potentially good bit of falloff due to sales practices, you can't sweep under the rug the fact the FLGS "industry" is starting to get hit hard.

-"Wait a minute.....who is that Frazz is talking to in the gallery? Hmmm something is going on here.....Oh.... it seems there is some dispute over video taping of some sort......Frazz is really upset now..........wait a minute......whats he go there.......is it? Can it be?....Frazz has just unleashed his hidden weiner dog from his mini bag, while quoting shakespeares "Let slip the dogs the war!!" GG
-"Don't mind Frazzled. He's just Dakka's crazy old dude locked in the attic. He's harmless. Mostly."
-TBone the Magnificent 1999-2014, Long Live the King!
 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Supplementary questions: If Tom Kirby is right, does it hurt GW that FLGses go out of business due to non-professionalism and what could or should he do about it?

Looking at the UK scene, there seem to be local games and model shops still surviving and doing well even, and there are others who have closed down or completely modified their sales offering. For example, there is a shop nearish where I live, that over the past couple of years has turned from a games shop into a PC Bang. However the UK has a much greater concentration of GW outlets so their sales are unlikely to suffer as a result. Interestingly, GW does not seem to be against eBay sales in the UK.

Petition to stop ratification of EU Article 13 on Internet Copyright

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Bucharest, Romania

Posted By Kilkrazy on 07/28/2006 12:16 PM
Supplementary questions: If Tom Kirby is right, does it hurt GW that FLGses go out of business due to non-professionalism and what could or should he do about it?



I would say that GW probably doesn't care about too much about the status of the FLGS. While playing 40K or WFB at an FLGS is good business (especially for the FLGS), it can also be played at someone's house, or at tournaments, or at a GW store, etc. I had a 4x8 table in my house for a couple of years (before I moved )

We all know what GW SHOULD do, which is show more respect to FLGS owners, be more flexible in their product distribution, etc, etc, but GW doesn't have to care, because they know they will sell their product through their stores, by phone, or on-line.

In a recent WD there was an interesting statement (I think by Jervis). Basically it said that this hobby is more about the models than the rules and the game. In other words, having great models is more important than the game itself. Well, if that's GW's take on this, then its no wonder they could care less about FLGS sales.

 -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) 
   
Made in us
Been Around the Block




Newark Ohio

Some Indies are run well, some Indies are run poorly, nothing new about that, in fact thats been the way it is the entire 18 plus years I've been gaming. these are mostly small buisinesses and small businesses run the whole spectrum of great to horrible, and from enduring to fly by night. the only thing bringing this to light for GW is suddenly their hurting and need someone or something to blame, they already used the burst bubble LOTRs excuse, now they'll just add the Indies to that, it all boils down to Kirby saying " Its not our fault."

I'll just reply, " its not my problem."

 I dont hold out any hope that GW will suddenly try to do a better job or bring prices back down to stimulate flagging sales, or treat Indies any better than they already do, or write a better White Dwarf, or support their Specialist Games more or any of the other half dozen things I'd like to see them do and beleive would help them and their customers out. Truely they seem to be stuck doing what they do and thats what has put them where they are today, they need to improve but dont seem capable or willing to do so.

by the way GW has something like 50 stores or less in America, without Indies and Hobby shops they have almost no coverage, they cant mange America without the Indies. Heck I dont think there is even one actual GW store in my entire state.

 


   
Made in us
Tunneling Trygon





The House that Peterbilt

I would say that GW probably doesn't care about too much about the status of the FLGS. While playing 40K or WFB at an FLGS is good business (especially for the FLGS), it can also be played at someone's house, or at tournaments, or at a GW store, etc. I had a 4x8 table in my house for a couple of years (before I moved )

While oldtimers or painters might not need an FLGS to continue on in the hobby, there's few new players that are going to set up a game room in their house.

GW is supported by a gaming community at the center of which is the FLGSs. Players meet at the FLGS for pickup games, leagues, campaigns and tournaments. People learn how to paint and play at the FLGS. Its is the gaming community that is growing GWs business. Its doubtful there's be a gaming community without the FLGS and therefore there'd be zero growth in GWs profits.

If GW truely doesn't care, then they don't deserve to be in business.

   
Made in us
Battlewagon Driver with Charged Engine




Murfreesboro, TN

GW should be VERY interested in the success or failure of FLGS. Why? Well, for one thing, GW-US has just axed a significant portion of its retail outlets (including the Opry Mills store in Nashville) to concentrate on larger metropolitan areas. The only "larger" metros I can think of would be the likes of Atlanta and up. This means that the amount of general-public exposure to their products just went way down, and, at least in the Middle Tennessee area, is restricted to an indy store in Murfreesboro (about 30 min. away from Nashville) and an indy store in Hermitage (about 20 min. away, but tainted by a recent employee scandal). Since a significant amount of sales are impulse buys, if the product isn't in front of or convenient to the customer, those purchases won't be made.

For another thing, a common playing ground is vital to the hobby. The average player doesn't have the space in his home or the interest to build an even semi-dedicated playing area; as such, players need somewhere to go to play the game. No playing, no buying. Mail-order is all well and good, but without a reason to order, it's pointless. The closing of retail centers makes this worse, although not by much, since the restrictive rules for playing at a retail locale made it unpopular to start with. A FLGS isn't just a source of sales; it's also a place to take part in the hobby, whether by playing, converting, painting, or just talking about the games.

Mr. Kirby's evident lack of concern is fantasticly shortsighted. Let's hope it doesn't bite us all in the butt.

As a rule of thumb, the designers do not hide "easter eggs" in the rules. If clever reading is required to unlock some sort of hidden option, then it is most likely the result of wishful thinking.

But there's no sense crying over every mistake;
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

Member of the "No Retreat for Calgar" Club 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Bucharest, Romania

Posted By winterman on 07/28/2006 1:10 PM
I would say that GW probably doesn't care about too much about the status of the FLGS. While playing 40K or WFB at an FLGS is good business (especially for the FLGS), it can also be played at someone's house, or at tournaments, or at a GW store, etc. I had a 4x8 table in my house for a couple of years (before I moved )

While oldtimers or painters might not need an FLGS to continue on in the hobby, there's few new players that are going to set up a game room in their house.

GW is supported by a gaming community at the center of which is the FLGSs. Players meet at the FLGS for pickup games, leagues, campaigns and tournaments. People learn how to paint and play at the FLGS. Its is the gaming community that is growing GWs business. Its doubtful there's be a gaming community without the FLGS and therefore there'd be zero growth in GWs profits.

If GW truely doesn't care, then they don't deserve to be in business.



I don't disagree with you. But if GW's attitude is "we're all about the minis" then that answers alot of questions when it comes to:

-why they treat FLGS so badly (GW: we don't need them, there is mail order and on-line store and our own stores)

 -why do GW rules have problems? (GW: we're all about minis, not the rules, the rules are secondary)

-why are their fewer and fewer GW sanctioned tournaments? And why are only GW minis allowed at GW sanctioned events? (GW: we're focusing on minis, not tournaments. Minis are what sell!)

 -why does GW skip certain armies, focus on others, ignore parts of some armies, not bother with others, drop units, add units, release ugly models, only direct-order other models, charge max price for archived models? (GW: it's ALL about the minis).

I'm not saying GW's market philosphy is right, smart, or whatever. The game is what attracts people to the hobby, and therefore people would buy more minis if they like the game. FLGS are perfect for all of that. But as TK points out not all FLGS are reliable, so GW may be on a self-reliant kick (for now).

I'm not defending GW or attacking GW. I'm just point out something I think is obvious.

-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) 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




I've been to holes in the wall, that were well run. I've also been to bigger stores that were.

GW's attitude of "its not my fault" really doesnt cut it in heavy traffic. The fact that you treat indies in a not so good fashion many of times is telling.

If I want warmachine models, PP has done everything it can to amake it easy for me. If I want GW ones, its much harder, despite the fact that its a wider played game.

GW's running with a bit of faults logic. 20 years they also helped carry GW to where it is today in the US market. So to say they just thrived on comics and clicks and cards is a bit of a misnormer....

Hope more old fools come to their senses and start giving you their money instead of those Union Jack Blood suckers...  
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Philadelphia, PA

Of course he had no comment on the trend I see for LGS to carry less GW, or even drop stocking GW products entirely. I know of 3-4 shops in the Philadelphia area that just don't carry GW products anymore, but are still in business. THAT should worry GW a lot. If their products are not the entry level game for kids then how are they going to get them hooked later. instead they will play and spend money on FOW, Warmachine or some CCGs. The GW monopoly is over and there are other games just as good or better ---they will have to WORK to earn new and loyal players, not ride their laurels from 10 years ago.

Clear the battlefield and let me see
All the profit from our victory.
 
   
Made in us
5th God of Chaos! (Yea'rly!)




The Great State of Texas

Posted By carmachu on 07/28/2006 1:39 PM


GW's running with a bit of faults logic. 20 years they also helped carry GW to where it is today in the US market. So to say they just thrived on comics and clicks and cards is a bit of a misnormer....


You mean to a loss?

-"Wait a minute.....who is that Frazz is talking to in the gallery? Hmmm something is going on here.....Oh.... it seems there is some dispute over video taping of some sort......Frazz is really upset now..........wait a minute......whats he go there.......is it? Can it be?....Frazz has just unleashed his hidden weiner dog from his mini bag, while quoting shakespeares "Let slip the dogs the war!!" GG
-"Don't mind Frazzled. He's just Dakka's crazy old dude locked in the attic. He's harmless. Mostly."
-TBone the Magnificent 1999-2014, Long Live the King!
 
   
Made in us
Stalwart Dark Angels Space Marine





Man you guys are all making me feel even luckier to have our local comic/games/hobby store Mayhem. we have a well lighted store in a great location with an awesome owner and employees who know their stuff. A 40k league with between 10 and 20 people there weekly, and plenty of good comics, trades, and weekly nights for a good portion of the games they sell.

So if you ever find yourselves in Ames, IA stop on by (and no, I don't work for them)
   
Made in us
Clousseau





Wilmington DE

Truth of the matter is, many stores did thrive better by relying on non-GW product. A few (old) examples from the heady 90s:
Reality Recess (formerly Thee Keep outside Cleveland) had a very large GW stock, but it was the RPGs and the network gaming
that brought folk in. Joel, the former owner of Grandmaster Games in N. Dartmouth MA, told me once soon after he opened that
it was Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon that got him in the black, not GW (even though his store was at least 50% GW stock). Today, I've seen
a couple of stores still do well by getting rid of their GW stock and focusing on other games (FOW, Confrontation, Warmachine). I've also
seen stores that got hurt doing exactly that (I'm sure part of the reason Arena Games in Cincinnati went out of business back in 2000-ish--aside from the fact that it smelled like a sewer and was poorly run--was it's focus on Warzone and Chronopia rather than a
diverse stock).

*Shrug*. Kirby is part right: there are some poorly run stores and the bread-and-butter of gaming stores--RPGs and CCGs--are suffering, but
there are other variables. GW is just one part of the equation.

Guinness: for those who are men of the cloth and football fans, but not necessarily in that order.

I think the lesson here is the best way to enjoy GW's games is to not use any of their rules.--Crimson Devil 
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch





Los Angeles

I was rather offended at this comment

-
There is so much stuff going on: so many army lists, so many designs, so many kits, so many campaigns, so many events, so many new stores, so many independent stockists, so many management issues that even the people who work here can forget from time to time that all we are doing, every day, is selling more toy soldiers, at a profit, to people who are truly grateful.
-

We would be a lot more greatful for our toy soldiers if they game we bought them for was better. And I think they will find (much to their detriment) that sooner or later the lack of the truely grateful will lead to a large hit in their profit.

Anyone else interested in setting up a large scale colition for the purchase of GW stock so that eventualy we can get a gamer voice up to the board of directors?

**** Phoenix ****

Threads should be like skirts: long enough to cover what's important but short enough to keep it interesting. 
   
Made in us
Fireknife Shas'el





A bizarre array of focusing mirrors and lenses turning my phrases into even more accurate clones of

Anyone else interested in setting up a large scale colition for the purchase of GW stock so that eventualy we can get a gamer voice up to the board of directors?


OK, but only if I get to sell the stock when it goes higher. I'll buy more when it dips after I sell, OK?

WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS

2009, Year of the Dog
 
   
Made in us
Hunter with Harpoon Laucher




Castle Clarkenstein

I have two of my own stores, and keep in touch with dozens more, and spend a good time analyzing trends in the comic/games industry in the US. (Have to get some use out of a masters in stats theory.)

Sadly, I'd say that Kirby's remarks are nearly 100% dead on. It's not been an easy time to be a game/comic shop over the last few years. Many sales are moving to the internet for deep discounts, and many products that pay the rent have only a couple of years before they fall off. It takes a lot of work, and constant attention to your store to stay in business.

Go back 10 to 15 years and it was a hell of a lot easier. Costs were way down, and there lots of products going through the roof, and making a profit was easy. Many stores opened in that time. Now that it's been tougher to make a profit, a lot of stores are going away.

My shops are currently in good shape, but I also work 70 hours a week, and have only taken 13 days off in two years. (2 sickdays, 3 for my wife having twins, 2 for a hernia operation, Christmas x 2, Easter x2, Thanksgiving x2). I miss the days when MTG/Pokemon/Death of Superman/Yugioh/..insert hot product here../ paid the bills and I could kick back and collect a paycheck while painting armies.

 


....and lo!.....The Age of Sigmar came to an end when Saint Veetock and his hamster legions smote the false Sigmar and destroyed the bubbleverse and lead the true believers back to the Old World.
 
   
Made in us
Hunter with Harpoon Laucher




Castle Clarkenstein

I'd have to guess that the decline of shops in the US is contributing to lost sales for GW. It will be interesting to see what they do to work more with the remaining shops, although that's a two way street, and takes a retailer that is open to working with GW as well.


....and lo!.....The Age of Sigmar came to an end when Saint Veetock and his hamster legions smote the false Sigmar and destroyed the bubbleverse and lead the true believers back to the Old World.
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Doesn't GW routinely try to kill FLGS's with their own stores and their business practices? And now they're blaming the failing of FLGS's for their own financial woes? Doublespeak is fun! So it's the huge success bubble of LotR and the huge success of killing of FLGS's that is making GW lose money! Kirby is amazing! Don't let the numbers fool you! Numbers may tell you that GW is doing badly, but numbers are like facts- all brain and no gut. If you listen to your gut, GW is kicking *donkey*right now. And Kirby feels like the best CEO ever.
   
Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User



The Woodlands, Texas

If GW had its way they would firebomb all the Independants and Internet sales and the only way to get their product would be through the Hobby Centers and Direct Sales.

Pushy account reps, nonshipment of new releases and the now infamous 'Direct Sales Only' promotions will continue and probably get worse until the FLGS are ashes.  I'm sure there's some accounts they'll hang on to (are there any that actually buy at least 2K a week?) because they are profitable (to GW) but the rest will get the same shoddy treatment.

The whole 'regionalization' thing has become a joke.  Now the Metro's are kissing the donkeys of the people that run independant GT's and RTT's as well as groups of gamers that they were badmouthing a year ago.

Kirby is 90% correct, but they aren't helping the FLGS either.


"Do you rue attacking Kronk? Do you rue it?" - Raymond Ractburger 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Standing outside Jester's house demanding the things he took from my underwear drawer.

I agree. When I worked in car sales (a filler job between "real" jobs) Honda gave us plenty of training on new products. We went to a training seminar, we received materials al the time.....

I'm suprised that GW (and other retailers) doesn't give 2 free tickets to a Gamesday to retailers (heck invite retailers that haven't or stopped carrying their prodicts) and then have some retailer only seminars about sales techniques, maybe provide some instructional videos/manuals for employees to watch when they get back home. Perhaps some info about store layout/design/cleanliness, stocking techniques, and things other than just upcoming releases and such.  And I don't mean things like just "stock more,"  "order through the gills," and other things that GW sales reps regurgitate to FLGSs.  Perhaps a seminar on how to combat or compliment internet sales would help.......

Seems like in lean times, anything you could do help your self and your customers (because truly, in the US, FLGSs are their customers) do better would be a good idea.

I'm not slamming GW for not doing this as I don't think anybody in gaming really does this, but plenty of other industries do this and it sure seems like a good idea.

I've seen the Reaper Exarch with both weapon options and both look like things you can buy in sex shops. A weapon should not look like this, not even a Emperor's Children weapon. -Symbio Joe 
   
Made in us
Hunter with Harpoon Laucher




Castle Clarkenstein

Posted By ironkodiak on 07/29/2006 9:09 AM
I'm suprised that GW (and other retailers) doesn't give 2 free tickets to a Gamesday to retailers (heck invite retailers that haven't or stopped carrying their prodicts) and then have some retailer only seminars about sales techniques, maybe provide some instructional videos/manuals for employees to watch when they get back home. Perhaps some info about store layout/design/cleanliness, stocking techniques, and things other than just upcoming releases and such.  And I don't mean things like just "stock more,"  "order through the gills," and other things that GW sales reps regurgitate to FLGSs.  Perhaps a seminar on how to combat or compliment internet sales would help.......

Seems like in lean times, anything you could do help your self and your customers (because truly, in the US, FLGSs are their customers) do better would be a good idea.

I'm not slamming GW for not doing this as I don't think anybody in gaming really does this, but plenty of other industries do this and it sure seems like a good idea.
 
 
Definitely a good idea, and hopefully they will have them in the future, they have done them in the past. I've always had free tickets to games day for myself and my staff, I assume any retailer that asked would recieve them as well. GW has had some retailer seminars before. Usually it's on GW products, and how to sell them better. Fairly useful stuff, depending on what level your store is at.
 
Retailer seminars are a tough thing to make work. Anything you try to teach retailers has to filtre through the mindset of the independent business man:
 
1) It's my store, why are you telling me what to do?
2) I'm too busy to do that.
3) If you want me to do that, why don't you pay for it?
4) Who says that the way I'm doing things now isn't good?
5) You just want me to sell more of your stuff, why should I listen?
 
Most of us that own our own stores are proud of them, and the longer we do things, the more we get set in our ways. It's tough to teach old dogs new ways of selling things. Sadly, that's exactly what a lot of stores need to do though, to survive.



....and lo!.....The Age of Sigmar came to an end when Saint Veetock and his hamster legions smote the false Sigmar and destroyed the bubbleverse and lead the true believers back to the Old World.
 
   
Made in us
Hunter with Harpoon Laucher




Castle Clarkenstein

Someone asked if any stores do 2k a week in GW. Not many, but some do. My main store does a bit more than that, and my other shop does a bit less.


....and lo!.....The Age of Sigmar came to an end when Saint Veetock and his hamster legions smote the false Sigmar and destroyed the bubbleverse and lead the true believers back to the Old World.
 
   
Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User




Yes, everything Kirby said was true for far too many stores. I did some pro bono design and adwork for a small shop that was started by a friend of a friend entirely on his credit cards because he thought it would be "cool" to have his own shop to hang out in. To no one's surprise, he didn't make it 10 months.

There's one other factor that Kirby didn't mention. A factor that I'm starting to see is the "elephant in the corner" that everyone in this industry can see but no one wants to talk about: World of Warcraft.

Lord only knows where you would get the numbers on this, but I imagine that WoW has siphoned off a not insignifigant portion of the gamer market away from table top/PnP/CCG games. We "lost" five guys from our Warhammer club to WoW (about 10% of our membership) and these guys were very involved in the GW hobby and/or tournament scene. For a retail market that gets by on VERY thin margins, losing 10% of your customer base could be impossible to recover from.
   
Made in us
Battlewagon Driver with Charged Engine




Murfreesboro, TN

It's not neccessarily a hobby-killer, though. I'm still quite active in the hobby, despite having a high-level character in a raiding guild on WoW. Also, the burnout rate on WoW is pretty significant, so those "lost" to it will probably wander back after a few months.

As a rule of thumb, the designers do not hide "easter eggs" in the rules. If clever reading is required to unlock some sort of hidden option, then it is most likely the result of wishful thinking.

But there's no sense crying over every mistake;
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

Member of the "No Retreat for Calgar" Club 
   
 
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