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Bregalad
04-02-2008, 15:30
Hi,

just had a look at the Vampire release in March. A third is "mail order only". It is getting more and more. WD and catalogue are full of ads for buying from GW's online shop. Some of the best and most popular miniatures are only available directly. A new software is currently installed to expand the online-shop capacity.

Why is that so. Is GW really fed up with all those damned indie stores trying to sell GW stuff? Does GW think that they don't need brick and mortar stores but that tabletop games are a self-runner? Do they think that a mail order only business (no demo games, no advice, no real life gaming board) will help with GW's financial problems?

It has been a time of weird knee-jerk decisions lately (close BI, fire chief editor Marc Gascoigne). Is this another one without economic reasons, crippling the future of GW?

starlight
04-02-2008, 15:36
A) Lack of space in stores, so they'll put the best sellers in the stores and the slower sellers as MO.

B) To drive business to their Webstore. If you have to buy *some* stuff there, they likely figure you'll get more to get free shipping or whatnot, but at least more than you would buy online normally.

C) The Online Store is the cheapest of GW's sales routes. Same income, lower costs, more profit. :)

Mad Doc Grotsnik
04-02-2008, 15:37
Indy stores have various games all competing against each other.

You might go in to buy, say, Bloodknights. But you see someone playing Hordes or Warmachine, and spot that it's realtively cheap to get started, and thus, the temptation to start a new, non-GW game is there.

But, make them Mail Order only, and if someone is of a mind to buy Bloodknights, they are more likely get them, and if not, they are much more likely to spend their money on another GW product or so...

I guess thats the logic.

Pure guess work like, but it seems to stand up.

Llew
04-02-2008, 16:08
Well, I'd say the primary impetus is an attempt to snag some higher-margin sales.

If GW sells all of the minis to distributors, they give a discount on those. I think right now it's around 35% or so, so for each of the Bloodknights they sell via their general distribution, they get 65% of the retail price into the company.

Now, they understand that a lot of their fans are collectors...they don't want 2 of the 3 Bloodknights, but they want all 3 for their army. And maybe the 3rd one is the one judged to be the coolest to give extra incentive for someone to buy. So while they get 65% of retail on the other minis, the Direct Only ones come to them at 100% of retail price. It's much more profitable for them, and good business practice in terms of straight profit.

Each mini they move to Direct Only though decreases the reasons for independent stores to support them. Not a bunch on a mini-by-mini basis, but it adds up over time. (For example, if 99% of all GW stuff was Direct Only, how much reason would there be for an indy to stock the remaining 1%?)

So the Direct Only tool is a smart one to use, but they have to balance that against any ill-will they might engender with the indies if they go too heavily into that line of business. At this point, it doesn't seem unreasonable.

Osbad
04-02-2008, 16:13
My vote is with Llew's view.

Its all about only letting go through distributors as little as they can. The more they sell direct at MRSP the more margin they keep themselves. Ultimately I reckon they would like only the bare minimum to snag your interest to go via retail and the rest to go via direct. If the world was perfect for GW.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
04-02-2008, 16:15
Paranoia overload alert, but could this be a way of significantly downsizing the shops, in a literal sense?

The less stuff they sell in stores, the smaller the stores can be, which equates to cheaper leases....

Llew
04-02-2008, 16:21
I don't think their target is their own stores. They already have the overhead factored into the cost of the minis apparently, so it shouldn't affect them too much. (And if I were GW, I'd sure as heck offer my retail stores the right to have Direct Only items drop-shipped to the store for the customer. Unless that would be considered an unfair advantage by the UK trade laws.)

As has been pointed out, in the UK they are too dependent on the stores for business and community-building. They may cut more stores if there's enough support in an area, but if you cut stores, you would be better served by offering *more* products in your remaining sites, not fewer. I think straight profit-management is the goal on this.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
04-02-2008, 16:23
I was refering to the actual stores being made smaller, thus cutting running costs a bit, rather than cutting back on the number of stores.

DonkeyMan
04-02-2008, 16:26
Paranoia overload alert, but could this be a way of significantly downsizing the shops, in a literal sense?

The less stuff they sell in stores, the smaller the stores can be, which equates to cheaper leases....

Honestly as hard is it sounds, but that's exactly what they should do.

As I said in other threads, if they improve their relationship to the indies, they can close the ones that are close to indies.

Llew
04-02-2008, 16:31
You can't effectively cut the size of the stores down by removing merchandise -- not enough to matter. And we're discussing small amounts of product.

If you really want to save space, cut out in-store gaming. That would offer the largest chunk of space. A single 4'x4' table, allowing for minimal clearance of 2' on a side...barely enough for a shopper to squeeze past a player...would elminate 64 square feet of retail space. I can't even begin to figure how many products they'd have to eliminate to free up that much floor space for a wall display. (How many blisters on a 7' high section of wall would you have to cut, by 32 linear feet with the same 2' of clearance?) The math just doesn't work on it.

From what I hear, some stores really only pay lip service to in-store gaming as it is. (For example, my local indy has enough space to easily set up 8 4'x8' tables without it being crowded. I don't think most GW stores can even approach that.) But I don't see them cutting down on gaming space.

Smaller stores may lead to somewhat smaller rents, but most of the space taken is still empty floor. Factor in the costs of breaking leases and moving and it becomes difficult to make money at it. Plus, small, cramped stores do even less to enamor people of the wonder of TTG's.

In this instance, I really think the simplest explanation is most likely.


EDIT: There's a lot more savings to be had by store closings than they could practically make up via smaller shops.

Bregalad
04-02-2008, 17:20
So we generally agree that this aggressive "mail order only" strategy is GW's attempt to reduce the profit the indies currently have, in order to make more profit.

Customers should think: "Hey, while I must have the limited miniature, let's buy everything else online, too, to get free postage".

Indies should think: "Finally got rid of the Warhammer customers I won GW with great effort, now let's close the store and find a smaller one for less rent."

GW should think: "The less we pay for winning new customers, the more profit we make."

Did I get it right? Sounds as reasonable as closing BI for being too successful!

Mad Doc Grotsnik
04-02-2008, 17:24
Ummm....no, not really.

Rather than seeking to maximise profits, it's likely a medium to maximise sales, hence my example of side stepping the competition.

The other stuff I don't think was said at all?

Llew
04-02-2008, 17:55
So we generally agree that this aggressive "mail order only" strategy is GW's attempt to reduce the profit the indies currently have, in order to make more profit.



I don't think it's an attempt to reduce the indies' profits...just to boost their own. They could easily say that the Direct Only minis are ones they wouldn't produce otherwise...may be true, may not be true...so an attempt to improve your profits doesn't have to decrease someone else's. And as long as it's kept relatively small, on a few high-margin products, it's pretty effective.

However, they're always walking a fine line. If they go too far, it *will* cannibalize other sales, and then they can run into even bigger problems.

For example, I would have taken it as an opportunity to try to win back some indy love. You'd have to market it, but say develop a line of "Approved Dealer" minis along side it. Give approved dealers that *aren't* Mail Order a line of minis that only they and the GW retail stores can sell to drive people into the stores. They'd just have to establish what level of support they require to meet that level, and then work closely with the dealers to further their relationships.

So...to return to the original point (at long last), I don't see it as an attack on indies so much as a move to gather a bit more cash on some high-margin items that won't result in a lot of sales. If they're coupling this with more of a just-in-time production model, it makes even more sense.

starlight
04-02-2008, 18:28
Given their falling sales (and the underlying reduction in spending by customers), I'm thinking that this can *only* cannibalise existing sales. Fewer people are spending less, thus GW is trying to funnel as many of these dwindling dollars into their most profit rich sales channels. In the process they likely hope to drive additional sales through their website because "Well I'm here anyways, I might as well buy more to get free shipping...".

Llew
04-02-2008, 18:44
I think most people likely to buy through the website will realize that they'll save more money at another online retailer. In other words, if free shipping is that much of an incentive, 20% off the retail will probably be more of a pull for them.

Now, you can make an argument whether or not someone will buy the Direct Only model instead of the retail one, on the premise that, "I can always buy that one some other time at the store."

As it is now, I just don't see it as that big a draw against other stores. If it expands, and especially if it dips into larger units of Special or Rare troops, then there might be an issue, and that would be cutting their own throats really.

Emperor's Grace
04-02-2008, 19:03
Actually, I think GW has made a point that there line's increasing complexity makes it difficult to stock the indy's in an effective manner.

I just assumed that this was "streamlining".

The basic stuff goes in the indy store (where even the relatively uninitiated can explain it) and the fancy stuff goes in their store.

Not that I agree with the approach, but there it is...

Killgore
04-02-2008, 19:12
higher profit margins are gained when goods are sold online, no overheads from a brick and mortar store for example and shelf space is not an issue when you have a huge warehouse

i know for a start that when i bought a gw direct only model (the techmarine in servo harness with baldie head) i didnt just buy that model, i bought some other stuff too. think how many other thousands of people will do the same when they want a direct only model?

makes perfect business sence from gw.

selfconstrukt
04-02-2008, 19:35
Its just part of the new sales strategy for GW.

By "standardizing" what is in the GW retail stores, sorry "Hobby Centers", they direct new players to the core product and boxed games.

Everything else will be offered by Direct Sales, which will direct more money straight to GW, not independent retailers.

Now, GW wants independents since B&M stores do cost money and they do promote GW games, but the range of products available to those independents will become much smaller and focused to core product as well.

If GW stops offering certain product to those retailers, then they cannot carry that product. GW can dictate what retailers can and cannot sell, they have already been doing that.

Anything "extra" like conversion packs or supplemental rules etc you will have to go through GW to get.

The new strategy being used by GW is simple, its about direction. Get more money to go straight to the source, GW.

RavenMorpheus
04-02-2008, 19:38
Hi,

just had a look at the Vampire release in March. A third is "mail order only". It is getting more and more. WD and catalogue are full of ads for buying from GW's online shop. Some of the best and most popular miniatures are only available directly. A new software is currently installed to expand the online-shop capacity.

Why is that so. Is GW really fed up with all those damned indie stores trying to sell GW stuff? Does GW think that they don't need brick and mortar stores but that tabletop games are a self-runner? Do they think that a mail order only business (no demo games, no advice, no real life gaming board) will help with GW's financial problems?

It has been a time of weird knee-jerk decisions lately (close BI, fire chief editor Marc Gascoigne). Is this another one without economic reasons, crippling the future of GW?

I think it's because GW are cutting back on funding left right and centre and thus online sales are being promoted as they are cheaper for GW in terms of overheads, that and they probably generate a bit more interest than the shops do.

I've noticed a trend recently of shops being closed...

Damien 1427
04-02-2008, 19:42
I've noticed a trend recently of shops being closed...

I think that was because thanks to the LOTR "bubble" they expanded far too much, far too fast. I think that, however, has less to do with the bubble popping amd more to do with incompetent management.

I'd argue the "Mail Order Only" models are a flimsy attempt to make the store relevant, given that it's sole purpose "bitz" has effectively been cut out.

RavenMorpheus
04-02-2008, 19:49
I think that was because thanks to the LOTR "bubble" they expanded far too much, far too fast. I think that, however, has less to do with the bubble popping amd more to do with incompetent management.

I'd argue the "Mail Order Only" models are a flimsy attempt to make the store relevant, given that it's sole purpose "bitz" has effectively been cut out.

Possibly, I only find the shops helpful if I want some painting/modelling advice so if I buy GW stuff these days I do so online and I think that's part of the problem.

A lot of people don't use the stores to buy stuff because they'd rather be sitting at home in front of their PC browsing the online store without the hassle of a red shirt trying to sell them stuff.

Thus shops are being closed in favor of the online store because "hobby centers" don't make money...

Just my observation, probably not true but as has been pointed out to me many a time GW are there to make money first, the online store seems to me to be the best way GW can do that at the moment.

Llew
04-02-2008, 19:57
Actually, I think GW has made a point that there line's increasing complexity makes it difficult to stock the indy's in an effective manner.


Although it's difficult, don't confuse GW's spin on why they do something with the real motive.

Explaining miniatures is not difficult. Most indy stores I've been to have people who are fans of gaming working there. They're perfectly competent to explain what something is, even if they can't justify why it costs so much.

starlight
04-02-2008, 20:47
Going to have to agree here. It's not hard to explain minis, where the difficulty lies is explaining GW's behaviour.:(

VetSgtNamaan
04-02-2008, 21:37
Not to mention according to my local indie store many of the direct services limited edition models (Ie. The new Ork with Waagh Banner) are now being sold to the indie stores with no discount for being a store. When they asked about it thier rep said it was so the indies would not stock them because they would not make any money off of them and thus shop online or via the telephone directly to GW Canada and hopefully buy everything via them than thier local indie.

selfconstrukt
04-02-2008, 22:11
Calling them "limited edition" is inaccurate. There is nothing limited about them, they are available now, and will be for some time to come.

The purpose was supposed to make them truly limited for a short time to encourage people to buy from GW online.

Initially if you spent say $100 you'd get to pick one for free, then the idea became spend $50 and this model is available for you to buy, these are just examples of the ideas thrown around for the Direct Only models.

That was the initial idea anyway, but now you can pretty much get them whenever you want, and there is no real incentive to buy anything else when you purchase them.
Its not like you get free shipping when you buy one, or if you bought 2 Marine Squads and a Land Raider you get the Marine free.

As with most "limited" models GW has produced over the years, there really was nothing really limited about them.

VetSgtNamaan
04-02-2008, 23:00
Well my point was not the validity of whether or not they were truly limited edition but rather GW Canada actively and blantantly trying to steal business away from the indies. But I suppose with the chaos that Gw Canada is in currently I suppose that is to be expected.

selfconstrukt
04-02-2008, 23:52
Well my point was not the validity of whether or not they were truly limited edition but rather GW Canada actively and blantantly trying to steal business away from the indies. But I suppose with the chaos that Gw Canada is in currently I suppose that is to be expected.

What GW is doing as a whole is not 'stealing" business away from the indies, but trying to focus the customer to make more purchases directly from GW.

By limiting the items indies can stock to core games and basic units/command/vehicles etc, and by not allowing bits to be sold by indies (or online) more customers will have to buy more product directly from GW.

GW stores themselves will also carry a much more limited range as well, more focused on introducing new gamers, the more experienced players and veterans usually buy "non-standard" product, like bits, they will be directed to purchase online.

Since customers also pay higher prices for the same product than indies (who get a discount), GW makes more money. GW also pays less on shipping costs since packages to customers generally cost less than packages to stores (since they usually weigh less).

The_Patriot
04-02-2008, 23:58
This may work in the UK, but it wouldn't work too well in the US or other parts of the world where the indies have dominance. It would end up cutting their profits even more due to the indies dropping GW's product in favor of other manufacturers that aren't performing unfair business practices. Also said indies could always go to their State Attorney General and have the state government pursue a case of unfair business practices which would have a good chance of winning due to GW giving their retail channels an unfair advantage. For GW to fight against a lawsuit is a very expensive proposition and given their current financial situation they couldn't sustain more then 1 lawsuit at once. All in all as a result of this I can see all the states filing a lawsuit against GW for unfair business practices and indies dropping all support for GW's products which in turn would cause GW's profits to plummet in the US.

Bregalad
04-02-2008, 23:59
That is exactly what I feared to be.
GW aggressively fights against indies to get as much of their profit back as possible.

Indies are good for winning new customers, organising free tournaments and painting workshops, giving free advice to what customers should order from GW online and to provide free gaming tables where GW online products can be played. But don't they dare to want any share of GW money for these services :rolleyes:

GW thinks fighting indies is good for business as it increases direct profit. This sounds like a strategy that might work with shampoo:angel:, but not with tabletop games that are simply not possible without local support.

And BTW: The limited indie stock argument is not valid. True that not every indie can stock everything, not even every GW shop does. But indies are not even allowed to ORDER those special miniatures for customers with their regular orders! That is the point where these miniatures are used to fight indies and lure their customers away!

The_Patriot
05-02-2008, 00:08
Oh I forgot to mention that in the US there are federal and state laws on the books that requires truth in advertising. If GW claims that a miniature is a limited edition miniature and it isn't then it has violated federal and state laws which can lead to hefty fines imposed on them. GW could conceivably be fined 51 times for this violation due to 1 for the federal law and 1 in each of the 50 states. Here in the US limited edition items are sold with a certificate of authenticity and assigned a number by the manufacturer.

For example, the Franklin Mint issues a limited edition Elvis Presley plate and by law they are required to limit the issue to x amount. Each plate is then stamped y out of x amount and assigned a certificate of authenticity to verify that this plate is indeed y number of the run.

selfconstrukt
05-02-2008, 00:17
Patriot, you are somewhat right about limited editions.

But GW doesn't give a "number of castings" like "only 1500" made.

There are other ways of "limiting" items other than producing only certain quantities, it depends on the wording and GW's own definition of what they intend "limited" to be.

BTW, I worked in art galleries when I was in college and dealt with limited editions and printers for years and the laws are not so clear cut, as most laws are.

Also, TK has already stated that GW does not understand the US market, because they are using a UK business model, which has different practices than US businesses, which is probably why GW is having so much difficulty in the US.

And even in the US, GW can dictate terms with other retailers, if the retailer does not agree GW has the right not to sell to them.

And Bregalad; funny thing is, Mark Wells was the guy I spoke to when i still worked for GW about the new shift towards Direct Sales and how they might go about drawing more business directly to GW.

The_Patriot
05-02-2008, 00:20
Patriot, you are somewhat right about limited editions.

But GW doesn't give a "number of castings" like "only 1500" made.

There are other ways of "limiting" items other than producing only certain quantities, it depends on the wording and GW's own definition of what they intend "limited" to be.

BTW, I worked in art galleries when I was in college and dealt with limited editions and printers for years and the laws are not so clear cut, as most laws are.

Also, TK has already stated that GW does not understand the US market, because they are using a UK business model, which has different practices than US businesses.

And even in the US, GW can dictate terms with other retailers, if the retailer does not agree GW has the right not to sell to them.

And Bregalad; funny thing is, Mark Wells was the guy I spoke to when i still worked for GW about the new shift towards Direct Sales and how they might go about drawing more business directly to GW.

The laws regarding limited editions vary by state, so what you say would be valid in your state only. GW's definition of what limited edition means must be in compliance with federal and state laws. They could say something like it's only available for x days and it would be in compliance. However, if they state that then continue to sell the model in any fashion past the end date they are in violation of the law. Not specifying what constitutes a limited edition to them is also a violation of the law.

Actually, GW can dictate terms to retailers as long as they are not doing so to gain an unfair advantage over the product they sell in comparison with their own retail stores. Microsoft got nailed hard on that one as did other companies for giving certain companies an advantage on pricing while denying it to others.

selfconstrukt
05-02-2008, 00:33
The laws regarding limited editions can vary, but there are universal worldwide standards most printers, artists and galleries abide by, the industry had to do this to prevent counterfeiting which would have ruined the whole industry.

Also, those laws address Serigraphs, Lithographs, Giclees, Photography Ltd Ed, and "fine art" sculptures like pottery.

They do not address wargames miniatures. That is a "hole" in the process. The laws just have not been applied to that degree to wargames miniatures since, compared to fine art, it is a miniscule product.

So far, none fo the customers from the old GW "skulls program" have complained about the fact they had to spend over $1000 to get the Iwo Jima model, but GW cast up hundreds more whenever they wanted to and gave them out to staff, friends, stores etc.

And GW has never put a number to any ltd edition.

The closest they have ever come to a truly limited model are the Games Day models (and a quantity or certificate has still never been applied to those) or the "staff only" models they give out in the UK.

The_Patriot
05-02-2008, 00:35
The laws regarding limited editions can vary, but there is a standard most printers, artists and galleries abide by.

Also, those laws address Serigraphs, Lithographs, Giclees, Photography Ltd Ed, and "fine art" sculptures like pottery.

They do not address wargames miniatures. That is a hole in the process. The laws just have not been applied to that degree to wargames miniatures since, compared to fine art, it is a miniscule product.

So far, none fo the customers from the old GW "skulls program" have complained about the fact they had to spend over $1000 to get the Iwo Jima model, but GW cast up hundreds more whenever they wanted to and gave them out to staff, friends, stores etc.

And GW has never put a number to any ltd edition.

The closest they have ever come to a truly limited model are the Games Day models (and a quantity or certificate has still never been applied to those) or the "staff only" models they give out in the UK.

Miniatures would fall under sculptures so it's not a loophole. Basically, you're saying that GW has been in violation of US laws concerning limited editions and truth in advertising. This would only bolster the case of the State(s) Attorney Generals in prosecuting a civil lawsuit against GW for unfair business practices.

EDIT: I forgot to add that I had once bought a Ral Partha limited edition Gen Con Red Dragon and it was numbered as well as having a certificate of authenticity.

Bregalad
05-02-2008, 00:39
And Bregalad; funny thing is, Mark Wells was the guy I spoke to when i still worked for GW about the new shift towards Direct Sales and how they might go about drawing more business directly to GW.
And do you think, he understood the importance of local stores to the hobby? That tabeltop games need more local support than shampoo products? And that "redirecting profit" from local stores to GW online might be a bad idea?

selfconstrukt
05-02-2008, 00:40
Actually wargames miniatures fall under "toys", not sculptures. I've been to court over a situation just like this before. Wargames miniatures are toys in the eyes of the (US) law, not sculptures (the originals btw are considered sculptures, since there is only 1).

Sure GW employees have violated laws, most companies have broken laws. Proving it is the hard part, then you have to have evidence, then you have to have the money to prosecute.

And companies have more money than us, they can afford a drawn out lawsuit.

selfconstrukt
05-02-2008, 00:42
And do you think, he understood the importance of local stores to the hobby? That tabeltop games need more local support than shampoo products? And that "redirecting profit" from local stores to GW online might be a bad idea?

I don't think he really got it though. The general feeling I got from most of the GW managers was that indies will continue to sell and promote the GW hobby.

Again, it was more propaganda rather than hard facts from them. They believed the indies will support GW since they have to in order to carry GW product, and since GW product is "the best" the indies will comply.

At least, thats the impression most of them gave me of what they thought about the indies.

The_Patriot
05-02-2008, 00:46
Actually wargames miniatures fall under "toys", not sculptures. I've been to court over a situation just like this before. Wargames miniatures are toys in the eyes of the (US) law, not sculptures (the originals btw are considered sculptures, since there is only 1).

Sure GW employees have violated laws, most companies have broken laws. Proving it is the hard part, then you have to have evidence, then you have to have the money to prosecute.

And companies have more money than us, they can afford a drawn out lawsuit.

Again, a limited edition miniature is classified as a sculpture not a toy under US federal law. The fact that it is a limited edition run pushes it into that classification. Hence the reason why pewter miniatures by non-wargaming manufacturers are classified as sculptures.

State(s) Attorney Generals and US Federal Prosecuters have far more money then GW does. Afterall, they just have to print more up and not having to worry about it. GW couldn't compete especially if you have an AG like my state's AG.

selfconstrukt
05-02-2008, 00:51
Again, a limited edition miniature is classified as a sculpture not a toy under US federal law. The fact that it is a limited edition run pushes it into that classification.

Umm, no it doesn't. You are over-simplifying a very complicated set of guidelines and rules governing what is and is not "limited".

Bregalad
05-02-2008, 00:51
Damn, isn't there ONE person in GW's top management with a minimum of common sense? Shouldn't there be a competition for hiring managers that understand the business and are in touch with reality? They have proven to ruin GW financially and are still allowed to go on like nothing happened? And cripple it even more by closing BI and firing Mark Gascogne?:wtf::wtf::wtf:

starlight
05-02-2008, 00:55
Erm....No, Yes, Yes, Yes.

:cries:

selfconstrukt
05-02-2008, 00:57
Damn, isn't there ONE person in GW's top management with a minimum of common sense? Shouldn't there be a competition for hiring managers that understand the business and are in touch with reality? They have proven to ruin GW financially and are still allowed to go on like nothing happened? :wtf::wtf::wtf:

There are a number of GW staff, both hourly and salaried, that understand the business and are educated and intelligent enough steer GW in the right direction.

The problem most of them have is that they are not "savvy" or "cutthroat" enough to get ahead and be put in charge.

Becoming a manager (anywhere) has more to do with being able to network, rather than ability.

Most of the people at GW who are trying to make changes and help are being ignored, or the managers are more afraid of losing their jobs to the more competent person, so the more competent person is "removed" or "transferred" because they are "uncooperative and difficult" and won't follow directions.

Its sad, but this happens at just about every company on earth.

Starlight:

I posted this elsewhere, but thought you might find it amusing. It was posted on 4Chan about the Imperium, I just thought it could apply to GW as a whole as well:


The whole point of the Imperium is that its an insanely over-bureaucratic byzantine hell hole full of corruption and incompetence where nothing really works properly and the people in charge of keeping things running don't actually know how they work.

General Veers
05-02-2008, 03:42
1. First a retailer could buy the entire range.

2. Then GW made special "Direct Only" miniatures available only through their own mail order site.

3. Then they decided that all "new" releases will be available only through their own mail order site. "But don't worry Indies, you can still sell the basic models that were released previously!"

4. Then they decided to sell the entire range only through their own mail order.



The history of GW Specialist Games as promoted in the US. :eyebrows:

Will the core games now go down that path? :wtf:

Because it was so successful for GW's bottom line wasn't it? ;)

Note that my FLGS gave up on GW Specialist games at #3, since all he was doing was helping to create new sales for GW Direct and not getting anything in return for it. Duh.

I am aware that for awhile (and maybe even now) a retailer could buy some specialist product through the "bits" service not trade sales. But in the real world that doesn't count.
I don't think it was malicious, I think it was simply incompetence.

carlisimo
05-02-2008, 05:14
Paranoia overload alert, but could this be a way of significantly downsizing the shops, in a literal sense?

The less stuff they sell in stores, the smaller the stores can be, which equates to cheaper leases....

Around here, their stores are tiny already. Clearing up some shelf space will make it easier to walk around and play inside there! But it's probably just as much for the independent stores. We've been hearing (and seeing) that GW is moving away from blisters, towards boxed sets. Saves space, looks more professional, and leaves some figures out...

OrlyggJafnakol
05-02-2008, 08:51
I prefer mail order. So these changes are excellent for me as a collector. The days of brick and mortar stores having the monopoly on sales are long gone. All highstreet franchises now have an online component (Argos, WHSMITH) and these are only going to increase in size. GW is making a sensible decision here. An easy to use webstore, that charges free postage, and contains loads of exclusive material is going to do well. I just hope GW can pull if off properly!

DonkeyMan
05-02-2008, 09:10
A good online store is a good idea from GW. Cutting out the indies would be bad, very bad.

But GW could really do both. Having a good relationship with the indies and having an online store.

Look at PP and look at Rackham. They have online only minis too and no one is complaining.

Oh and the UK business model only works in the UK and Ireland. Doesn't work in continental Europe either.

BrainFireBob
05-02-2008, 09:31
I'm finally starting to believe the problem isn't with GW's management- it's with the fact that they're all in the UK. The UK's an island, and its population distribution allows a certain business model to work that works no-where else on Earth, and since they're in the middle of it, they make their judgements solely from that perspective.

Gah, they do this and manage to axe BWB through Warstore, I wouldn't be surprised if the US market collapsed. The wobbily dollar is bad enough on its own. Stateside, and I can't believe I'm saying this, there are too many alternatives that are nearly as widely available. Sounds like continental Europe's the same.

yabbadabba
05-02-2008, 11:47
I think there are a variety of reasons that, when looked as a whole, seem to be a conspiracy when if fact it could just be a series of ideas and ecisions that haven't been linked before being made.

The fact that GW is restricting sales of their SG's is a no-brainer. They don't make any real money and I shoudl guess are more headache than they are worth for their trade departments. In the UK GW stores cannot stock stuff that isn't also available to Indies, therefore the only issue there is one of choice and nobody has it :D

With the closing down of bits, the restrictions with GW Online deals and the competition form the net, I am not surprised that GW have hit on this as a sales driver. From my perspective, the number of "Special" or "limited" edition figures I have seen on discount in Indies indicates that they are not always good sellers anyway. GW wins three times - less costs, less returned stock/moaning indies, more custom to their online store.

Surely it is good customer service to say "Don't buy this as it won't sell" until it eventually becomes "We might sell a few hundred of these, not enough to supply everyone so we won't do a normal run on them". Wouldn't that keep costs down and make Indies happier, that they are not spending money on stuff that 6 months down the line is gathering dust on their shelves?

One final thing - before anyone says about Indies should stock what they want e.t.c. has anyone got a rundown on the %age sales of each of the lines? A more analytical and less emotional view on sales might be more appropriate.

The Phazer
05-02-2008, 12:39
I'm finally starting to believe the problem isn't with GW's management- it's with the fact that they're all in the UK. The UK's an island, and its population distribution allows a certain business model to work that works no-where else on Earth, and since they're in the middle of it, they make their judgements solely from that perspective.

Well, it would work in Japan as well in theory...:D

But yes, I think that's the issue. From conversations I've had I think that it really is driven by lack of space in most of GW's UK retail outlets. There is a move underway to dramatically reduce the amount of blisters the UK GW stores carry (and this has already been happening for years as any long term player will have observed) to move to more box sets. They're the things that move better as impulse buys to kids, and one underlooked point is that in retail blisters tend to get damaged fairly easily and become harder to sell. That happens much less with the big boxes. Pretty much every UK indie retailer only carries box sets anyway, even now.

But obviously that's not the case overseas, and indies really are varied enough that you'd think it'd make sense to let things be available to them and to plan their own floor space.

Phazer

CyberShadow
05-02-2008, 12:56
I had heard that the move towards more boxed sets and away from blister packs (for both display and practical shipping/strength reasons) has lead to less in-store space. In addition, GW are concentrating on stocking the core, best selling lines in shops, effectively keeping the same shop space but having more 'starter sets' (Marine Tactical boxes, core troops sets, core rules boxed sets, etc) and less 'additional' items. This would keep in-store stocks to around the fifty highest selling sets, getting people into the hobby easily, and allow MO to provide all of the 'extra and cool' bits.

I dont think that it has much to do with Indy stores - particularly in the UK.

The_Patriot
05-02-2008, 14:53
Umm, no it doesn't. You are over-simplifying a very complicated set of guidelines and rules governing what is and is not "limited".

Actually, I was responding to your claim that limited edition miniatures from a wargaming company are classified as a toy not a sculpture. As for over simplification, it's not and this is federal law.