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lanrak
31-05-2008, 19:21
Hi all.
I was just wondering if the GW B&M stores are a vital part of GWs operation?
Or if they have become an unecissary burden?

I understand they help introduce new people into 'the hobby'.
And provide a meeting place for gamers etc.:D

But without the massive overheads of the B&M stores.
GW could sell thier products online for a fraction of the current prices.:eek:
So would more people be atracted to GW products due to far lower price points.

(Obviously 'hobby events' would still be held at WW, and other venues.)

The stores were a very good way to grow the buisness prior to the 'internet explosion'.

But are they still a cost effecive way of growing the GW buisness?

Please feel free to post your reasons for or against.

TTFN
Lanrak.

Alfie
31-05-2008, 19:33
While they do have a cost (way above an internet company) the stores do get people starting and playing.

If a kid is interested in playing he can go to the shop and learn. The rules are relatively complex for the younger market who, if left to their own devices, might not have the patience to sit and read all the rules. This is where the stores come into play.

Also, they pull people off the streets. unless GW start advertising in main stream papers/magasines etc people would not neccessarily know about the company. This way people see the shops and get knowledge of the brand.

The gaming nights can help keep people in the hobby. If there isnt a club near (or well advertised) then the shop is needed. If the shop closes then it can mean people dont have the opportunity to play.

The only other route is for GW to use LGS. Really try to get their products pushed through these. But they lose some control and the games stores to a degree would gain an advantage over GW if the know that GW needs them to supply an area.


So, yeah, to sum it up i think they are a good thing. As long as they dont make become too large a drain on the company finances.

Crazy Harborc
31-05-2008, 19:46
Based on what I have been reading on these forums since 2001, a large portion(a majority??) of the posters, play a large share/almost all their games in stores.......(mostly local GW stores if they live across the pond).

Again....based on threads and postings around here since 2001, a large number of the indie stores that sold GW products and built up the GW systems users/players/customers in their store's areas are gone (some to other products, others out of business).

IF.....if GW closes it's company stores where will the customers who buy and game in those stores play the games??

In the USA, GW stores are NOT in every town or village or just an hours drive away. Been led to believe that the majority of GW's users in Europe and the UK are the lion's share of the GW world wide market. IF GW closes it's stores will those customers keep buying (from mailorder/ on the net) with no where to play?? Adults might, but little jimmy, john and bill (who live with parents) will have no where to play.

Just think IF those now long gone indies where still around GW would not have the overhead of those B & M company stores. The customers of them would have nowhere to game.;)

Templar Ben
31-05-2008, 19:50
Well as a marketing tool, stores are grossly inefficient. My wife doesn't know about Coach bags because of the Coach store. A woman doesn't walk down the street in a high end shopping district and say to herself, "Fendi? What is that? Perhaps I should walk in and see."

What GW stores do is create a barrier to entry for other game stores (since it would be foolish to try to take on GW directly and that cuts your potential product lines) and more importantly create a switching cost for the customer. By switching cost I mean that if you must play in a GW store you must play GW games (even though there are better for free) and you must use GW models (even though there are cheaper). You become, in effect, a captive market and GW can use that to maintain higher prices.

This captive market effect is why if you are in University (in the States - it may be different elsewhere) it is more expensive to purchase your Marketing 101 text in the campus bookstore then the same book in the same condition off campus which is even more expensive then online. Students under scholarship normally must purchase at the campus store (captive market) and some students, spending parents' money, is unable to unwilling to go off campus and so will purchase at the campus store (selective captive market) so the price that market which includes the captive market will bear is much higher.

That will not grow a business but it can maintain a level of sales.

This is my proposal.

I think GW should set a target for each of the non-Bunker style stores. I would set it as cost plus 10%. If maintaining the store is $100K per year then the store needs to have sales of $110K. This can be adjusted but since GW is not tied to the general economy to a high degree then I would be reluctant to do that. If a store doesn't reach that goal in a given year then they come under scrutiny to determine why.

Some reasons why could be market saturation, poorly run event, store over sized for community, store is poorly located (too high rent for level of traffic or located far from target market), or perhaps simple mismanagement. Appropriate action (training, lease negotiation, advertising, etc.) will be taken and progress is monitored each month. If the goal is not reached in the second year then losses are cut, store is closed, workers are offered to compete for spots in the higher production stores.

Bunker type stores are different as they are already giving up a lot of retail space to allow for regional events. They would have goals as well natually but being bunker staff would be a higher profile job and only proven leaders will be allowed to work there. If the staff can't plan, organize, and execute events then they will be released for cause. There are plenty of great workers at closing stores that would love a shot at that job.

GW can't compete on price and they really don't want to. I would still sell everything in the GW online store (since that is the greatest margin of all channels) but I would have more and more "direct only" models. I know some stores will not like that but the "direct only" would be the "cool" models and not ones that are required. There wouldn't be a really neat tank that is direct only for instance. I would also add incentives to purchasing online like the $100 purchase and you get a Space Marine hailing a cab.

blongbling
01-06-2008, 10:53
to be honest, if gw is aiming for only $10k proift in a store then they have bigger issues. GW stores are there to provide a way to introduce people to wargaming, without GW stores i very much doubt that the wargaming market qould be as big as it is now.

are they expensive,, sure they are but they also provide a constant stream of new gamers and as such are invaluable

Gaebriel
01-06-2008, 11:37
I guess it's a Catch 22 - without the stores, GW couldn't keep it's size, while at the same time store expenses are eating up GW's profits.

All in all I think they're not at an optimal store-to-turnover ratio at the moment.

We'll have to see if GW can either significantly raise their turnover, significantly lower their store expenses, or come up with another marketing philosphy.

It's also a highly geographical issue - in the UK, GW stores are the pinnacle of their success, in the US they are less dependent on their own stores (as they're slowly learning), Europe is somewhere inbetween.

RevEv
01-06-2008, 13:12
Stores are a great drain on profitability, yes, but this is countered by the fact that there is a dearth of FLGS in many towns in the UK... although we seem to be the originators of much that thrives in geekdom there just is not the critical mass that will support a large number of specialist stores.

Without GW stores there would be no GW - they are integral to raising the profile of the company in the high street and a place that most gamers start out at (normally with a pestered mother in tow).

Templar Ben
01-06-2008, 14:16
to be honest, if gw is aiming for only $10k proift in a store then they have bigger issues. GW stores are there to provide a way to introduce people to wargaming, without GW stores i very much doubt that the wargaming market qould be as big as it is now.

are they expensive,, sure they are but they also provide a constant stream of new gamers and as such are invaluable

Actually I was saying shoot for a 10% return each year. The profit in my example was just an example which is why I said cost plus model. As I also said, having a retail store is a grossly inefficient way to introduce people to wargaming. Apple has stores but it is more to create a community and they are all run as stores (cool stores but stores). Marketing is handled by television, online ads, print ads, and even radio.

They are valuable if they provide a net value greater then their cost.


Stores are a great drain on profitability, yes, but this is countered by the fact that there is a dearth of FLGS in many towns in the UK... although we seem to be the originators of much that thrives in geekdom there just is not the critical mass that will support a large number of specialist stores.

Without GW stores there would be no GW - they are integral to raising the profile of the company in the high street and a place that most gamers start out at (normally with a pestered mother in tow).

Perhaps GW has killed all others in the UK so take my comments to be US centric.

GideonRavenor
01-06-2008, 15:17
They're pretty much the only place I ever manage to get a decent game; you just have to avoid some of the more underisable players. They're also where I buy all my stuff, so I'm not in a hurry to see them go.

DonkeyMan
01-06-2008, 19:15
What does B&M stand for?

They should keep most of their stores in UK & Ireland.
In other parts of the world they should try to improve their relations with the indie stores to sell their stuff via them and then close down any GW shops that are close to an good indie store.

Even though I'm PP gamer, i am sure that GW can compete very well beside PP if they are sold in the same store.

Templar Ben
01-06-2008, 19:16
Brick and Mortar.

Evil-Lite
01-06-2008, 19:24
You also have to keep in mind which market you are talking about. GW having stores available in the UK is a much different discussion then GW having stores in the U.S. (not sure about other countries).

The U.S. has a lot more Indy stores then the U.K. (from what I understand) and GW could use them to absorb the cost of operating a store while still having new players introduced to the hobby. Of course that fell through the floor when GW opened their own stores kitty corner to profitable Indy stores... Course that is another topic :/

That just goes to show you, what works in 1 market is not necessarily the best in another market.

MistaGav
01-06-2008, 19:36
Well in a way this is just like most major retailers. Sure they can all just simply close down shops because they cost too much and trade online but there are customers who don't like that. Some customers like to walk down to their local shop and pick up something for a few quid (or in GW's case a ALOT of quids...)

Some people oppose to buying online and some oppose to buying in store and having both a B&W store and an online store caters for both these types of people.

WargamesEmpire
01-06-2008, 20:57
But without the massive overheads of the B&M stores.
GW could sell thier products online for a fraction of the current prices.:eek:
So would more people be atracted to GW products due to far lower price points.



Not sure you're right here. Privateer Press and Rackham don't have their own worldwide chain of B&M stores, but their prices are comparable to GW. (In some cases, even more expensive....Confrontation PPP I'm looking in your direction.)

The only reason GW is seem as more "expensive" is because you need more models to play a game. Considering the vast back catalogue of miniatures, and how easy it is to make a GW army stand out and look completely unique, I'd actually say GW is far better value for money than other games.

GW would never be where it is today if it weren't for their B&M stores.

BrianC
01-06-2008, 20:59
Just to be clear up front I'm only speaking from a UK perspective on this as I don't have an experience of the other markets.

I consider myself a reasonably clued up parent when it comes to just about any sort of game that my kids want to play but when it comes to CCGs I'm totally blind as they have never appealed to me. Apart from RPGs and of course 40k the main thing that my two are into are CCGs, so I guess I'd be in the same position as an average parent would be with their kids and 40k. If I hadn't been able to get an introductory demo game for Yu-Gi-Oh hosted at a con I'd have not known where to start or what to get as a starting point and as for the rules. Now extrapolate that to Warhammer that is an order of magnitude more diverse due to the hobby aspect...

I very much see the GW stores as permanent entry points to the hobby (rather than relying on transient demonstrators as with Yu-Gi-Oh) and without them a whole raft of people would never get into the hobby, even if they do end up moving onto other things. I'm not pretending that stores (both LGS and GW) aren't ultimately there to make money but without them how long would the hobby exist at the same scale as it is now?

The way that GW markets itself is poor, but I do not see that as an issue with the stores themselves, they are there to facilitate the hobby, and offer passive, almost subliminal stimulation of demand from passing trade. The problem is where and how to advertise, but that is a topic for another thread, although one thing I will suggest is that they do need to urgently have a presence at the UK con scene (at least I've never seen them anywhere in an official capacity).

DonkeyMan
01-06-2008, 21:57
Brick and Mortar.
Thanks a mill.


You also have to keep in mind which market you are talking about. GW having stores available in the UK is a much different discussion then GW having stores in the U.S. (not sure about other countries).

The U.S. has a lot more Indy stores then the U.K. (from what I understand) and GW could use them to absorb the cost of operating a store while still having new players introduced to the hobby. Of course that fell through the floor when GW opened their own stores kitty corner to profitable Indy stores... Course that is another topic :/

That just goes to show you, what works in 1 market is not necessarily the best in another market.
It's the same in France and in Germany. A good supply of indies there.
I think the GW business strategy worked best in UK&Ireland.


Well in a way this is just like most major retailers. Sure they can all just simply close down shops because they cost too much and trade online but there are customers who don't like that. Some customers like to walk down to their local shop and pick up something for a few quid (or in GW's case a ALOT of quids...)

Some people oppose to buying online and some oppose to buying in store and having both a B&W store and an online store caters for both these types of people.

There is no need to have a store open beside a well known and established indie.
As Evil-Lite hinted, GW tried to push away all indies so they opened stores close to many indies. Worked well in the UK&Ireland. There are few indies left there.
They got a few closed down that way in Germany, but not the good ones.
Close to my town where I lived in Germany before I came to Ireland I had one great Indie and one GW (both where in different cities, but my hometown lay between the two and it took me only 20 minutes to get to each of the cities.
GW opened another store just a stone throw away from the indie (to get their customers I presume)
But their plan didn't work at all there. The indie still has more customers (including the GW gamers).
That store is completely useless.
In the end, it doesn't matter if your local shop is a GW store or an Indie as long as they have a decent supply on stuff.



Not sure you're right here. Privateer Press and Rackham don't have their own worldwide chain of B&M stores, but their prices are comparable to GW. (In some cases, even more expensive....Confrontation PPP I'm looking in your direction.)

The only reason GW is seem as more "expensive" is because you need more models to play a game. Considering the vast back catalogue of miniatures, and how easy it is to make a GW army stand out and look completely unique, I'd actually say GW is far better value for money than other games.

GW would never be where it is today if it weren't for their B&M stores.
Maybe that's why PP and Rackham have a higher profit. ;)

Value for money is a matter of opinion.
I agree though that the GW stores made GW today what it is and that they where important, but times change and business strategies must adjust. GW seems a bit slow in that, though lately they are getting better.



Just to be clear up front I'm only speaking from a UK perspective on this as I don't have an experience of the other markets.

I consider myself a reasonably clued up parent when it comes to just about any sort of game that my kids want to play but when it comes to CCGs I'm totally blind as they have never appealed to me. Apart from RPGs and of course 40k the main thing that my two are into are CCGs, so I guess I'd be in the same position as an average parent would be with their kids and 40k. If I hadn't been able to get an introductory demo game for Yu-Gi-Oh hosted at a con I'd have not known where to start or what to get as a starting point and as for the rules. Now extrapolate that to Warhammer that is an order of magnitude more diverse due to the hobby aspect...

I very much see the GW stores as permanent entry points to the hobby (rather than relying on transient demonstrators as with Yu-Gi-Oh) and without them a whole raft of people would never get into the hobby, even if they do end up moving onto other things. I'm not pretending that stores (both LGS and GW) aren't ultimately there to make money but without them how long would the hobby exist at the same scale as it is now?

The way that GW markets itself is poor, but I do not see that as an issue with the stores themselves, they are there to facilitate the hobby, and offer passive, almost subliminal stimulation of demand from passing trade. The problem is where and how to advertise, but that is a topic for another thread, although one thing I will suggest is that they do need to urgently have a presence at the UK con scene (at least I've never seen them anywhere in an official capacity).
The GW stores in the UK make more then just sense as there aren't really that much indies around.
And I agree that hobby stores are important.
I doesn't have to be a GW store all the time though. I got into the hobby through an indie (and friends) and not through a GW store.

Templar Ben
01-06-2008, 23:33
Just to be clear up front I'm only speaking from a UK perspective on this as I don't have an experience of the other markets.

I consider myself a reasonably clued up parent when it comes to just about any sort of game that my kids want to play but when it comes to CCGs I'm totally blind as they have never appealed to me. Apart from RPGs and of course 40k the main thing that my two are into are CCGs, so I guess I'd be in the same position as an average parent would be with their kids and 40k. If I hadn't been able to get an introductory demo game for Yu-Gi-Oh hosted at a con I'd have not known where to start or what to get as a starting point and as for the rules. Now extrapolate that to Warhammer that is an order of magnitude more diverse due to the hobby aspect...

I very much see the GW stores as permanent entry points to the hobby (rather than relying on transient demonstrators as with Yu-Gi-Oh) and without them a whole raft of people would never get into the hobby, even if they do end up moving onto other things. I'm not pretending that stores (both LGS and GW) aren't ultimately there to make money but without them how long would the hobby exist at the same scale as it is now?

The way that GW markets itself is poor, but I do not see that as an issue with the stores themselves, they are there to facilitate the hobby, and offer passive, almost subliminal stimulation of demand from passing trade. The problem is where and how to advertise, but that is a topic for another thread, although one thing I will suggest is that they do need to urgently have a presence at the UK con scene (at least I've never seen them anywhere in an official capacity).

See that is a funny thing to say from the US perspective. D&D is the biggest RPG. No stores. Pokimon, Duel Masters, Magic, and Yu-Gi-Oh were all very successful. No stores. PP is very popular with a dedicated fan base. As someone else said before, no stores.

Stores are for retail. There are much more efficient ways to grow a brand.

VetSgtNamaan
02-06-2008, 00:57
Pretty much in Canada there might as well be zero GW presence since they only occupy a store in the largest cities. But as has been mentioned in many threads before the GW business model seems only to work in the UK. As much as fifth edition 40k seems to be cool the event that has all my attention currently is the release of 4th edition d&d.

Templar Ben
02-06-2008, 01:07
The release of 4th is huge here and I am in a GW city. The local game store (not the Bunker obviously) gave out a prize to the guy that was the 100th preorder of the bookset (PHB, DMG, MM). This is not that big of a city.

People seem to really be excited.

BrianC
02-06-2008, 05:44
See that is a funny thing to say from the US perspective. D&D is the biggest RPG. No stores. Pokimon, Duel Masters, Magic, and Yu-Gi-Oh were all very successful. No stores. PP is very popular with a dedicated fan base. As someone else said before, no stores.

Stores are for retail. There are much more efficient ways to grow a brand.I'd suggest, completely unsubstantiated, that D&D is still trading on its former boom years and that the majority of players either originate from then or are descendants (i.e., brought into the hobby by an original player or somebody they brought in). I also thought, and again I've not checked so I might be wrong, that D&D was going through a slump, I'd direct that to the lack of LGS and erosion of existing fan base to alternatives.

Things like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh have dedicated TV programs, films, massive selling computer games all acting as conduits into their hobby parts. 40K has Soul Storm. Also the cost of entry into those games is much much cheaper, I brought two Yu-Gi-Oh starter decks for £10, Battle for Macragge is £50 with the paint set. Its also possible to pick them up at many more places (including Newsagents in the UK) than you can pick up Warhammer products, and they are played in playgrounds, which you can't really say for Warhammer. I don't feel that with this wide availability and high levels of marketing you can really compare the lack of dedicated shops in the UK.

I'd also argue that the majority of people playing Magic, PP and so on have either switched (so already brought into the hobby via something like Pokemon or Warhammer) or been inducted by existing players. I'd be very interested in the stats around genuinely new players to both systems and compare that against Pokemon/Warhammer.

I would maintain that the stores (again only from a UK perspective) are a key part of attracting brand new players to the hobby, and then keeping them there. Aside from TV, films, or other gamers playing where are you going to be exposed to them?

Gaebriel
02-06-2008, 09:17
Sorry for that somewhat off topic question, but it just occured to me - without/with very few generic games stores present, how large are the roleplaying and trading card scenes in the UK?

Over here the scenes seem largely intertwined, I myself and most people that started with me learned of GW from other roleplayers. Though that was in the 90s ;)

I would think the UK market is structured another way - with GW being a household name(?), GW stores may fill the same role of 'community hubs' as indys do in other countries. I wonder if GW could be successful with a franchise - though the possibility of only selling one company's products would possibly drive many investors away...

Etienne de Beaugard
02-06-2008, 10:25
I'd suggest, completely unsubstantiated, that D&D is still trading on its former boom years and that the majority of players either originate from then or are descendants (i.e., brought into the hobby by an original player or somebody they brought in). [/QUOTE]

While I don't think there is a way to check this, I know that every major bookseller chain in the U.S. stocks D&D and White Wolf games and those stocks generally consist of 'core' books. If D&D is just surviving on its former boom years, then that was some boom.

On Topic - GW TTWGs have a larger space requirement than either RPGs or CCGs. Two players require at least a 4'x4' table, with 4'x6' being preferable. They also really need some type of common meeting location where opponents can meet and play.

As long as GW can promote places for people to play their games, they'll be fine. The GW stores are one venue for this, but at least in the U.S. the FLGS serves the same purpose.

At least in the U.S., GW stores are millstones around the company's neck. The same services are provided to players in an extensive network of FLGS, and those indie stores have already built customer loyalty. With the exception of some 'bunker' stores in major U.S. cities, GW should abandon the local store idea in the U.S.

The Phazer
02-06-2008, 11:08
Sorry for that somewhat off topic question, but it just occured to me - without/with very few generic games stores present, how large are the roleplaying and trading card scenes in the UK?

The trading card scene is reasonably large, but trading cards are carried by newsagents and supermarkets in a way that anything as bulky as miniatures. Cards are like cigarettes (and frequently sold next to each other…) - small sized high value items that have their own checkout.

Other than that and a few comic book shops that supplement their income, there are no indie roleplaying or trading card retailers in the UK. Roleplaying materials are carried in comic book shops or in the **** end of Borders.

In all seriousness, while there might be one or two dotted around I've lived in several major cities in my life and travel around a fair bit (the UK isn't that big a country). I'm only aware of the existance of a single independent wargames retail store in the UK that isn't GW (which is Orcs Nest in Covent Garden. And it's pretty small). There are a few toyshops that sell GW products, but they're not anywhere that would ever carry blister packs or have gaming tables.

There is no indie scene in the UK. GW stores are absolutely crucial in this market. There would literally be no hobby without them, and with them they're a household name. Other markets may vary.

Phazer

blongbling
02-06-2008, 11:27
what do you mean there is no indie scene in the UK, are you mad? Thre are hundreds of indies in the UK, pick up WD and have a look...ignoring that they have about 150 toy stores that they deal with that still leaves a lot of inides.....

Gaebriel
02-06-2008, 11:49
So it's essentially, that for the indys in the UK it's not worthwhile to carry GW-products, with the company stores around, respectively it's not feasible for them to offer equivalent gaming space?

Would that change, if GW stores were no more?

ryntyrr
02-06-2008, 12:17
Actually in this day and age for GW to return to long term growth and good profitability isn't that hard at all. It is actually very very easy.

As a succesful policy advisor, my advice will stay with me. Nothing in this world is free and regarding GW I think that's as true as it gets.

But I give cudos to posters who are deeply passionate about the welfare of GW and are worried about it's very poor and sickly state.

Do those in the paid jobs in GW know how to return to strong growth?....... For me it's a massive question mark slowly turning into an exclamation mark.

13th!

Brother Loki
02-06-2008, 14:48
There are about 20 or so actual independent games shops (as opposed to toy, book or comic shops with a rack of gaming stuff) in the UK, if that. I used to run one.

The most popular RPGs (D&D, WFRP, WoD) are sold in chains of bookshops like Waterstones (who now also now stock a small range of GW products), Borders and Forbidden Planet. Kids' CCGs like YuGiOh are sold everywhere, but more mature CCGs and less well know RPGs are restricted to the specialist game stores, as are the other minis games like Warmachine, Infinity, Confrontation etc.

GW didn't kill off indie stores in the UK, because they were THE gaming stores up until they started concentrating on their own products in the early 90s. Most of the RPGers I know are in their 30s and 40s, and got their first exposure to things like D&D from GW shops, or their kids. There never were more than a handful of indies.

In the UK, the stores are definitely responsible for their success, but I miss the days when they were proper games shops. I'd love for GW retail to be spun off as a separate company, and to start stocking other products again. That would really grow the industry in this country.

BrianC
02-06-2008, 15:48
I'd suggest, completely unsubstantiated, that D&D is still trading on its former boom years and that the majority of players either originate from then or are descendants (i.e., brought into the hobby by an original player or somebody they brought in).

While I don't think there is a way to check this, I know that every major bookseller chain in the U.S. stocks D&D and White Wolf games and those stocks generally consist of 'core' books. If D&D is just surviving on its former boom years, then that was some boom. My point was that the majority of players either come from that boom period or are one or two descendants removed from the original boom period, not that just the original players are the majority. Getting brand new players into D&D who don't already know at least one person who already plays is I think is much harder.

For D&D to work properly it requires medium term commitment from a number of people, Warhammer just requires two people for a one off game most of the time. Granted single shot RPG scenarios can work really well but then you're missing all of the character and team development so its not something that I like to do all the time. This means that the groups are more likely to stay together, at least in the medium term, for D&D than with Warhammer.

Emperor's Grace
02-06-2008, 16:19
Oh for the love of monty haul adventures....

I got into RPG's by buying a cool rulesbox, reading it and roping my brother into playing.

We played for 3 years-ish (adding a person or two here and there) before we met another group that played.

How do you think the boom occurred? D+D sets were picked up and figured out by kids all over.

Having a "friend in the know" helps but isn't necessary.

No one sat me down and taught me Axis and Allies or Shogun either. I bought the games and me and my friends read them and figured it out as we went.

Any group will stay together that has fun doing so. Maybe more key is that most D+D groups are geared to be cooperative rather than competitive?

OnT:

GW can't build enough stores in the US to accomplish what it did in the UK.

They should try mass marketing to toy and bookstores regardless of what they do to the GW stores.

VetSgtNamaan
02-06-2008, 16:53
Well without getting too off topic. Table top RPG's are a much easier sell than a table top wargame regardless of any social stigma associated. Since most companies only require you to buy one book even if it is a 50 dollar book you got everything you need to run your adventures. Compare that to the hundreds of dollars out will need to out fit a 40k army and then you are stuck to the one army. D&D is slightly different in you need at minimum 2 books (DMG and Players Handbook.) Most of course will buy the core three and more besides much like many 40k and fantasy players have more than one army.

The bust cycle was something that affected the rpg indutry as a whole when with the OGL there was a flood of third party products for D&D 3.0. A year or two after that alot of the smaller third party companies died off. Since there were so many companies with so many products of varying quality people picked and choosed carefully what they wanted. I know I bought a few things from mongoose and sword and sorcery but mostly just stuck to WoTC for my dnd purchases. The strength of D&D is an probably always will be that you could ask random people on the street and though they might not play it most people will have heard of it.

Certainly I got into dnd because a friend got the reb book for xmas one year and once we played it I was hooked. For Warhammer it was a much slower build I first started with mordheim which cost me knowing since I used my reaper minis' I have bought for dnd for my warband. Then when we switched to 40k alot of my friends gave me stuff or sold me units for literally pennies a fig so I would stick with it and not stop coming over for games night. It was only when the local game store enticed us to come play at his shop by staying open later on the night we picked to play. Initially offering to pay for our parking and providing free snacks that we shifted.

The Phazer
02-06-2008, 18:45
what do you mean there is no indie scene in the UK, are you mad? Thre are hundreds of indies in the UK, pick up WD and have a look...ignoring that they have about 150 toy stores that they deal with that still leaves a lot of inides.....

I'm reading through that list. There aren't a 150 of them in the first place. The vast (vast) majority are toyshops that have one stand of box sets. Another dozen are Hobbycrafts, that again are just an isle with box sets in a craft store and don't do gaming at all.

There can't be more than 20 stores on that list that are independent games retailers, and I'd wager ten of them aren't in reality and are just oddly named scale model shops etc.

Phazer

Etienne de Beaugard
02-06-2008, 20:56
My point was that the majority of players either come from that boom period or are one or two descendants removed from the original boom period, not that just the original players are the majority. Getting brand new players into D&D who don't already know at least one person who already plays is I think is much harder.


If you are referring to the original boom in the late 70s, nope, many people (myself included) picked up the game due to advertising, TV licenses and toy licenses.

Then there was the boom when people picked up the game in the late 80s when Dragonlance became hit. I knew a lot of players in college who got into the game on their own because of those books.

I'd pretty much stopped playing D&D by the time 3.) came out, so I don't have first hand experience with that surge.

The massive popularity of D&D in the RPG world combined with better social networking through the internet and the willingness of many bookstores with coffee-shop departments to allow games in store has made tapping into the existing network of gamers easier.

While your theory might be true, the ease of entry into current D&D circles might be masking the fact that new players would still try the game, even without access to current players.

Light of the Emperor
02-06-2008, 21:30
A quick note:

In the most recent US WD, there was a little paragraph encouraging gamers to support their local indie store by buying from them and playing there. GW has been increasing inititiatives to keep stores (both theirs and indies) afloat. Their "I want a store" campaign is still going and encourages gamers to go to their local store and request that GW products be carried and sold. Should they succeed, the gamers get battleforce equivalent boxsets for their troubles.

In the US it would be hard for GW to support enough of its own stores as this country is just too big. Indies are a crucial piece to the puzzle especially in states like mine where there are no GWs at all!

BrainFireBob
03-06-2008, 06:01
Perhaps GW has killed all others in the UK so take my comments to be US centric.

This is my understanding. It is also my impression they are trying to do the same in other markets, and are bewildered it is not successful. Of course, GW "conquered" the UK market prior to the gaming store boom, meaning they didn't so much kill competition as abort it.

BrianC
03-06-2008, 07:13
@Emperor's Grace, VetSgtNamaan & Etienne de Beaugard, fair points, I'd gone of on one of my usual tangents that made little sense and based too much on supposition. :(

Just wanted to pick up on these two points:

How do you think the boom occurred? D+D sets were picked up and figured out by kids all over.

Having a "friend in the know" helps but isn't necessary.

Any group will stay together that has fun doing so. Maybe more key is that most D+D groups are geared to be cooperative rather than competitive?How the boom started (for either company, after all GW owes pretty much everything to that initial D&D boom as well or they'd still be trading out of a bedroom) isn't the same as how either company grows now, its similar with starting a web company during the dot com bubble and how web companies start now, if that makes any sense.

I think that the co-op bit is part of it, as is the need for a larger group of people, and that because its usually campaign based its a longer term commitment. For Warhammer I can turn up randomly at most GW stores on the weekend and get a game reasonably quickly, complete it within an hour or so, rinse and repeat. I guess I'm trying to say that the two games have very different requirements to play, although I assume this will change as more people start gaming online with D&D with the new tools.

Sorry for taking the thread off topic, its just that I see the relationship between D&D, CCG, and Warhammer as symbiotic in that an interest in one will lead to others, but there still has to be an entry point into the hobby, somewhere safe and open for kids to play and learn about the hobby.

Hellebore
03-06-2008, 10:01
This is my understanding. It is also my impression they are trying to do the same in other markets, and are bewildered it is not successful. Of course, GW "conquered" the UK market prior to the gaming store boom, meaning they didn't so much kill competition as abort it.

In the 80s they were a successful gaming store franchise. So they spread, being able to sell all the games from abroad. Then they made their own stuff and dropped all the non GW stuff.

So they originally filled the gamestore niche in the UK (it was their original purpose) which meant no other games stores were started, the GW franchise WAS the games store. Then when they dropped everything but their own products, it stalled everything.

They put themselves in a favourable position selling other peoples' products and then used that cut them out and sell only their own stuff.

It'd be like Walmart spreading across the planet selling thousands of different brand products and then, when they were EVERYWHERE, started selling only Walmart brand toasters, bed sheets etc.

Suddenly the place you went to buy stuff only sold its own brand...

Hellebore

lanrak
03-06-2008, 16:31
Hi.
Hellebore is absolutley spot on with his potted history of GW B&M stores.

I realise there is a need for places for gamers to play and hobiests to meet.

However , if the majority of sales was through the online stores, and only major hobby centres /battle bunker type establishments were the main public inter face of GW hobby.(Rather than cramped shops with small gaming tables , pushy sales men and screaming kids...:rolleyes:)

GW could work with education authorities to sponsor 'in school' games , get the kids into simple maths through gaming sort of thing.

EG if a maths teacher wants to introduce Wh/40K to thier school , they get a 'educational discount' on every army bough through the school.

Why not let enthusiastic gamers set up local games clubs , helped by 'GW staff.'

If the majority of the B&M stores were cosed GW products could be sold at at a more reasonable price(about half current RRP.)

If this was done GW gets far wider exposure to thier target demographic, and more gamers get better value for money from GW.

In short 'retail sales' could be seperated from 'hands on hobby support'.

So only those actualy using the 'hands on hobby support' pay for this service,(if applicable).Poeple just wanting to buy products pay a more realistic price,by NOT having to subsidise the inefficient/ innefective areas of GW PLC.

t-tauri
03-06-2008, 17:24
In the 80s they were a successful gaming store franchise. So they spread, being able to sell all the games from abroad. Then they made their own stuff and dropped all the non GW stuff.

So they originally filled the gamestore niche in the UK (it was their original purpose) which meant no other games stores were started, the GW franchise WAS the games store. Then when they dropped everything but their own products, it stalled everything.

They were never a franchise and they weren't the first Games stores in the UK. They actually exterminated the competition in concert with Virgin.

Hi.
Hellebore is absolutley spot on with his potted history of GW B&M stores.
No. He isn't.

GW started as importers of games like D&D to the UK. They supplied the trade but there were other importers and other Games Shops. Most UK towns had their own Game Shops as independents mostly built on the D&D/RPG boom. Games of Liverpool and Toppers of Chester were the local ones to me. Look in an early White Dwarf or Imagine and there are adverts for literally dozens of UK shops in each issue, none of which were run by GW. D&D was later imported by TSR UK independent of GW.

As GW started to roll out their own stores to places like Manchester and Birmingham there were competing indie shops already there and also a competing chain called Games Centre rolled out from a central London store, eventually taken over by Virgin.

What GW/Virgin did was strangle out the competition in the local town as they opened. They had imported Games from the US and GW releases first so they put pressure on the independents and eventually largely wiped them out.

I know that in Liverpool they put Games of Liverpool under pressure by importing new Grenadier releases from the US (Games had the UK import licence) and selling them at a large markdown (almost at trade prices) only in the Liverpool store. This was a contributing factor in Games closing down as was intense competition on both price and other new releases from GW and the Virgin Games Centre. A similar thing happened in Chester. Manchester kept it's own indie as part of a model shop for a while.

A similar thing occured in many other towns as the indies were closed in the face of competition from Games Workshop and Virgin Games Centre. Virgin stopped stocking games as the constantly changing product lines didn't realise enough profit for them. When GW switched to own brand only then most UK towns were left without an indie hence the huge dominance of GW stores across the UK.

Temprus
03-06-2008, 18:46
See that is a funny thing to say from the US perspective. D&D is the biggest RPG. No stores. Pokimon, Duel Masters, Magic, and Yu-Gi-Oh were all very successful. No stores. PP is very popular with a dedicated fan base. As someone else said before, no stores.

Stores are for retail. There are much more efficient ways to grow a brand.
GW had sales that were close to twice WotC's last year. If Space Marines truly are 50% of GW sales (which I doubt but would not be surprised to be wrong), then they almost out sold WotC by themselves, and 40k certainly did. :wtf:

GW has "weak" sales in the US (for its population size). Guess where they have "minimal" store penetration (and some really "silly" reseller rules). I live in Las Vegas, we have a GT but no GW store (which is weird for many reasons). I don't really have a local game store either (the three closet to me are very friendly but very far from local). GW, PLEASE come and "represses" us here in Vegas. :angel:

WotC had stores, but D&D/Magic and such were not "good enough" to sustain them (charging full price did not help any either), so "Hasbro forced" WotC to drop them. ;) They owned conventions (their "Games Days/Grand Tournaments" equivalents) too, but they sold most of them off (and have recently bought back into them).

PP and WM (and their ilk) don't sell at a scale that can really be used to compare them properly to GW or vice versa (D&D or Magic, by themselves, barely do for that matter).

Templar Ben
03-06-2008, 22:20
GW had sales that were close to twice WotC's last year. If Space Marines truly are 50% of GW sales (which I doubt but would not be surprised to be wrong), then they almost out sold WotC by themselves, and 40k certainly did. :wtf:

Can you source that? Hasbro doesn't show WotC worldwide sales separately. I have a friend at WalMart and he gave me some interesting numbers for HeroScape and that is just one game that is under WotC sold through WalMart.


GW has "weak" sales in the US (for its population size). Guess where they have "minimal" store penetration (and some really "silly" reseller rules). I live in Las Vegas, we have a GT but no GW store (which is weird for many reasons). I don't really have a local game store either (the three closet to me are very friendly but very far from local). GW, PLEASE come and "represses" us here in Vegas. :angel:

See you are implying a causation of few GW stores (but plenty of ability to purchase due to the net) and therefore low sales. Perhaps a better cause is strong competition since so many in the UK say that it is GW or nothing.


WotC had stores, but D&D/Magic and such were not "good enough" to sustain them (charging full price did not help any either), so "Hasbro forced" WotC to drop them. ;) They owned conventions (their "Games Days/Grand Tournaments" equivalents) too, but they sold most of them off (and have recently bought back into them).

Wizards did try to do retail. It was not their core competency and the business people told them to stop it. That is what business people do. Business people ensure you make money.


PP and WM (and their ilk) don't sell at a scale that can really be used to compare them properly to GW or vice versa (D&D or Magic, by themselves, barely do for that matter).

So you think Hasbro is keeping a division that doesn't sell? Interesting.

Temprus
03-06-2008, 23:22
Can you source that? Hasbro doesn't show WotC worldwide sales separately.

Here is one of the places you can look at the sales:
http://www.hoovers.com/wizards-of-the-coast/--ID__44995--/free-co-factsheet.xhtml

WotC's full financials are readily available for purchase, one of the job perks I have is access to such things.


I have a friend at WalMart and he gave me some interesting numbers for HeroScape and that is just one game that is under WotC sold through WalMart.
Not quite, WotC just took over HeroScape, officially, in February, it was sold by Hasbro itself before that. People forget that Hasbro and WotC are separate companies, one is just a subsidiary of the other.


See you are implying a causation of few GW stores (but plenty of ability to purchase due to the net) and therefore low sales. Perhaps a better cause is strong competition since so many in the UK say that it is GW or nothing.
I did not say it was low sales, I said it was "weak" based on population size (USA has about 5 to 6 times the population of UK but GW sold a few million pounds less here in 2007). GW could do a lot better here but the lack of awareness of GW to the general public and some "bad" reseller policies hold them back (among other things). GW US is the only store that can "legally" sell new GW product online in the US, as per GW US policy. Where GW has actual stores, they sell more (dropping quite a few of the silly reseller rules would help US sells also, as they would open up the internet for "strong" sales).


Wizards did try to do retail. It was not their core competency and the business people told them to stop it. That is what business people do. Business people ensure you make money.
The Game Keeper stores were not meant to be for RPGs or such, they were originally for Board/Card/Specialty games, especially unusual ones that would appeal to people in their 30s, 40s. Gaming stuff crept in slowly and then they were bought out (I don't remember if WotC bought them directly or inherited them from buying someone else).

When they were rebranded, it was WotC product mostly, then later, only. That is when they started to become "unprofitable" and Hasbro told them to dump them.


So you think Hasbro is keeping a division that doesn't sell? Interesting.
Never said that. WotC sells well for what is invested into it. Magic outsells D&D (or at least did, that might change for this year with the new edition change). Warhammer 40k, by itself, outsells WotC (at least in 2007). Pokemon actually outsold ALL other WotC products for a few years in a row and was one of the main reasons Hasbro wanted WotC. Then the craze died, just as GW is "suffering" from LotR's craze ending.

Crazy Harborc
04-06-2008, 00:55
The (mis)handling of the indies stocking GW products in the USA has mad most regular US hobbyshop owners well aware of GW and it's products. The same can be said for comic, board/roleplaying/card games, non-GW product gaming stores. I know several owners of "indie stores". All but one are already EX- retail indie outlets of GW products.

New inexperienced younger indie owners might be willing to try/trust GW the corporation. What GW did to online indie owners, various practices/policies affecting indie stores implimented by GW did not help. Companies are judged by their corporate actions.

Hellebore
04-06-2008, 01:16
They were never a franchise and they weren't the first Games stores in the UK. They actually exterminated the competition in concert with Virgin.
No. He isn't.

By franchise I meant the name, not selling shops to independents. It's used quite interchangably these days.

I don't believe I said they were the first game store either, simply that the history I have read about them indicates they were created originally to BE a games store importing (generally) American stuff.

Because of their original purpose they expanded due to demand, until they dropped everyone elses products and only sold theirs. So they rewarded customer demand and loyalty by restricting what they could buy.

It's a rather interesting strategy, one I think only worked because of the time.

EDIT: As for the other shops around at the time, what exactly was it about Games Workshop that put it ahead of the pack? It was started by two guys in their garage.

They had to have some advantage. If it was getting stuff quicker than Virgin - how? It strikes me that they simply played their brand VERY well, built up an image on their name. Did any other games shop produce its own magazine? That would certainly have pulled people into the shops.

Hellebore

BrainFireBob
04-06-2008, 05:18
Steve Jackson is very in tune with the gamer market. He's started how many successful game franchises?

In addition to being a GW founder, he also wrote GURPS and currently runs Steve Jackson games, perhaps best known for Munchkin.

I agree it was one part the times, and one part Jackson definitely always knew what the next big thing would be and was prepared for it when it hit.

Hellebore
04-06-2008, 05:20
Are you sure that's the same Jackson? I'm pretty sure there are two Steve Jacksons, and the one that runs Steve Jackson games isn't actually the founder of gamesworkshop...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jackson_%28UK_game_designer%29


Hellebore

BrainFireBob
04-06-2008, 06:33
Hunh. Here I thought they were the same person.

Obviously, if I want to succeed in game design, I need to go down and have my name legally changed.

IJW
04-06-2008, 09:02
I don't believe I said they were the first game store either, simply that the history I have read about them indicates they were created originally to BE a games store importing (generally) American stuff.
GW were originally importers without any shop at all.


Because of their original purpose they expanded due to demand, until they dropped everyone elses products and only sold theirs. So they rewarded customer demand and loyalty by restricting what they could buy.

It's a rather interesting strategy, one I think only worked because of the time.
My perception is that it was more the other way around - the number of stores in the UK grew with or after the switch to GW-only. t-tauri might disagree with me here.

WD111 (March 1989) had 17 GW stores in the UK, ads for independent stores and GW selling all sorts.

WD128 (August 1990) had already lost all references to non-GW goods (including SF & F novel reviews) and no longer carried ads for other stores or games, just a listing of independent GW stockists. I'm pretty sure all non-GW games had gone from the stores by this stage. 22 UK stores.

By WD154 (1992) GW was selling purely GW stuff and had jumped to 39 UK stores.


EDIT: As for the other shops around at the time, what exactly was it about Games Workshop that put it ahead of the pack? It was started by two guys in their garage.

They had to have some advantage.
[...]
Did any other games shop produce its own magazine? That would certainly have pulled people into the shops.
I think you have it the wrong way around (at least for the late Eighties/early Nineties) - no other games company and magazine had a series of stores. ;)

In this time period the models were consistently better than most other manufacturers, easier to get hold of (in the UK), the rules were generally more playable and enjoyable than alternatives, anyone interested in painting or modelling had the 'Eavy Metal team to look up to (until Bryan Ansell took the entire studio miniature collection with him) and White Dwarf was still one of the leading gaming magazines if, like me, you didn't like Dragon (TSR's in-house magazine).
Then add in the richness/breadth of Warhammer & 40k - there was plenty of 'straight' SF gaming around but science fantasy gaming was almost non-existent, and fantasy wargaming largely consisted of people using historical wargames rules or Reaper which was effectively Warhammer 0 (written by Ansell).

Basically, GW were the first TTG company to combine games rules, their own background (regardless of how derivative some of it was), figures and shops all in one company/brand.

Gaebriel
04-06-2008, 10:40
So, taking as a fact that the stores are a hub for community activity, and next to indispensable for a part of the community - if GW slowly closed their stores, wouldn't that leave a void, but a void that could/would quickly be filled by independent game stores? Or would those have problems swinging the community towards an environment which offered more than GW's products - would they find a market for anything other than GW at all?

For GW it would mean a loss in market control (monopoly), but a huge cutback in expenses - so probably less turnover but more profit, and they could then work to grow again on a more suitable business model.

I mean, X GW stores with a customer size of Y missing would leave perhaps not space for X indy stores, but at least part of the customers Y that wouldn't switch to direct only.

Speaking for the UK market here.

The Phazer
04-06-2008, 12:47
So, taking as a fact that the stores are a hub for community activity, and next to indispensable for a part of the community - if GW slowly closed their stores, wouldn't that leave a void, but a void that could/would quickly be filled by independent game stores?

I doubt it, certainly in the current economic climate.


Or would those have problems swinging the community towards an environment which offered more than GW's products - would they find a market for anything other than GW at all?

I think you'd find that a significant (and by significant I mean majority) of that market would simply disappear period, taken by video games et al. One would note that large amounts of GW's custom comes from under 16s, and a big part of that is helped by the fact that GW effectively acts as a babysitting service that a lot of parents are quite content to leave their tween children with. It is (save for the costs of them buying models) effectively "free", lets them play with their peers and parents have the confidence of knowing that GW is a major national chain with a good reputation and all it's staff are (importantly) CJB checked that they're suitable for working with children in the same way teachers are. A collection of indie stores will never be able replicate that (indeed, I suspect it's why the few indies I'm aware of don't have any gaming tables or much in the way of in store events), and so this market will probably just disappear.


For GW it would mean a loss in market control (monopoly), but a huge cutback in expenses - so probably less turnover but more profit, and they could then work to grow again on a more suitable business model.
I don’t think there is a more suitable business model in the UK - frankly I think GW's growth is curtailed simply by the population number at some point and they're not far off it, such is the model's success. Cutting turnover would just let that number be stolen by other hobbies such as video games, and the minor profit increase would in no way begin to compensate for it.


Phazer

lanrak
04-06-2008, 16:28
Hi.
So basicaly everone who buys GW products is subsidising all the 'little Johnnys' babysitting costs!

Seriously all GW customers are are paying for all the support given in GW stores , even if they NEVER go into a GW store ?
And subsidising the appauling WD print runs?

Why not promote GW games in schools, ( with special rates for products purchased on the school account.)

Have the GW Shops as hobby centers where you PAY to PLAY.(And are able to order online the items not carried by the shop,and get free delivery perhaps?.)

I mean a nominal sum of X per hour per table?

If the people using the GW shops paid for the servises they use.(Or paid a percentage towards it.)

Rather than everyone bearing the costs , irrespective of wether thay use the GW shop or not.

I can see its a catch 22 situataion for GW. The stores force up the RRP to cover operating costs, but form a closed market which is more likley to accept high mark up low turn over buisness.

Where as if GW closed the B&M stores they would have to switch to a low mark up high turn over buisness.

And most other plastic manufacturing buisnesses run on high turnover low mark up AFAIK.

Templar Ben
04-06-2008, 17:04
Temprus, I trust Hoovers. Haven't used them in several years but I am very familiar with them.

Thank you.

t-tauri
04-06-2008, 17:13
I don't believe I said they were the first game store either, simply that the history I have read about them indicates they were created originally to BE a games store importing (generally) American stuff.They started selling stuff mail order and ran a magazine Owl and Weasel for (mainly) D&D. The Dalling Road, London retail shop came next, then WD and with WD 11 in 1979 came Citadel (http://www.solegends.com/citadel/citadelhistory.htm). GW supplied a variety of products to the UK trade but there were other importers and a number of shops selling other wargames figures like Minifigs (who started me gaming in 1974 with their SF and Middle Earth ranges).
EDIT: As for the other shops around at the time, what exactly was it about Games Workshop that put it ahead of the pack? It was started by two guys in their garage.

They had to have some advantage. If it was getting stuff quicker than Virgin - how? It strikes me that they simply played their brand VERY well, built up an image on their name. Did any other games shop produce its own magazine? That would certainly have pulled people into the shops.
Games of Liverpool who imported FGU, Grenadier and FASA to the UK had Adventurer magazine. TSR UK had some success and their own newstand magazine Imagine (basically a UK version of Dragon with local content).

Virgin Games Centres and Games Workshops pretty much wiped out the indies in many of the large metropolitan areas. I know that the indie shops in Chester, Birkenhead and Liverpool all closed in the early eighties and many others went down in other places.

The two chains had a cost saving as they got stock at wholesaler prices, they got new releases faster than the competition and they weren't above dirty tricks like cutting price on competitor's stronger lines. The chains would often open shops near retailers who were buying lots of stock from their wholesale arms and then "steal" the customers from the original shop. The indies tested and built the market then the two chains muscled them out of it.

Particularly with RPGs the sales of new stuff are where most of your profit comes from. The competing Indies were left with money tied up in new stock that their customers had bought the week before at a lower price from Virgin or GW. Eventually the indies went down.

Only a few very strong or bulletproof indies survived, mostly those with strong RPG player bases or deep pocketed owners. Virgin then moved to concentrate on computer games, video and music sales, stopping retailing and importing board and wargames. Games Workshop went GW only and many UK towns were thus left with only GW stores and GW products.
So basicaly everone who buys GW products is subsidising all the 'little Johnnys' babysitting costs!

Seriously all GW customers are are paying for all the support given in GW stores , even if they NEVER go into a GW store ?
In the UK the GW stores pretty much drive gaming recruitment. People who've never seen other wargaming minis know of "Warhammers". They are entering the dictionary and the common conciousness.

I'd guess that 80-90% of the under 30s gamers in the UK-RPGers, conventional historical wargamers, whatever- started with GW and only moved to other systems or styles when they encountered the internet or found a club. It's where much of the new UK blood comes from.

Without those stores I believe GW UK sales would dive. The stores might be bordering on the red in the balance sheets but without the new gamers started by them the company would be IMO be much worse off.

There aren't enough Indies in the UK to support GW's sales. Many of the UK indies are tiny "hole in the wall" style market stalls or model shops. Few have the gaming space or staff to support playing games in store. The few that do support CCG gaming more than miniatures.

If GW closed its' UK stores there isn't the infrastructure to support anything like the current level of sales. There's be no new recruitment. In the current climate where the internet discounter is king you'd have to be mad or independently wealthy to start a new indie store to try and fill the vacuum.
The old adage
"How do you make a million running a game store?"
"Start with two million."
seems rather apt.

IJW
04-06-2008, 19:54
I'd guess that 80-90% of the under 30s gamers in the UK-RPGers, conventional historical wargamers, whatever- started with GW and only moved to other systems or styles when they encountered the internet or found a club. It's where much of the new UK blood comes from.
That fits with my experience as well. It's hard for people outside the UK to imagine quite how pervasive GW is over here - a bit under 120 GW stores in a country 900 miles long... It's not quite a high street brand like Woolworths or Marks & Spencer but it's getting on for being a household name even to non-gamers.



The old adage
"How do you make a million running a game store?"
"Start with two million."
seems rather apt.
Only too true. :(

Mad Doc Grotsnik
05-06-2008, 21:20
Hi all.
I was just wondering if the GW B&M stores are a vital part of GWs operation?
Or if they have become an unecissary burden?

I understand they help introduce new people into 'the hobby'.
And provide a meeting place for gamers etc.:D

But without the massive overheads of the B&M stores.
GW could sell thier products online for a fraction of the current prices.:eek:
So would more people be atracted to GW products due to far lower price points.

(Obviously 'hobby events' would still be held at WW, and other venues.)

The stores were a very good way to grow the buisness prior to the 'internet explosion'.

But are they still a cost effecive way of growing the GW buisness?

Please feel free to post your reasons for or against.

TTFN
Lanrak.

Very much a bit of both.

The stores offer real market presence, and one totally free of competition. I'm sure there are many high street chains who would kill to be anywhere near as dominant in their market as dominant as GW are in theirs. And considering that wargaming is about the most tactile hobby there is, I don't see the internet being as dominant compared to it's usual strongpoints when it comes to sales.