View Full Version : Thoughts on possible new store in cornwall

08-02-2009, 22:14
i am looking to open a hobby store in the near future.

this is not advertising. its just abit of research.

it will be situated in north cornwall.

just like to see what people think?

is this a good idea?

what should it be called?

what should it stock?

what should the store consist of?

would you or anyone you know use it?

and any other thoughts and opinions welcome.

Laser guided fanatic
09-02-2009, 20:12
Well there isn't much direct competition from GW as the only GW in cornwall is in Truro (i think). If you provided more than just the retail services then i think you could do well. However, advertising would be a bit of a problem you would have to think about that.

09-02-2009, 20:24
i think i am going to create a website and advertise locally aswell.

after talking to the GW rep he thinks i have a great plan with a huge catchment area.
looking at even offering a pro painting service aswell as games tables , intros, demos and nights

09-02-2009, 22:18
The absolute most important thing is to run it as a business and make all your decisions on that basis - I've known several people who opened gaming stores in the South West and run into problems because they basically treated it like their own gaming club. Also there's quite a bit of competition once you get up into Devon, between GW stores in Torquay, Plymouth & Exeter, plus quite a few other gaming stores (two-and-a-bit in Exeter alone).

Not necessarily bad timing to start something gaming-related, though, with a bit of luck you should be able to haggle quite a bit with things like rent.

10-02-2009, 01:11
Well I had the chance to open a store a couple of years back (I decided against BTW). I reckoned that I had to have a turnover of 3000 a week to make it work. There were some other people interested and they did open it up. They have now closed down and at least one of them has gone bankrupt.
I run a web store and I get about 2000 a week turnover from that, with much less costs than a physical store.
So the real question guess would be, why do you want to have a shop that needs someone sitting there ready to deal with customers, whether there are any or not?
All my experience would indicate that its a suicidal path but then I could be wrong.
The only reason I could see to make it worth having a shop, is so that people can come to play games. If you can get them to buy stuff thats a bonus but you should plan on making your money from selling gaming facilities. That is of course the best thing to sell, nothing and make money out of it. I think there is a game shop in Manchester which does very well with this business model.
It has to look attractive to bring people in and be kept clean.

10-02-2009, 13:02
Where abouts in north cornwall? Are we talking Bude way or closer to Plymouth? Plymouth already has both a GW store and at least one independent stockist (or did). Truro further south has one. If you were to go for Penzance you might have a whack at it, and Bude/Barnstable way is also a fair slog from any other GW stockists. Other than that you're either looking at places with too small a population and/or too close to a GW store. Personally if it was me I'd be looking at going into the internet store business, just because of the vast potential client base (rather than regional) and the ability to avoid renting shop floor space on the high street.

10-02-2009, 13:27
I'd say internet business would be better. Trago Mills does lots of discount GW stuff, as well as the fact that most retail in Cornwall is tourism based so for a good few months it's gonna be mighty quiet.

10-02-2009, 15:48
Be wary of GW Sales Reps - they want to sell you everything but have you sell nothing. I have seen the list of stock that independent stockists can get in and it is laughable. Apart from the discount I would not be dependent solely on GW and would consider approaching other Miniature companies such as Privateer Press, FOW - hell maybe even Rackham.

Remember that you are not in bed with GW only and it is your shop.

Good luck.


10-02-2009, 16:01
the range of products that the GW sales reps offer you is the top selling lines....that is a great thing for a store to have in stock, fast turnover and a decent margin.

This range is almost identical to the range offered by the GW stores as well....

Brother Loki
10-02-2009, 16:26
Indie stockists can order the same range as GW stores can. The trade sales department is in competition with GW retail, so they have no vested interest in making your life hard, especially as sales through indies are more profitable for GW than sales through its own stores.

I heartily agree that moving into other miniatures ranges, as well as CCGs, roleplaying and board games, is the way to go. Don't rely on being purely a GW reseller. You will want to talk to distributors about these things, not get them direct from manufacturers on the whole. For minis, the main UK indie distributor is Simple Miniature Games, and for CCGs, RPGs and board games etc it's Esdevium Games.

11-02-2009, 08:58
Indie stockists can order the same range as GW stores can. The trade sales department is in competition with GW retail, so they have no vested interest in making your life hard, especially as sales through indies are more profitable for GW than sales through its own stores.

i can assure you that there is no "competition" between the trade sales department and retail chain with GW UK. To say that shows a complete lack of knowledge and udnerstanding of how GW works together as a business.

If you want to discuss this more with me then id say take it to PM


The Ape
11-02-2009, 10:12
If there was "competition" between retail and trade then myself and some of my colleagues wouldn't have been allowed to help out trade sales with painting armies and doing demonstration days!

11-02-2009, 12:27
Before you open a shop, work out what all your costs will be. Make sure that you have to only turn over a realistic amount. I've done some calculations that mean I had to turnover 2000+ a week just to cover my costs. As already said, do not stick to GW only.

The problem is however, that more and more of the other companies will not trade with online only stores. Simple Miniature Games will not deal with any online only traders and Battlefront Miniatures (Flames of War) will not open an account unless you have a physical shop. The best bet is a small shop with online sales. The problem you have though is that the market is being flooded with online stores offering silly discounts (I've seen 40% off on some stores!). This is one reason that companies are no longer or will not deal with online only traders as they are killing smaller hobby shops off.

Being a trader myself, if you need any help or advice, then PM me and I'll help you if I can. I would personally love to see more hobby shops about.

11-02-2009, 21:56
Hang on TRAGO does discount GW stuff, wow.... I used to live in the South West but have had to relocate because of work..What doesn't Trago stock, LOL..

I guess the best places would be Bude, Newquay both would get tourist business during the summer. Barnstable is good, though North Devon, Okehampton could also be ok.

You could go Sat.Ives, would have good business during the summer months, but it does tend to be a bit dead in winter. Other possible places could be Illfracombe, though don't know how busy you'd be, Wadebridge, Bodmin, Bideford or go south to Falmouth.

12-02-2009, 01:21
Have you ever worked retail before? If not stop right now. Have you had ANY type of business training? Even if its just reading a book? I just ask because you would be surprised at how many people haven't.

Come up with a good business plan, sell more than just GW stuff, run it like a business not your club. Have a neat attractive store oh yea...and remember to bathe. I went into my local store tonight and almost got knocked over by the owners stench.

Brother Loki
12-02-2009, 14:45
i can assure you that there is no "competition" between the trade sales department and retail chain with GW UK. To say that shows a complete lack of knowledge and udnerstanding of how GW works together as a business.

Fair enough, I know from your informed posts that you're more in the loop about current GW sales and management than I am. I do recall our GW rep saying something to that effect when I expressed surprise at their enthusiasm for giving us a trade account despite being only about 100 yards down the road from GW's Southampton store. That was 3 years ago however, so things may well have been different then. Alternatively he may just have meant that GW was happy to see additional retailers stocking the product, even if they appeared to be 'in competition' with their own stores, or perhaps he meant it in the same way that different business units (such as different stores) are typically in competition to be the highest turnover store in a region etc.

I still think that the rest of my post stands though. GW wants indies to succeed. Indies can order the same stuff as GW stores, which mainly means stuff that is likely to sell in reasonable quantities, not sit on a shelf for years.

12-02-2009, 17:48
GW wants indies to succeed.

Now, perhaps. Certainly not in the past I have read Tom Kirbys missives where he states that he wants to get more margin out of GW sales. And the way to achieve that is to sell retail, not trade.

Personally I think that is the wrong policy as indies actually go out and find new sales.Think of an unpaid sales staff that you reward with a cut of their sales.

Online retailers are just pests IMHO. The only thing they have to sell on is price and they piggy back on successful products. They do not create new sales and companies can provide their own net stores, so what does an indie net store offer?

13-02-2009, 09:04
there is no competition, there is a belief that having lots of indies is good for business as it provides more outlets for people to buy in. Gw views its retail stores as recruitment centres, places that introduce the hobby, indies then help to support those customers. The more stores, the more possible locations that people can buy from therefore increasing the odds of them staying in the hobby

17-02-2009, 23:50
Trago stocks GW stuff? Nice. Will check it out when I can next go down and visit the folks. Regarding the topic just remember that in Cornwall, location is everything! Most places, unless you diversify shut down quickly.

The bricknells round where I live sells GW and other model stuff, but has other things that people come in for regularly like cards, stationary and papers/magazines.

At the very least, expect to have to diversify with with other brands of gaming or a complimentary other section. Nitro RC round my hometown (bude) makes most of its money via the sale and repair of model cars as when they opened with the intention of selling primarily GW stuff, they failed.

Remember to have a complimentary website and perhaps online store, as this is where you stand to make the most money in the quieter months.

Last but not least, remember that GW will talk big. After all, once they have unloaded stock on you, they don't care what you do with it, as you have paid already. Check the figures for estimated costs and see if you like them before committing to anything solid such as a retail business.

18-02-2009, 08:50
blackcherry - not true mate...the sales guys arent a one hit wonder team as they need to keep an account alive and ordering meaning its in their best interest to ensure that you have the best stock and are in the best location.

18-02-2009, 09:01
Sorry blongbling, indie traders do tell me that GW salesmen do try to sell them unwanted items (had to think of polite word there). Also things like "if you they don't sell you can return them" which then turn out not to be true.

However that puts them in the same camp as every salesman that I have worked with. For them, tomorrow is a far and distant land, what counts are sales today.

18-02-2009, 13:16
they may be telling you that but i can guaranteee that in the last 2 years noone will have been offered or told about Sale or return, nor has any account in the UK been forced/asked to stock anything outsdie of the suggested ranges offered to them.

one fo the things that the GW sales team is measured upon is the amount of core lines (top 100 lines) they sell with a very high % as being acceptable. So it is totally not in the interest of any of the sales team to sell them anything outside of this range.

Now your information may be quite out of date as since GW announced its European trade terms this has meant that their terms of sale (including the sale or return) details are available to all and any infringement by the GW staff upon it results in dicsiplinary action

18-02-2009, 17:38
I quite agree, now might be different from then. But as you say I only get to hear about what happened, not what is happening (since I don't sell GW stuff myself). Not many people I know still sell GW stuff (and some of the old guys are now bankrupts) but I will keep my ear to the ground and perhaps I will hear stories about how GW sales people are now different.

19-02-2009, 18:46
If by "north Cornwall" you mean Newquay (sp?), then it might work out if you get a visible location. It's a touristy area with a lot of foot traffic.

Let me know if you open. I'm planning on visiting again in May 2010.

W A L 5 H Y
31-03-2009, 16:23
Where to in north cornwall?

Get back to me.