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virus646
20-10-2010, 03:13
The title pretty much tells the whole thing, what are you, as a client, would it be either as a card game player or wargaming player, looking in an local hobby club? What makes you go, buy and play there ? Would it be the prices ? The friendly community ? A vast selection of products ? Good open schedule ? or maybe you don't have a car so you are looking for accessibility.

Feel free to also add what you dislike about hobby shops in general.

Also, please refrain from using any names here.

Inquisitor Engel
20-10-2010, 05:47
Please be open like a normal retail store. 10-9. My LGS closes at 7 or 8 most nights which is a PAIN for those of us who do work other jobs that get out later in the evening.

The ability to order FW stuff and individual stuff is nice.

Lots of gaming tables, but flexible gaming tables. Let them be Magic or GW or FoW.

A user-friendly online component for posting schedules and signups is nice. My LGS had a GREAT board that was done locally and then the corporate masters had them all migrate to this "HobZob" thing which is poorly laid out and so bad I can barely bring myself to use it.

ulruk headsplitter
20-10-2010, 08:59
i'd say nice and helpful staff, a large selection of hobby products (not just games workshop but also other stuff like gf9 or army painter)
accesability, (close to a busstop/railway station or atleast good directions o it), reasonable opening and closing times, something that would be perfect for me and perhaps others would be something along the lines of 13.00 till 22.00.
and ofcourse low prices are always a plus but not necessary for you to run a good store.

blongbling
20-10-2010, 09:05
the ideal gaming shop is open 24 hours a day, stocks every range of toy soldiers and rules system there is as well as all card games, RPG, etc, has a place for gaming, hi class gaming tables and armies for me to try for new games, friendly knowledgeable staff, female friendly, a painting area, does mail order for free to my house if I cant get to the store, undercuts all the other stores to make it worth my while coming in, organises events that I like, appeals to veterans, appeals to new players, has somewhere to buy coffee and soft drinks as well as food.....not sure I missed anything :)

Scythe
20-10-2010, 12:09
Opening times, combined with sufficient flexible gaming tables are the big ones for me. Of course, friendly staff and a nice community help a lot. Apart from that, a decent range of products (including hobby material) and the possibility to easily and reliably order products not in stock or from websites like forgeworld is a big plus.

sigur
20-10-2010, 12:19
@Inquisitor Engel: "Normal" retail hours differ around the world.

Anyway, my main incentive to visit an LGS is competent and friendly staff ("friendly" in terms of real friendly, not superimposed, toothy-grinning "enthusiasm". You know, like people, not like inhuman robots), good range of hobby products, some niche products and being easy to reach of course.

There should be the possibility to order stuffs. Prices I don't care about that much because GW got a tight grip on those anyway and of course it's cheaper to order online.

As for gaming opportunities - I don't care for them in a shop much because I go there to shop, not to hang out endlessly. It's good and important to co-operate closely with at least one local gaming club but having people in the shop who hang out all day are to be avoided. Just scares away real customers. There should be no food in the store what so ever but this problem will hardly arise unless you set up gaming tables. Working together with some nice pub for a gaming night (cardgames, boardgames, etc) each week can't be wrong as well.

Lord Damocles
20-10-2010, 12:29
- Consistant opening times
- Range of modelling supplies/materials (plasticard, brass rod, balsa wood etc.) available
- Sensible/clear layout and pricing
- If you want to have gaming tables, do it properly (6'x4' with 25% of sensible scatter terrain for 40K, etc.

Gregthejuve
20-10-2010, 12:53
Consisteant times is a must. I once had a gaming store in college that opened either at 10:00, 12:00 or 3:00 and closed at either 6:00, 9:00, or 10:00 depending on the day of the week. And it wasn't an obvious schedule. I think it was open latest on Wednesdays, opened earliest on Saturdays, but had it's longest overall hours on Mondays. Tuesdays were closed all together. Just strange.

I won't support a store that doesn't support the gamers. A gaming area and regular events is a must for me, even though I rarely get involved, I like to see that the store is 'giving back'. On occasion, I have found a game o be much more fun than my friends did. In these cases, I rely on the store's events to be able to play.

On that note, I hate when a store doesn't get creative with their space. They like products on the walls, so they just fill in the middle of the store with gaming tables. When I'm shopping for stuff, I don't want to bump into some guy trying to check a Line of Sight and vice versa. Have a dedicated gaming area and a dedicated product area. It doesn't require twice the size, it just requires a good use of space.

A sales staff that at least knows enough to not bother me if they have no clue what I am looking at. This isn't Best Buy, I'm not looking at 30 different TVs that all look the same hanging on the wall. Case in point, I was trying out a new store a couple months ago, looking at all the Ork stuff for 40k. Clerk asks if he can help. No, I'm fine. He apparently had no intention of listening to my response as he then grabs some new Space Marine box off the shelf and proceeds to tell me how it's been a really hot seller for 40k and I may want to pick some up while they are still in stock. WTF.

Sorry for the very negative tone of my post, didn't mean to come off as such a grumpy old man, but I've found a store that satisfies those basic qualities I set forth and I now travel past three other stores just to get there. Some of the once I go past have cheaper prices. Doesn't matter. If I wanted cheap, I'd shop online.

insan0
20-10-2010, 16:25
A decent website will go along way in promoting a shop. It can be a very simple site with only general information and store contact/hours or it can be fully interactive with forums, event schedules and the latest hobby news.

The more complex it is the more effort it will require to post new updates and clear out the old. If you let a big flashy site sit and stagnate with year old tournament results and new releases it could be a real turn off. In which case you'd have been better off with the simple site and a friendly manner when people call and visit.

Chaos and Evil
20-10-2010, 17:16
the ideal gaming shop is open 24 hours a day, stocks every range of toy soldiers and rules system there is as well as all card games, RPG, etc, has a place for gaming, hi class gaming tables and armies for me to try for new games, friendly knowledgeable staff, female friendly, a painting area, does mail order for free to my house if I cant get to the store, undercuts all the other stores to make it worth my while coming in, organises events that I like, appeals to veterans, appeals to new players, has somewhere to buy coffee and soft drinks as well as food.....not sure I missed anything :)

You forgot "And is 5 minutes from everyone's door".

MarkNorfolk
20-10-2010, 17:32
Good selection of product with the ability to order in items.
Reasonable opening times withe some late nights thrown in.
A welcoming atmosphere.
Gaming tables. In the store or out the back, doesn't matter.
The willingness to run events (or allow events to be run).
An associated web page/forum to post about events and regulars to communicate.

Cheers
Mark

yabbadabba
20-10-2010, 19:52
the ideal gaming shop is open 24 hours a day, stocks every range of toy soldiers and rules system there is as well as all card games, RPG, etc, has a place for gaming, hi class gaming tables and armies for me to try for new games, friendly knowledgeable staff, female friendly, a painting area, does mail order for free to my house if I cant get to the store, undercuts all the other stores to make it worth my while coming in, organises events that I like, appeals to veterans, appeals to new players, has somewhere to buy coffee and soft drinks as well as food.....not sure I missed anything :)
You forgot "And is 5 minutes from everyone's door". You also missed paints my models/makes my scenery, lets me win every game/competition, serves beer, only has kids in when I don't want to be there and can balance my home/work/social life so I can play more games.

Seriously? Firstly I'd like the store to be profitable so it lasted for more than 5 minutes. Second I'd like it to manage its customer base so it knew the difference between developing hobbyists and creating a hobby welfare state. A good range of products at a competitive price. Also I'd like an owner who keeps his ear to the ground as has a balanced approach to promoting his products.

blongbling
21-10-2010, 08:28
You forgot "And is 5 minutes from everyone's door".

ah, my bad :)

myrdinn
21-10-2010, 09:04
Generally friendly knowledgeable staff comes out top. I have pretty much given up on one of the three gaming stores near where I work because although it's the cheapest, whenever I walk in there the staff completely ignore me and carry on talking to their mates and/or making phone calls.

Having a range of non-GW options helps, as does stocking scenery/hobby supplies/magazines and tools as well as paints and minis.

Killgore
21-10-2010, 10:22
A discount or incentive to shop there,

As much as I like my FLGS I only do small purchases due to lack of discount (Wayland gets the rest)

Also being close to a bus stop is a bonus :P nothing worse then lugging boxs of models across town late at night

Angelwing
23-10-2010, 09:20
the ideal gaming shop is open 24 hours a day, stocks every range of toy soldiers and rules system there is as well as all card games, RPG, etc, has a place for gaming, hi class gaming tables and armies for me to try for new games, friendly knowledgeable staff, female friendly, a painting area, does mail order for free to my house if I cant get to the store, undercuts all the other stores to make it worth my while coming in, organises events that I like, appeals to veterans, appeals to new players, has somewhere to buy coffee and soft drinks as well as food.....not sure I missed anything :)

Toilet for customer use.....
However, as much as is reasonably possible from the above list and somewhere very close by to park my car.

Easy E
23-10-2010, 13:29
People I want to play against.

The ability to try new game systems with little to no initial investment so I can see if I like it before I buy a bunch of crap.

The ability to take my real life away so I can get on with the important stuff... like krumpin' beakies wif me choppa!

IJW
23-10-2010, 16:54
@Inquisitor Engel: "Normal" retail hours differ around the world.
To put it mildly. Round here, 9:00-5:30 is 'normal' retail hours.

Inquisitor Engel
23-10-2010, 23:34
To put it mildly. Round here, 9:00-5:30 is 'normal' retail hours.

Fine, reasonable hours for gaming. No one is coming to buy games at 9 on a Tuesday.

Open like 11am to 8pm and 9 on a couple of night for "game nights." If I get off work at 5:00 and want to go and game, I want a central location.

Max Jet
24-10-2010, 01:00
- Prices that are not full retail, but around 10% cheaper (Every f.... model craft store can do this so a gaming hobby store can too)
- acceptable range of products or possibility to get your goods delivered with postage costs not higher than internet orders.
- basic hobby supplies (at least some PVC Sheets, Green Stuff, Acrylic and enamel colours and 3 different glues)
- Humanly acceptable opening hours.

I don't care for paint stations, gaming tables or snack bars. I paint and play at home no matter how small my flat is, hobby stores should be place where I can conveniently buy what I want, when I want without paying exorbitant prices ( I am looking at you GW "Hobby" store) or being asked 6 times if I want the latest products (again only one place on earth comes to mind where I have ever been asked the pesky questions)

burad
24-10-2010, 05:34
- Prices that are not full retail, but around 10% cheaper
- acceptable range of products or possibility to get your goods delivered with postage costs not higher than internet orders.
- basic hobby supplies (at least some PVC Sheets, Green Stuff, Acrylic and enamel colours and 3 different glues)
- Humanly acceptable opening hours.


That's all good. Plus a few tables with terrain on them. I do think it's advertising of a sort if there's a painting station (BYOP), so newbies can see someone painting and have the opportunity to ask questions. Some stores can't afford the space for that, though. Several owners have told me you keep the gamers playing in the store if either you or the store next door sells sodas (but you need to provide a place to set them not on the table surface).

IJW
24-10-2010, 10:06
Fine, reasonable hours for gaming. No one is coming to buy games at 9 on a Tuesday.
That's kind of the point - in most of the world, normal retail hours and hours for a gaming shop bear no resemblance to each other.

That's not meant as a criticism, just alerting you to the fact that 10-9 is very unusual hours for retail outside parts of the US.

xxRavenxx
24-10-2010, 21:55
Several owners have told me you keep the gamers playing in the store if either you or the store next door sells sodas (but you need to provide a place to set them not on the table surface).

Chocolate, crisps and drinks. The fuel of gamers.

Suggest to those that are worried about drink damage to laminate their tables with a tin of clear wood varnish. The ones in my store shrug off drinks with ease. I keep a cloth and a "power spray" under the counter so I can leap at spills, and I've only had to do it once so far in the history of the tables. Maybe my customers are more careful than others though...

Scythe
25-10-2010, 07:21
That's kind of the point - in most of the world, normal retail hours and hours for a gaming shop bear no resemblance to each other.

That's not meant as a criticism, just alerting you to the fact that 10-9 is very unusual hours for retail outside parts of the US.

Depends on the kind of store around here. DIY stores are always open till at least 8pm, as are some more specialized electronics stores and things like Ikea. It makes quite some sense for a lot of stores to adapt their opening hours to the public, and I think a gaming store is amongst those.

blongbling
25-10-2010, 09:17
To put it mildly. Round here, 9:00-5:30 is 'normal' retail hours.

for a hobby store however those hours are pants; you need to open later than that so that your vets can shop and then there are gaming nights etc.....something like 11-11 works :)

Hoster
25-10-2010, 14:46
A store that vaguely attempts to competitively price would be nice. The 2 stores nearish me both sell at full retail prices and most of the regular gamers at these stores will privately admit to buying most of their models online. The only advantage stores have is gaming space and the possibility of immediate purchasing. Lord help those that don't maintain stock levels or gaming areas well.

AndrewGPaul
26-10-2010, 09:43
for a hobby store however those hours are pants; you need to open later than that so that your vets can shop and then there are gaming nights etc.....something like 11-11 works :)


It doesn't work that well, unless you're raking in so much money that you can afford to pay twice as many staff. Opening weekends is probably more useful.

blongbling
26-10-2010, 10:20
It doesn't work that well, unless you're raking in so much money that you can afford to pay twice as many staff. Opening weekends is probably more useful.

this is an "ideal" scenario remember :)

gonzosbignose
28-10-2010, 16:20
Ummmm....

hot hobby chicks?

Lets not beat around the bush here... my local GW is a male dominated area.

If you opened up a local store near me... that had hot gamer chicks... I'd switch stores in a second!

GIEF MORE GAMER GIRLZ!!!

Regards

My name is Daniel and I am a wargamer

Jo Bennett
29-10-2010, 16:55
Ummmm....

hot hobby chicks?

Lets not beat around the bush here... my local GW is a male dominated area.

If you opened up a local store near me... that had hot gamer chicks... I'd switch stores in a second!

GIEF MORE GAMER GIRLZ!!!

Regards

My name is Daniel and I am a wargamer

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why you will find very few female gamers near the average GW.

Inquisitor Engel
30-10-2010, 04:22
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why you will find very few female gamers near the average GW.

Quoted for truth.

AndrewGPaul
01-11-2010, 10:14
Maybe we could have two games shops? One for the creepy weirdos, and then another one for normal people?

Korraz
01-11-2010, 21:28
A digital list of all your products.
I'm dead serious. Most of the stores I've seen lack it.
An entry for every single product. Even single cards, if you sell them. If I enter your store and ask you "Hey, do you have a Hymn to Tourach?" I don't want to hear "Uh, dunno, go look in the folders here." No. I won't to that. The same goes for books and other stuff. If a costumer asks "Have you that thing?", then he wants that answer ASAP.

Keep the shelves clean. Old stuff is nice, and old miniatures and very old PnP-Books can be very valuable to some people. Some. Keep them off the front and back in the special-stuff box. If somebody asks for a second edition DnD-Source book, great! You've got it right there, in the box.

AndrewGPaul
01-11-2010, 21:54
I'm not sure having every single individual Magic, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! card individually tracked by a POS system is workable, to be honest. Simply saying "do you know what set it's in? Ah, in that case it's this folder, about halfway through. Here you go." and putting the folder at the top of the pile is good enough. Probably quicker than entering the details of every card, too.

Of course, by ideal games shop wouldn't bother with all that crap, anyway. :)

Korraz
02-11-2010, 00:52
It is. I know a shop where it is. And it's not even that hard, as there are lots of databases with the information you need. Then, just popp a system on it where you just add or remove from the stock, once somebody buys a card. Even I could code that in Access, and I am horrible with Access :p

Plagueridden
02-11-2010, 03:47
other brands besides gw on all hobby related products.
and no screaming stinking mental deficient kids/nerds;)

Plagueridden
02-11-2010, 03:48
Quoted for truth.

same here, some people really need some pro help I see.
seriously Gonzo...

ThatDude
02-11-2010, 20:21
Generally the most important aspect of a gaming store for me is for it to have a solid community of friendly gamers that back it. If I know I can walk in on a Thursday night and find people to play with that are fun and good natured, I'll keep coming back. This starts with the staff because like minded people band together and the staff sets the example of what conduct is appropriate. If you combine that with a store that has playspace for everyone, good terrain and an even mix of events and open gaming, it's a spot where I would visit often and spend most of my expendable income.

viking657
05-11-2010, 12:20
One that does not allow the creepy, always sweating slightly guy, who only every games with Slaanesh, through the door.

Opening hours are key though. My local opens if you request it, so if you want a late night apoc game or whatever its easy to arrange.
Theres also late night vets only leagues as well as plenty of other nights to cater for all types of gamers.
They charge full retail but for what they give back I'm happy to pay the extra.

Thud
09-11-2010, 05:32
Convenience. Otherwise internet retailers with discounts get my business.

This includes:

-Reasonable opening hours. I have a life, so if you're going to make it difficult for me to find the time to stop by your shop, I probably won't bother.
-Location. If you're downtown it's easy to get to you, but if you're not, make sure that driving 15 minutes and looking for a parking space is not the only way to get to you.
-Other stuff than just GW. Comic books, DVDs, other games etc. This is not a must, but if a competitor offers this, that's where I'll be going.
-Knowledgable staff. I know what I want, so that's ok, but for my gf getting me 40k stuff for my birthday and christmas is an easy way to get me happy, but she knows very little about 40k except for what army I play so if your staff can't help her in a good way, that's a few large purchases a year you're missing out on.
-I have a club where I play, so gaming space is not essential to me, but a lot of people don't, so it's a good way to provide an incentive for people to use your shop.
-Staff with people skills. Don't ignore me, and don't harass me. If shopping at your location makes me feel uncomfortable, I'm not really itching to come back.

Night Bearer
09-11-2010, 15:12
For me, the biggest things I *like* in a hobby store:

Hours:

Stays open at least until 10pm or midnight. Preferably for both selling and playing. There's a local store here in KS that has the gaming room separate from the store (door between them), so the store can close early (closes at 8pm, grr), but the gaming room can stay open as long as someone with a key is there to close up. The other store it's all in one area, but they stay open 'til midnight.

As a result, I'll sometimes buy things from the second store simply because they're still open.


Gaming/Hobby:

Having a nice gaming area I think is a really good draw for any gaming store. Also having a hobby area is nice, as you can BS with a group of friends easier over clippers and paint than during a game.

Another nice thing is having a television. Doesn't have to be fancy - one local store has a tube TV and just the networks, but just having it means being able to watch football on a Sunday.

Food and drink are good too, although IMO the best scenario would be to have the store in easy walking distance (i.e. not having to cross a major street) of a top-notch convenience station (like Fantasy's or QuickTrip here in the midwest).


Product:

I think more important than having a wide variety of product (although that is important), is: if you're going to stock something, don't half-bag it. It's annoying to look at a range only to realize half the items are missing. I understand being conservative if it's a new or niche product and you're not sure how it'll sell, but if you're going to give it its own section of shelf space, give it a full stock and keep it re-stocked.

Speaking of which, I think a section that's fully stocked with "new" product is really nice looking. Fex, when I see a GW, Reaper, or P3 paint rack and it's got gaping holes, that looks bad. Especially if I'm a regular and those holes have been there for weeks or months.

Similarly, product that's been aging looks terrible. I hate looking through a rack and seeing metals that have gone yellow/brown, or noticing the amount of dust on top of boxes or blisters. Sometimes it can't be helped - everywhere I go, Foundation Color pots look terrible thanks to the amount of settling - but product should be kept clean and, if it starts going, clearance it, ebay it, just get it off the shelf!


Store Appearance:

This is also important, and self-explanatory. I'll only add that I really prefer gaming/buying somewhere that looks like it's going to stay in business. I'll admit to a certain softness for the "well-worn" shop look, but at the same time if - esp combined with understocked shelves as described above - if a store looks like it's hard up, not ordering stuff, not tending to the daily chores, I start to feel like maybe I shouldn't invest my time in it as it may just close one of these days.

Probably unfair, but reality.


Extras/Bennys:

One of the local stores does accounts for long-time regulars - basically you can put stuff on your account to pay later. I'm sure it can/is abused by people buying stuff they really can't afford, but I like using mine if I need to grab some glue or a bottle of paint and don't have the cash. Saves the store the charges of running a debit/credit card for $3 of stuff, and I can always pay off once I've accumulated $10-15.

Similarly, I have a key for the gaming room. I love this as it lets me come in early or stay late after the store closes. If I'm gaming, this means extra time to game, especially when there's less traffic. If I'm painting, it means I can go in when I know it's going to be quiet and distraction-free.

Also, discounts are nice. They don't need to be big - I'm especially lazy when it comes to ordering online, so if I can get it in-store for anywhere in the ballpark of what it'd be online, I'd just as well get it locally. Fex, one store locally sells Warmachine at a discount, the other sells GW product at a discount. There's a reason I buy from two stores. :P


Regulars:

This is a big rant. I am a regular at a local store, and am probably guilty of a lot of this, but a really good hobby store does not devolve into a club for the owner and his friends, or for the regulars, or both. Fex, I've no idea why, but every store owner in the KS area seems to be a tea party conservative, so it's not uncommon to have to hear Rush Limbaugh or Beck or even worse a diatribe/heated political discussion while browsing the aisles.

Doesn't help that I'm liberal, but I miss my old store in Omaha, where the owner seemed to be genuinely aware that not everyone wants to hear a Fox News/MSNBC-style attack on Bush/Obama/whomever. I go to a gaming store to relax and play, which for me means none of the stupid political talk I have to hear everywhere else.

Similarly, I once saw a gaming store in Ames, IA held hostage by a ---- near autistic anime fan going on at length about the minutia of some Gundam episode. He basically hijacked the register area because the owner was trying to be nice about it, but the guy could not take a hint and just stood there going on and on and on, and there was a mother there holding a starter set for 40k or WHFB (this was near Xmas) and for all the world the look on her face made me think she was trying to determine if buying this was going to turn her son into that guy.

Basically, I understand game store owners tend to be popular, tend to have friends that have helped support them, especially early on as they struggled to establish their store, and as a store owner you're going to feel like it's "my space" to do wish as you please, but IMO a good hobby store clamps down on that. You don't feel like a 2nd class citizen if you're not part of the anointed, you don't get touchy subjects like politics or religion shoved down your throat, and you don't forsake customer service for friend service (I once gave up on a purchase after standing at a register for 15 minutes while the owner and his friend debated how real a threat China is to American power).

cailus
09-11-2010, 22:21
1. Good service
2. Good range of products and especially more hard to get stuff ala Ancients, Flames of War, Napoleonics
3. No irritating children hanging around

xxRavenxx
10-11-2010, 11:42
if you're going to stock something, don't half-bag it. It's annoying to look at a range only to realize half the items are missing. I understand being conservative if it's a new or niche product and you're not sure how it'll sell, but if you're going to give it its own section of shelf space, give it a full stock and keep it re-stocked.

I agree with most of what you say, but must disagree with this comment quite strongly.

The issue is simple: Space.

My store stocks 90% of 40k (Mostly missing blisters, as they're theft magnets, and sell poorly).

We stock... 1% of warhammer, and ask people to place orders.

We stock... 20% of flames of war.

We stocked 10% of privateer models. (We're discontinuing them now).



If we upped the ranges all to the 90% mark, I'd need two things:

1. 25,000. ($35,000 assuming the exchange is what I think it is currently). And I'm serious on that number. It might even be higher.

2. A second store, maybe even a third.

The volume required to fully stock ranges is RIDICULOUS.

40k alone takes up half my store, warhammer would fill it, battlefront and privateer would fill a second, and then my board games, roleplay and CCGs would need a new home too.

Shamutanti
11-11-2010, 01:48
I would love a hobby store that isn't a social club (open to midnight, shop closing at 8pm being a problem... really?)

Regulars in an unmonitored independent are like a plague ready to eat away at any profits. I can't even imagine the consequences of bringing in a t.v. or letting people gob away at each other at a paint station.

Frankly if I owned a hobby store I would probably adopt a fair amount of what G.W. does now, because doing much of anything else makes little sense.

Templar Ben
11-11-2010, 03:52
I don't really need a store as I can buy everything online. I actually would like a place you can buy a membership for on an annual basis or pay a one off fee if you drop in and use a table and scenery. The group would have a trade account so you can place orders and get a deep discount.

I guess I would like a UK style gaming club. LOL

Scythe
11-11-2010, 07:04
I would love a hobby store that isn't a social club (open to midnight, shop closing at 8pm being a problem... really?)

Regulars in an unmonitored independent are like a plague ready to eat away at any profits. I can't even imagine the consequences of bringing in a t.v. or letting people gob away at each other at a paint station.

Frankly if I owned a hobby store I would probably adopt a fair amount of what G.W. does now, because doing much of anything else makes little sense.

It depends on how it is handled imho. I have seen this go both right and wrong. I have seen numerous problems arise when a local store became more and more of a social club. Not only did the people who came there buy practically nothing, but the open nature of the store meant they swarmed through the part filled with shelves as well, hindering actual customers. Next to that, they often swarmed around the entrance of the store as well (as smoking inside is forbidden in any store here), which has scared away I don't know how many potential customers. The owner did nothing about it.

Another store I visit has gaming space, but rather separated from the actual shelves. The owner doesn't tolerate any hanging around in any part of the store or outside of it, doesn't allow food from outside the store in, and is generally a lot more concerned about customers. That works, the other doesn't.

Wil Grand
11-11-2010, 08:01
I would love a hobby store that isn't a social club (open to midnight, shop closing at 8pm being a problem... really?)

Regulars in an unmonitored independent are like a plague ready to eat away at any profits. I can't even imagine the consequences of bringing in a t.v. or letting people gob away at each other at a paint station.

Frankly if I owned a hobby store I would probably adopt a fair amount of what G.W. does now, because doing much of anything else makes little sense.

One of the main reasons I stopped going to my local GW for a while was that you felt like you were interupting something with all the regulars who were permanantly installed in there. Everytime I went in at irregular times I'd see the same student social club who'd all go silent with the odd mirthful comment here and there so you couldn't work out if it was a secret language dig at you or reference to some injoke. You could really feel the atmosphere in there and you just wanted to get out.
Nothing worse than being somewhere where you know folk just don't want you which was pretty sad because at the time I was spending about 40 a week.

Thankfully the place is totally changed now and it's nothing like it was about eight years ago but the point is that's what happens when you get 'vets' installed in the shop....

AndrewGPaul
11-11-2010, 09:31
I would love a hobby store that isn't a social club (open to midnight, shop closing at 8pm being a problem... really?)

Regulars in an unmonitored independent are like a plague ready to eat away at any profits. I can't even imagine the consequences of bringing in a t.v. or letting people gob away at each other at a paint station.

Frankly if I owned a hobby store I would probably adopt a fair amount of what G.W. does now, because doing much of anything else makes little sense.

This is sort of my opinion, too. If a shop wants to support local gaming, then sponsor a club, or help set one up. That way, gamers have a more responsible attitude towards their gaming, and it means the shop owner isn't distracted from running a business.

Angelwing
11-11-2010, 12:30
.............. that's what happens when you get 'vets' installed in the shop....

Which is why GW has been actively encouraging 'vets' to get out of the shop, let go of GW's hand and start their own gaming clubs for over two decades.
What they have got wrong in the past is the way they do it.

Wil Grand
11-11-2010, 14:53
Which is why GW has been actively encouraging 'vets' to get out of the shop, let go of GW's hand and start their own gaming clubs for over two decades.
What they have got wrong in the past is the way they do it.

Totally agree.
I think half the problem is an area manager or new manager coming in and seeing a social club of never-spend-a-penny-but-there-everyday-mates-of-the-staff basically chasing customers so they put the boss hat on and snap the bra straps of the person responsible. To be honest when it gets to that point there's nothing you really can do but tell them to get the hell out and never come back.

I'm into many a fringe hobby - and only wargaming is in the youth/spod/geek end of the spectrum and where ever you go you will find people that have been into it for so long and believe they know so much that they really do nothing but get in your face and try to take over the party in a big headed and obnoxious way.
Now, I'm of the mind that there's no better advert for a fringe hobby than people being seen to be doing it, enjoying it and have been doing so for some time. GW is in the excellent position of having this spectacle in the centre every major city in the country so generally they really want people in there playing and having fun so people passing get sold on that.
Now, I'm pretty sure there's more than a few people ventured into GW shops and indy's the world over who've been made to feel so awkward and uncomfortable because the aforementioned never-spend-a-penny..... mobs didn't want them there.

I for one think it's a total shame for the people who've been playing for years, have countless excellently painted armies feel they're unwelcome because of this since they're equally victims to these people as would be beginners are.

Night Bearer
16-11-2010, 19:13
I agree with most of what you say, but must disagree with this comment quite strongly.
I understand space and cost issues. I can only say the following:

1. When I lived in Lincoln, NE, the local store there stocked only the major FOW lines (i.e. Americans, Russians, Germans, and Brits). Unfortunately, my only FOW army are Italians. If I'm going to have to wait to special order them (I'm mostly an impulse buyer), I might as well wait on a discounted internet order. Hence I used the store a lot for gaming, but bought very little. Maybe that's still a positive for them (less cost of stocking vs what they would have made off sales to me and possibly others), but the simple fact is if I'm already online to order some Italian tanks, I may as well pick up the paints, and maybe even some German stuff, to save even more, even if the latter stuff is on their shelf. It's a snowball effect, at least for me.

2. A local store here stopped focusing on Warmachine/Hordes, and accordingly the shelf space was basically left stagnant, no new stock and everything on the shelf was old and dusty looking. Then, he started restocking the whole line, and low and behold sales took off. He became double-lucky as not long after mk2 was announced, and by the time it was released he'd established a WM customer group that started expanding as new models came out and new customers were drawn in.

I get that some prefer a "10% of everything" over "100% of a few things", but I much prefer the latter. For me, the primary worth of retail cost is immediacy. Yes it also pays for local gaming space but I don't need that, me and my friends all have gaming tables in our homes. So for me, Retail = Immediacy. The moment I have to wait is the moment it becomes better for me to get a discount, and the moment I'm online getting a discount is the moment I realize I could really save some cash by buying a few extra things, even if the other things ARE available in the store.

Maybe that's just me, but I do know that there's a local store that relies heavily on "we can special order that and have it in a week" as a selling point for GW customers, and it's primary effect has been a reputation among gamers as being the store that won't have it in stock even if you bother looking.

Right or wrong, that's just been my take on it.