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scarletsquig
11-06-2007, 11:20
I've heard people mentioning this quite a bit a bit now, and am curious...

Which stores are closing?

Are they going to be replaced by any new ones opening?

35 seems like a huge percentage of their retail chain being axed... there's about 150 stores in the UK if I'm not mistaken.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
11-06-2007, 11:24
Yup. 35 being closed, being the ones generating the least (if any) profits.

Harry
11-06-2007, 11:25
I think last year they closed 8 and opened 12

They have often closed non-profit making stores.
They have continually opened new stores.

Some people are trying to make much of this 35 stores closing.

It is only part of the equation.

Osbad
11-06-2007, 11:38
Some people are trying to make much of this 35 stores closing.
It is only part of the equation.

True. It is part of GW's recovery strategy. Many of us believe this is too little, too late. Others believe if will save their bacon.

The official announcement in full can be read here: http://investor.games-workshop.com/investor_relations/latest_from_gw/rns_announcements/documents/RNS03-May-07Announcement.htm

One thing's for certain. The 35 store closures in Northern Europe coupled with 10% staff redundancies and the non-payment of a dividend for 2006-07 is *seriously* bad news. Any quoted Plc such as GW may as well tattoo "we are up the creek and our paddle is floating away" on their foreheads.

Of course, GW *may* succeed in going forward with a much more efficient and reduced cost base. They *may* succeed in competing with new companies chewing on their market share. And of course there is no necessity for GW the Plc to survive for the brands (such as 40k, LotR and WFB) to continue under different ownership.

Stranger things have happened, and it is by no means a "given" that GW are going to fold. But in all honesty it is hard to imagine a recovery unless even more steps are taken next year.

The annual accounts will be published at the end of next month and no doubt more detail will be given therein.

Thereafter, unless they run into a cash-flow crisis before then, 2007's Christmas sales will determine what happens next. If they are sufficient to turn a profit on the new, lower, cost base then all well and good. If not expect further misery in the new year.

If anyone believes that GW is "too big to go under", just look at what happened to TSR in the late '90's. While there were other complications, the root of the problem was that TSR had stopped listening to their customers and was churning out stuff no-one wanted to buy any more. Any company, no matter how large, will have problems if they behave like that.

The game is afoot
11-06-2007, 11:45
One thing's for certain. The 35 store closures in Northern Europe coupled with 10% staff redundancies and the non-payment of a dividend for 2006-07 is *seriously* bad news. Any quoted Plc such as GW may as well tattoo "we are up the creek and our paddle is floating away" on their foreheads.

It's a bad situation and we are going to get a clear picture of it very shortly.

Harry
11-06-2007, 11:46
Any quoted Plc such as GW may as well tattoo "we are up the creek and our paddle is floating away" on their foreheads.

But in all honesty it is hard to imagine a recovery unless even more steps are taken next year.

Interestingly enough I met Tom Kirby in this store the other day taking more steps. He was investing in paddles for all the staff.

Osbad
11-06-2007, 12:01
Just hope he forked out for the "real quality wooden" ones, and not the cheap substitutes made from recycled bogroll...

... I'll end the analogy right there....

blongbling
11-06-2007, 12:12
this isnt 35 stores in Norther Europe, its globally. It also states that more stores will open as well and it is only the ones that are not making a profit will close. GW has always had some stores that dont make a profit, normally new ones due the cost of opening new stores, but becasue the chain has done well they have let it ride....this is just sound business sense. Close non profitable stores and open ones that will be profitable.

Templar Ben
11-06-2007, 12:12
Yup. 35 being closed, being the ones generating the least (if any) profits.

They said 35 loss making stores so I think there are no profits.

Harry
11-06-2007, 12:52
Just hope he forked out for the "real quality wooden" ones, and not the cheap substitutes made from recycled bogroll...

... I'll end the analogy right there....

... I'll carry it on a bit.....

Actually he went one better.

Having looked into the various paddles and methods of paddle manufacture.
He built a state of the art paddle manufacturing facility at Lenton. (with 13 computer controlled paddle making machines).
This way he can control the quality of paddle manufacture, and reduce costs, well into the future. :D

Osbad
11-06-2007, 13:00
...ah. So he decided to make the recycled bog-roll ones then...

CaptainSenioris
11-06-2007, 13:04
A new GW just opened down the road in Livingston yay!

Anyone on here actually affected by these store closures?
That is in the sense that you are losing your local store, not that you are depressed because you think GW is going to drown in extreme debt sometime in the next week.

Harry
11-06-2007, 13:05
LOL snappy comeback.

I think they will continue to make a variety of paddles.

Top quality wooden ones for the painter and collector of paddles.

and

The very best bog-roll ones for paddelers who want large numbers of paddles for mass paddelling. :D

Gaebriel
11-06-2007, 13:07
...
The very best bog-roll ones for paddelers who want large numbers of paddles for mass paddelling. :D
I always thought that's what the Top quality wooden ones were for? :)

Harry
11-06-2007, 13:13
I always thought that's what the Top quality wooden ones were for? :)

That is what they were for and still are for. At least for the serious paddle collector.

However, the increasing labour costs of producing top quality wooden paddles were/are making it increasingly difficult to provide the paddles people require at the price that all paddllers can afford to purchase wooden paddles in the numbers they require for serious paddelling. :D

Osbad
11-06-2007, 13:14
Point taken.

There'll always be a need for paddles, whether of hand crafted wood or of recycled bog roll.

I'm struggling to extend the analogy now, but looking at the general strategy that we see from the receiving end. Is anyone seeing anything more than "More of the same, but produced and distributed slightly cheaper, and retailed at the same price but with the odd discount for bulk"?

I take your paddle point that Kirby is touting the efficiency of moulding plastics vis-a-vis metals as being the way out of their predicament, but IIRC that computer controlled plastics technology has been I place for two years now (wasn't the Giant the first big kit done that way?) so they should have seen some benefit before now.

In other words. GW seem to be hoping that by knocking 7m off their wages bill and by keeping prices at their current level they will pull themselves out of the difficulty they are currently in - which is caused by a declining volume of sales.

I suppose the issue is, will that decline in real terms of sales plateau out or will it not?

Personally I believe it will not as I simply don't see GW doing anything innovative enough. I just see them rehashing the same-old stuff. Or at least that's what it looks like to me. In other words, their current mix of products is declining in popularity, so what makes them think the "slight tweaking" of it that they are doing these days will restore that popularity to pre-2000 levels? Will they likely see a restoration of their fortunes just because now people can buy big armies in plastic instead of metal. Particularly when those plastic models are sold at a level that is still very high (30 for a plastic Balrog anyone?), and the quality if the plastic sculpts isn't particularly better than the old pre-computer plastics to anyone other than the complete geek?

I can't see it myself. See, I'm skeptical because I've heard it all before. Twice before to be precise. In 2005 they axed a bundle of staff (remember Rudgie at WD?) and said it was because of the LotR bubble bursting, but never mind, because that was over now and things would improve next year. Next year came around and surprise, surprise, there was another round of redundancies and somehow the LotR bubble had contrived to burst a second time. But never mind, because WFB was due for a launch in October, and things will get better then.

Well, here we are in 2007, and things are still getting worse. They tweak this, and more efficiently produce that, but still somehow sales still keep evaporating and they are in a worse situation than ever...

Frankly if I were a GW shareholder I wouldn't believe a word of "future sales improvement" until it happened And even then...

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me! What does it say about me if I let them fool me a third time?

redbaron998
11-06-2007, 13:46
I really dont see the problem with closing down loss making stores, true it sucks for those in that area but can you blame GW for closing stores that dont make a profit. Thats a move for any business going downhill or uphill. I dont know how its going to affect the hobby as a whole because I have always played at non-gw stores and it has never bothered me. If you are one of those people band toghther, buy a store and run it, thats what a guy did down here (its not teh largest or most pretty looking store and directs most things but since it is player run the number of activities and torunaments and such has incresed 3x, including the player base)

Harry
11-06-2007, 13:48
OK Ill drop the paddle thing but you started it :D

Joking aside. I honestly don't think they are producing 'more of the same'. are they?

Lets take, pick an army, Orks as an example.
You remember the Goff orks and gretchins from the 40K box set. They were a big improvement on the first plastic Orks that we saw in space crusade.(Although the rouge trader ones were very cool)

Then there are the current, multi-part plastics. These are again an improvement on the previous ones. If you look at the metal minis the recent commandoz are a vast improvent on the previous ones. (although I quite liked the WWII look myself).
I imagine when the new orc stuff is released the new Orks will be widely recieved as a big improvement on existing models.

"Rehashing the same stuff" OR improving the quality of the models available for gamers armies?

What should they do? Keep on producing new innovative stuff and leave Ork players with those Goff Orks whilst everybody else gets groovy new multipose kits.

They have to strike a balance between producing new stuff and supporting the existing armies that are already popular.

Dammed if they do dammed if they don't.

EDIT: (sorry had to do some work! :D)

Having said that I think there is a lot of new exciting stuff (innovative?) coming that is not 'rehashing' (improving!) existing stuff. We have not seen a plastic Fantasy buildings before or the rumoured Baneblade.
The fact is that until very recently they have been in the situation of having existing armies without army books.
Only now that every army (except CD and DoW players) has an army book have they the luxury of doing some fun stuff they have been wanting to do for a while. But even now they are under constant pressure (from us) to redo the the oldest army book/codex or improve the minis for an army. (You want innovative stuff, Ork players want a new book and minis!)

It must be a tough 'plate spinning act' to keep everyone happy.

They will be dammed by somebody whichever chopice they make.

IG88
11-06-2007, 13:58
I fail to see why some people seem to take such perverse pleasure in the prospect of GW failing. Could someone explain why that would be a good thing?

Osbad
11-06-2007, 14:02
OK Ill drop the paddle thing but you started it :D

I concede I was outanalogied by the master! :D


Joking aside. I honestly don't think they are producing 'more of the same'. are they?

Well, from where I'm standing, it looks very much that way. I admit I'm no longer collect WFB and haven't collected 40k for nearly 2 decades, but to me an Ork looks like an Ork. I care not whether its waving an Axe instead of a Choppa or whatever. More variety of the same stuff may please the fans. But the fans aren't the problem. Its the people around the fringes that are their problem . They are the ones twho's sales are disappearing, (or not coming in) and as I'm one of them, all I can say is that there isn't a whole lot about GW's offering that looks up to date. It all looks pretty much the same as it did 10 years ago. Except at least it isn't quite so red.


Lets take, pick an army, Orks as an example.
You remember the Goff orks and gretchins from the 40K box set. They were a big improvement on the first plastic Orks that we saw in space crusade.(Although the rouge trader opnes were very cool)

Then there are the current, multi-part plastics. These are again an improvement on the previous ones. If you look at the metal minis the recent commandoz are a vast improvent on the previous ones. (although I quite liked the WWII look myself).
I imagine when the new orc stuff is released the new Orks will be widely recieved as a big improvement on existing models.

Well its all relative. Those improvements might interest some. But I suspect it will be a marginal impact. Perhaps its something they have to "keep up with" bnut I don't see it generating loads of extra new sales. I've seen all the drooling over the new Blorcs by the Orc fans in WFB, but its totally lost to me a non-officianado. They just look the same as the old Blorcs did, but this time they're plastic. *Yawn*.


"Rehashing the same stuff" OR improving the quality of the models available for gamers armies?

Well that's subjective. For me anything that involves the word "plastic" can never be an improvement. But I admit I'm biased... However, to me an "improvement" that involves new stuff coming out in plastic at only a smidgeon below the old metal price of the same is not a major improvement. I know there are many out there who *love* plastics, so I appreciate I am being subjective though.


What should they do? Keep on producing new innovative stuff and leave Ork players with those Goff Orks whilst everybody else gets groovy new multipose kits.

THat's the juggling act they have to make. At the minute, rather than keeping even one ball in the air, the sales figures seem to indicate that they are dropping both balls and pleasing few of either camp.


:They have to strike a balance between producing new stuff and supporting the existing armies that are already popular. Dammed if they do dammed if they don't.

Indeed. Where there are glimmers of hope are in the new stuff like plastic buildings. These have got me interested and are innovative - no-one does plastic buildings that are around 10 a piece cheaper than resin ones of a similar size. If they'd made the Warhammer buildings more generic and less spiky and skully I suspect they would have appealed to many more people. More stuff like that (except cheaper, less GW-IP focussed and a bit better looking - the 4ok city stuff looks weedy, and the WFB stuff is a bit on the small side) could capture them a new market.

I'm not going to come up with many suggestions though, as I'm an accountant not a games developer. But I know they are going to be struggling to turn the company round just by redesigning old stuff. THey may slow down the decline, but they won't find new customers. They *can* innovate when they want to, but they just make it so darned hard to love them in the process. Look at the new Talisman game, and at Aeronautica Imperialis. If they'd reduced the prices a bit and sold them through their store network and/or at free postage then it could have really interested people. As things stand though, both new games will just be minor footnotes in the gaming industry.

Focussing on such a tiny set of core games smacks to me of putting all their eggs in the one basket.

Harry
11-06-2007, 14:26
I concede I was outanalogied by the master! :D
We will call it a draw. :D

I am very tempted to pick up on the egg basket anology or the juggling one and run with that for a bit. However....



Well that's subjective. For me anything that involves the word "plastic" can never be an improvement. But I admit I'm biased... However, to me an "improvement" that involves new stuff coming out in plastic at only a smidgeon below the old metal price of the same is not a major improvement. I know there are many out there who *love* plastics, so I appreciate I am being subjective though.
Actually I agree with you. I am more excited about the few new metal dwarfs than all of the plastic releases lately. but then you and I are clearly a couple of old buffers that like our lead soldiers. (White metal my ****! that was the start of a slippery slope in my opinion. :D)


THat's the juggling act they have to make. At the minute, rather than keeping even one ball in the air, the sales figures seem to indicate that they are dropping both balls and pleasing few of either camp.We were typing at the same time...I went for plate spinning in my EDIT (see above):D

Templar Ben
11-06-2007, 14:36
I fail to see why some people seem to take such perverse pleasure in the prospect of GW failing. Could someone explain why that would be a good thing?

I don't know about a "perverse pleasure" but I know that if GW were run more business like you would see a lot more coming out. Let's say Hasbro buys them. Well Hasbro makes a lot of games. For instance they own both Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers. They make Axis and Allies and HeroScape. That is a company that could see the market for Space Hulk and have the resources to make a high quality game and the distribution to have it in every major store around the world. That level of production would result in a lower cost game.

They would more than likely let 4th edition and 7th edition run their course but I see them working on new versions as soon as they are aquired. Just like how WotC picked up D&D and kept things going with everything until they were ready with the d20 system. They would more than likely start from the ground up and release a pair system (where if you know how to play one you can play the other automatically) and I see them having a reference guide available online and free in game stores that will help people make the transition.

redbaron998
11-06-2007, 14:39
I have to admit I am a plastic lover, I love the options and such that plastic models enable. And I think almost all of GWs recent models are better than their old ones, (exceptions being the Chaos possessed) haha

clovis
11-06-2007, 14:56
I have to admit I am a plastic lover, I love the options and such that plastic models enable. And I think almost all of GWs recent models are better than their old ones, (exceptions being the Chaos possessed) haha

Then you should have a look at the new ones on the 40k rumor thread;) they are amazing and all plastic!

scarletsquig
11-06-2007, 14:58
Anyone on here actually affected by these store closures?
That is in the sense that you are losing your local store, not that you are depressed because you think GW is going to drown in extreme debt sometime in the next week.

This is basically what I was asking.. wondering if there was a list of stores out there, too.

Not that I'm going to attempt to stop Warseer's army of flagellants from descending on Nottingham and proclaiming it's end.

They might have been given new plastics, but they're still all mad and foamy, so I won't get in the way :D

The game is afoot
11-06-2007, 18:00
Nice pic Harry.
I would have thought that Tom Kirby had shares in the store.

Harry
11-06-2007, 18:17
I knew you'd like it:D

Mad Doc Grotsnik
11-06-2007, 18:19
That and Hasbro have sniffed around before. Then took one look at the running costs, and legged it.

Templar Ben
11-06-2007, 18:54
That and Hasbro have sniffed around before. Then took one look at the running costs, and legged it.

That is not surprising. Still you never know what it will look like in a year or two.

richred_uk
11-06-2007, 19:01
*technically* I lost Enfield being my closest geographic store, but I soend more cash in Plaza (or on Ebay, but that's another thread). It's just usually less effort to jump the tube to Oxford Circus than to get my wife to drive over to Enfield.

Stella Cadente
11-06-2007, 19:03
Anyone on here actually affected by these store closures?


if there was staff on here from any of these 35, then I'm sure they would be affected.

Art Is Resistance
11-06-2007, 19:10
Hasbro aren't in the shops game though - if they took GW over you would see:

No more 'Official' Games Days - GENCON became an independant entity and is run by a separate company not owned by Hasbro
No more stores - which, admittedly, in the US isn't a problem as the indies would pickup the business - but in the UK you may end up having serious difficulty getting GW stuff from a shop - you would be stuck to buying over the internet.

Gaming rooms would disappear - see above - no shops = no gaming rooms.

No Warhammer World - Production would be moved overseas completely, meaning no need for a campus the size of WW.

Now, I bet that several posters will come back with the fact that I'm talking rubbish, and that Hasbro would be the answer to their prayers, but I owuld rather see GW stay an independant entity, based in the UK. If this means less shops that aren't profitable then fair do's - shops close all the time if they don't make money - why should GW be any different?

Zink
11-06-2007, 19:14
I lost my nearest store but it won't have much affect on my buying as I didn't buy much other than paint there. But it did kill my little outing to look at what's new on display while I was in the city.

stecal
11-06-2007, 19:25
GOOD! I went into a GW store once.... never again.

Now perhaps there will be more growth in LGS's without GW cutthroat competition

Harry
11-06-2007, 19:41
I remember when Games workshop had only four stores.....
....didn't stop them growing into what they are today.

If Games workshop returned to having only four UK stores tommorow...
...wouldn't stop them continuing to grow.

The number of stores is a red herring. (and not a paddle) :D

theunwantedbeing
11-06-2007, 21:24
What stores are actually closing?
I cant seem to find where it says which ones they are......

Bombot
11-06-2007, 21:50
I lost my nearest store but it won't have much affect on my buying as I didn't buy much other than paint there. But it did kill my little outing to look at what's new on display while I was in the city.

This handily sums up why they needed to close some stores.

Yeah yeah, the plural of anecdote is not data, but you all know it's true ;)

VetSgtNamaan
11-06-2007, 22:23
Well to most in the UK I am sure the idea of a hasbro take over is a nightmare but to someone in canada who has never been to a GW store nor is likely too and with the canceling of conflicts the nearest games day is like 3000 miles away I look forward to it actually. I suspect many who do not like in the UK or near a games day city would feel the same since it feels to me currently that GW is not really caring about its customers I will return the feeling.

Zink
11-06-2007, 22:38
This handily sums up why they needed to close some stores.

Yeah yeah, the plural of anecdote is not data, but you all know it's true ;)

Pretty much. And the reason I didn't buy much there is that I could get it cheaper on the internet and delivered to my mail box. No need to drive for hours and not have what I wanted in stock or just expensive. The store was small with 2 4x4 tables. The staff was nice but I never once thought about spending my time playing there. I've never had the use of any of the GW "services" except for bits ordering and that cost an arm and a leg. I'd tried to use the store to connect me to GW events and clubs in Saskatchewan. But they never contacted me about anything. So while I'm a bit sad to see the store go it won't change anything for me.

Templar Ben
12-06-2007, 00:46
How would Hasbro ruin the hobby experience?

Crazy Harborc
12-06-2007, 01:54
I don't think it would ruin the hobby of wargaming.....bend some noses of GW game players, that's likely to happen with Hasbro in charge.;)

Actually, I am AGAINST a take over. IMHO, a take over is more likely to mean a new owner(s) selling off the assets. Starting over with the newly acquired rights to this and that patent, trademark etc.;)

Miniature Figurines (Minifigs) and Ral Partha were minies companies that managed to crash and burn as well. Like TSR there were other factors I am sure.

scarletsquig
12-06-2007, 01:54
How would Hasbro ruin the hobby experience?

*fires up photoshop*

This is your tau:

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e84/Zmithy/taugw.gif

This is your tau on Hasbro:

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e84/Zmithy/tauha.gif

IheartTau
12-06-2007, 03:32
Rofl, this thread derailed quickly.

VetSgtNamaan
12-06-2007, 05:05
so what your saying is because you live in the middle of nowere ,hasbro should take over GW and ruin the company for everyone in the uk ?
maybe you should consider a different hobby perhaps? or maybe move ?:wtf:

If you think that fine by me. I just really makes little difference to me if they fold or get bought out. I happen to think hasbro would streamline things and produce better product. I certainly know the 40k rpg would not be delayed for a year if hasbro was running things. Perhaps if GW adapted its sales and marketing to each region it would be doing better. But by all means continue the personal attacks if that is all you have to support you arguments.

Art Is Resistance
12-06-2007, 06:56
In defence of KnB, you made it personal by stating that if Gw YOU couldn't care less as, they selfishly haven't opened a store near you!

GW sell through a lot of indies in North America - it's a big place, and it's the best way to do it. But in the UK being of a smaller size, GW find that they can run their own stores.

The UK will be the ones to lose out on any takeover by Hasbro or similar - GW is inherently a british country - the books, games and IP have a very british feel to them IMHO, and I worry that, just like many other british IP's it will be Americanised and sanitised. And no, I DON'T want to see 'action' figures of 40k / WFB.

The game is afoot
12-06-2007, 06:57
Miniature Figurines (Minifigs) and Ral Partha were minies companies that managed to crash and burn as well. Like TSR there were other factors I am sure.

What planet are you on?
Both of those companies are still going and I buy from them from time to time across the Internet.:eyebrows:

snurl
12-06-2007, 07:05
Ral Partha is now run by a company called Iron wind Metals.

Minifigs and it's US mirror Heritage went out of business in the 80's, a new company has bought the rights/molds and now does business as Minifigs.

VetSgtNamaan
12-06-2007, 13:16
I see GW stores as a giant money sink to be honest and think they should be focusing on helping the local retail store. I just do not see that happening in Canada anytime soon especially since my local indie which I frequently visit to eagerly spend money had to phone GW 3 times to find out who thier new rep was and still did not get a response back and it was only when they phoned a 4th time to complain they finally got a response.

Yes I do like GW products, else I would not buy them though I do not buy as much as I used to since well I have all the stuff for the armies I am intersted in and now tend to focus mostly on Forgeworld stuff. That being said I have to say I do not like the company at all, since as a provider of luxury goods it has a remarkable lack of customer service or even a basic understanding of what it entails. And rather than focusing on fixing thier problems they seem to want to bribe you instead. I like all my friends who play 40k do not want free stuff we all make good livings and just want to be valued and the problems fixed. I know for a fact that if I called any other companies hot line and the rep there eluded to calling my wife thief and a liar they would have been swift and immediate response. Not finding out through our indie store that 3 months later that person was terminated.

I am sure things are nice and rosy in the GW UK but in Canada my and my friends experiences with GW have been anything but professional.

Which is now why 40k is the minority game in my area now as opposed to flames of war and others. NOt because one is inherently better than the others but companies that show they care about thier customers keep customers it is that simple.

Gaebriel
12-06-2007, 14:04
so what your saying is because you live in the middle of nowere ,hasbro should take over GW and ruin the company for everyone in the uk ?
maybe you should consider a different hobby perhaps? or maybe move ?:wtf:Ah, the famous consider a different hobby line - Paul Sawyer was a good teacher... :eyebrows:

So what? It's an individual point of view, and not everyone swims along the "GW is holy"-river...

I personally wish that GW goes down the drain and then is bought out by someone with a different and fresh understanding of the wargaming market. An under new management sign would be the perfect opportunity to somewhat radically change things without people moaning about every detail, because most people would give a bit of goodwill to the new management.

But perhaps things have to become really bad for the majority of yay-sayers to appreciate that.

The game is afoot
12-06-2007, 17:16
Ral Partha is now run by a company called Iron wind Metals.

Minifigs and it's US mirror Heritage went out of business in the 80's, a new company has bought the rights/molds and now does business as Minifigs.

Minifigs UK also have the rights to bring in Reaper minis from across the pond.

Brimstone
12-06-2007, 17:18
Rofl, this thread derailed quickly.

I agree stick to the topic in question in future please.

Thread Closed

The Warseer Inquisition