Finecast is like a watch from Armani - very expensive and waterproof.
That said, any chance you could link your models you were talking about? I'd love to pick up a set of that infantry to paint up
Browncoat. And will be forever.
Not being funny, I bloody love Mantic Games
The (Rat)Men of (Under)Talabheim! - A Painting Log
One has to wonder how much GW is paying for people to serve as internet sock puppets.
a) they provide a door to the (GW tm) hobby
b) are or should be a great place to display units and boards to attract and amaze customers
c) give jobs to people
I don't know for sure, but I guess the prices of their models include running all those shops around the world, but then again I think without proof that they definitively charge too much also (other people have been explaining that better than me in this thread).
Now a lot of things can be argued about how (badly) they manage those stores, and in-store policies etc... but I think this hobby wouldn't be the same without the stores.
OK, I'll bite.
The percentage of their gross income is split fairly evenly between the UK, Europe, and North America at 30% each (give or take), with the remainder coming from other worldwide locations.
Their stores tend to take up between 60-70% of their income to maintain.
The location of their stores are overwhelmingly just in England, at around 70%.
The UK's income is 30% of their total, but remember (being generous) 60% of their income goes to their stores.
In other words, the rest of the world is subsidizing their UK store business model. Most of their customers across the rest of the planet have never even seen a GW store, and don't live within a hundred miles of one (if that!) yet they're still paying for those stores.
And here I thought British colonialism died with Ghandi...
Just because the horse is dead is no reason to stop flogging it.
they see me trollin, they hatin
DESTINY IS CALLING!!! but beer is on the other line.....
B and c can just as easily be done by an independent retailer.
They charge way too much and it’s slowly killing them.I don't know for sure, but I guess the prices of their models include running all those shops around the world, but then again I think without proof that they definitively charge too much also (other people have been explaining that better than me in this thread).
Worst part is, as I mentioned above, that the function of these stores could just as easily be fulfilled by an independent retailer.
With one big exception, that is...
The benefit of having your own store is that it helps isolate your customer and prevent them from finding other, and better/cheaper, alternatives.
This seems to work, to some degree, in the UK, but it doesn’t work in the rest of the world where Games Workshop doesn’t have nearly the saturation that they do in the UK. Unfortunately, the internet (which Games Workshop still doesn’t seem to completely grasped the importance of) has opened the markets to the general population. And so the brick’n’mortars stores have lost their importance and become the anchor that slowly drags Games Workshop down.
No, the hobby would be a lot better as people would be exposed to a much greater variety of models/games.Now a lot of things can be argued about how (badly) they manage those stores, and in-store policies etc... but I think this hobby wouldn't be the same without the stores.
Personally, I couldn’t care less if all Games Workshop stores were to close down tomorrow. The closest store is more than three hours by train away. Never been there, don’t plan to. And even if, for some strange reason, I would find myself in that area I would still not go there. Why would I, when I can order from Maelstrom and save up to 1/3 of the price?
There's no place for sentiment or anecdotal feelings when it comes to analysis and investigation, though. And you should be dead worried about the company... but the right way to support it is, oddly enough, not buy from them.
GW is on a dangerous course right now - their financials are stagnant and have been for the better part of a decade, at a time when gaming companies of all sorts are showing growth. Their profits are also quite stagnant - a dangerous sign, because they've done so many cost-cutting measures these last few years that it should have had SOME impact on their profitability. What should also be worrying (from GW's point of view) is that they cut the number of US stores by half, increased profitability four-fold (from 700k pounds to 3m pounds), and STILL their overall profit was flat, meaning other areas dropped dramatically.
The flat profits are a clear sign that their overall strategy (raise prices to cover lost sales) is horribly flawed; if indeed players were willing to pay any price to play then their profit should have shot up with each price increase. The fact that it's still fairly flat means that less minis are being sold to fewer players, that each price raise only exaggerates this effect, and that there's a tipping point at which they will simply price themselves out of business.
The signs are here for anyone with half a bit of financial training to tease out.
Why aren't the GW management seeing exactly the same things, with every BIT of financial data laid out for them?
They could be complacent, optimistic, or willfully negligent. Of the three, I'm actually betting on negligent. Why?
Because up until two years ago, they had a pie chart in their financials that indicated what slice of their overall income and profitability came from independent stores to retail stores. Then it vanished.
The only reason it would have vanished is if it showed data that the higher-ups didn't like.
It would have showed data the higher ups didn't like if it changed.
If it had changed, it could have only done so one of two ways: dramatically in favor of independent store sales, or dramatically in favor of retail sales.
If it had changed in favor of retail sales, it would have been trumpeted as a triumph of their business plan - particularly because this is when they first started implementing one-man stores.
Therefore, they removed it because it showed that independents sold a lot more, and were much more profitable, than their retail stores.
So GW muckymucks know their store model is flawed, yet they continue to support it to the detriment of their customers, their investors, and their employees, and have tried to hide evidence showing it. This shows that the guys in charge of the company (and the games you love!) don't actually care about the long-term health of the company. If they don't care about their company, why should you give two ****s about it?
This year is a pivotal one. If GW raises prices again, it's a sign that they've lost the plot completely, and nothing will change until the company changes hands - probably after the whole thing goes under and the IP and factories are liquidated to interested parties. Not that Wells will care; he'll have a golden parachute waiting to waft him away from the disaster he created. The timescale on this is ten-fifteen years, btw, not next week - still, why bother waiting? Why not find a game put out by a company that actually cares?
On the other hand, if GW either announces a plan to dramatically scale back their stores and freeze/lower prices, with sales announced to draw older players back into the fold in time for the Hobbit... then it's a sign they've actually read the financial trends right, and there may be some future in supporting the game.
But somehow I wouldn't put my money on it.
I think the real problem with their UK store policy is the fact they spent most of the 90’s moving into so many towns where there were perfectly competent indie stores already selling their products. It was a pointless predatory step to try and gain high street exclusivity when it really wasn’t needed.
The gaming community was already there, the sales point was already there – and since certainly at the time their products were superior to their competitors and well known it wasn’t even a major step towards dominating the market.
With the rise of the internet making it far easier to meet other gamers and find out about local clubs it’s an operating model that is increasingly weak, other companies can push their games online and straight into those clubs bypassing the whole high street shop as a ‘place to meet’.
In fact, the price rises actually push people into actively seeking the cheaper alternatives, they’re nothing more than a short sighted way of covering up reducing volume sales. On top of that, for me at least, they aren’t even the best rules or miniatures any more so they can’t even play the ‘superiority’ card.
Arguably the indie stores are the only model that really works now, but since GW killed so many off, and with the current state of the economy it’s hardly likely they’re going to be making a resurgence any time soon even if GW did start backing out of its retail operation, which to me is the real shame of the situation.
Here is what a GW store is to me...
It's a golden, shiny symbol of an 'awesome' place that I would like to visit someday.... much like I may want to visit a museum. Would I ever buy anything from there? No, there's no discount, which is the only way to afford the absurd prices.
The closest GW to me is a few hundred miles away, 2-4 hours drive. As a kid, and now adult, I always wanted to see one of these fabled stores in person, because it's GW, and that is just cool. Notice that is a completely emotional reason. Nothing to do with playing their game there, purchasing from there, or doing anything other than site seeing.
In America, and apparently most non-UK countries, Games Workshop became the dominate game system from quality and once good prices. Retail stores had nothing to do with them. The fact that I won't even try to get my friends to play Warhammer or 40k because I would feel like a villain, knowing the price I would be about to gouge from them, says it all. GW grew in America from friends getting other friends involved. No GW stores getting kids to play. If friends no longer feel right about getting other friends to play, you have a problem.
In short, GW Stores don't help in America. Word of mouth (what made them dominate in America) no longer works. They have to change their strategy soon (and I hope they do) or else my favorite game won't be played in my area at all.
Nothing magical or awesome about them.
The ones in my area at least are uncomfortably small and dark and usually filled with loud and obnoxious people. I believe there are four or five within an hour's drive, but I see no reason to go there at all. If I wanted to buy anything from a store rather than ordering online I'd go to an indy store every time (except for the one indy store remaining in my hometown, which is even worse - that's where fun goes to die!).
Last edited by EmperorNorton; 09-05-2012 at 15:04.
EmperorNorton's Overabundance of Projects Log
Minis bought: 363 - - - - - Minis painted: 373
Minis bought: 407 - - - - - Minis painted: 66
In the Grim Darkness of the Far Grim Dark there is only Grim Darkness, and skulls.
The Host of the Maggot King - A Nurgle WoC PLog
It also doesn't help sales that they refuse to let others easily sell their stuff. For example, the "no-shopping-cart" policy they've afflicted places like Warstore with is just absurd. Why would they want to make it harder to buy their stuff? Just because GW isn't the people selling it? One would think there are a lot more people who decide not to buy anything at all than who say "well, all right, I'll go ahead and buy from gw dot com or make an epic voyage to the quote-unquote nearby store two states over because I can't click on 'add to cart'."
Sure, you CAN special order the thing from the indy online outlets, but why does GW make it such a hassle?
Sadly (for them, that is), it doesn’t work that way...
I’m really looking forward to the report this year. Going to be really interesting to see who Australian gamers reacted to the embargo.
If Coca Cola stopped selling their product in retail stores and only allowed you to buy it at specialty "Coke Stores" and via their website, do you think they'd make more money?
If you could only buy Nike products from Nike's website, would they experience a sales boon?
My options are:
-Buy it from the GW site with a shopping cart, get a terribly erratic shipping time (nothing gets sent out in a timely manner, but the order gets to the "too late to change" status near-instantly for me), and pay full price.
-Buy it from the LGS in person, get it right away, and pay 85% of full price.
-Buy it from Miniature Market via e-mail, get it within a week, and pay 75% of full price.
Lower the MSRP while maintaining your wholesale price and you'd get a lot more people buying direct, I'm sure. People can be lazy, but I've found people to be far more likely to do a little extra work for a discount - that's why people are still clipping coupons and shopping sales.