But the real deal happens out on the street, and in my mind. Behavioural science has much more to tell us about economics than any actual economics degree ever will.
And so I wonder, why did GW raise their prices, and aim at kids? Because they sought more money.
And why did they seek more money? Because people weren't spending as much.
And why weren't they spending as much? Because GW was, and continues foolishly selling their own product to other companies, who in turn were selling it at discounted prices! GW was, and still is, funding their own competition.
Now, it's such a simple and obvious problem that I'm certain GW noticed it. As soon as the end customer was able to make a decent saving on GW products by buying from discount retailers, either online or not, they started to shun the GW stores. GW was, at this point, faced with a choice: to abandon their own stores, or abandon their independant retailers. They chose... poorly.
It's a hard choice to make, and either one will be unpopular. To stop providing stock to independant stores, or to close hundreds of your own stores. So GW put it off. And to correct the problem they targeted people who wouldn't yet be savvy enough to buy online: kids. And they put the prices up. A natural result of this was the alienation of the veteran customers. GW also put a stop to retailers selling their product online unless they also posessed an actual brick and mortar shop.
Every unpopular business decision GW has made has been as a result of other people being able to sell their own stock cheaper than GW do.
The solution is very simple, from my own point of view, and should have been taken years ago...
They need to close their retail outlets.
This instantly frees them from competing with their stockists, and would give them an opportunity to start encouraging customers to buy from them, rather than punishing them for simply doing what they do, which is buy from the cheapest source.
GW could then run teams of sales representatives who could travel from store to store, running intro days with discounts, giveaways, helping independant stockists with displays, demo tables, etc, still encouraging the hobby (which would no longer be such a hard sell since the product could be priced to a more reasonable bracket) at a much lower cost than maintaining so many staff and stores, not to mention the distribution and other ancilliary costs!
But I think the cost involved with restructing the company like this would look bad to shareholders too blind to see past the next quarterly report, and as such will be put off until it's too late, and the company is bought and sold by someone else, putting an end to the awesome models and games that I love.