Chances are high GW will simply lose costumers like me with this.
I spend about half of my hobby budget online and half at a local store.
What many people fail to realize is that both online and brick and mortar stores are GW's customers. They may dress it up in terms of "partnership" or "independant sales agent" or some such nonsense, but at the end of the day, GW is selling them a product and they're paying for it.
A local guy Joe who owned a comic shop was talked into taking up GW's product lines. He was worried that they'd be opening up one of their hobby centres in the city, but they assured him that if he carried their stuff, they wouldn't have to. He should have gotten it in writing, because six months later, there was a GW store in town. That's how GW treats their "partners." Shafts them just like any other GW customer.
Remember to take the time to enjoy your hobby. If GW isn't doing it anymore for you, look elsewhere. There are lots of great miniature games out there now.