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Gaargod
17-04-2009, 20:19
Heya

Recently had yet another temporary staff member come to our store. Our main staff guy has recently been taking the management course and is off at Watford for his last 6 months of it, and we've recently had a lot of the temporary guys come in. The last few have actually been alright and were nice guys.

However, this latest one is just a complete... [insert rude word here]

He doesn't let us use the open copy army books (despite knowing we have the books), the store's dice, tape measures, templates, paints, glues, borrow any of the models or sit down on the chairs unless we're actually painting/making, go the toilet there, play any specialist game in the shop even with our own stuff. He's also very down on proxying. Some of these aren't actually that bad to be fair, but in general its his attitude.
My personal favourite one is that unless we're actually doing hobby related things, we're not going to be allowed to stay in the shop.


Anyone else think that this is going way over the top?

Frontier
17-04-2009, 20:22
Frankly, I don't see the guy working for the company too long like that. He'll be gone soon enough.

Arhalien
17-04-2009, 20:25
However, this latest one is just a complete... [insert rude word here]

He doesn't let us use the open copy army books (despite knowing we have the books), the store's dice, tape measures, templates, paints, glues, borrow any of the models or sit down on the chairs unless we're actually painting/making, go the toilet there, play any specialist game in the shop even with our own stuff. He's also very down on proxying. Some of these aren't actually that bad to be fair, but in general its his attitude.
My personal favourite one is that unless we're actually doing hobby related things, we're not going to be allowed to stay in the shop.


Anyone else think that this is going way over the top?

All of them are just going too far: maybe within the letter of the rules, but not in the spirit of maintaining the store at all.
The bolded one seems especially strange to me: is that now company policy? Me and a few friends have got away with playing a homebrew 40k battle-companies rules-set several times*, even with the staff knowing what we were doing. Not allowing people to play a games-system that they own, that is an official games workshop game, and could possibly encourage people to try out the more peripheral aspects of the hobby, and sell more GW products.
Madness..

You have my sympathy: I hope that you get someone with some sense soon.

*on saturdays as well, not just vets night/gaming club

Wolf Scout Ewan
17-04-2009, 20:30
While the guy may seem like a killjoy, those are actually the rules. He may come from a store where the manager is really strict.

Give the guy a break and let him get on with his job.

Hashshashin
17-04-2009, 20:31
The guy just sounds like a tool, who needs to feel like he's in control over something.

I know for a fact when I stand around a hobby store *eventually* there will be an impulse buy...I knew I needed some more green stuff and that set of Cities of Death counters I never bought when i actually still played CoD...

So to me that just sounds like bad business.

yabbadabba
17-04-2009, 20:37
While the guy may seem like a killjoy, those are actually the rules. He may come from a store where the manager is really strict.

QFT. Unlike some retail businesses, GW managers have a lot of sway over what happens in their store. The other things to consider is that he might not be sure of the expectations and is reverting to a safe baseline, and/or he is under instructions from the area manager.
Its rare to find a staff member who actively wants to discourage people from enjoying themselves. And those that do have an extremely short lifespan in the retail business.

starlight
17-04-2009, 20:43
Unfortunately he's enforcing the letter of the law as opposed to the spirit. :(

If it's too much, complain...politely and factually, but let his bosses know that it's interfering with your spending. :)

reds8n
17-04-2009, 20:44
My personal favourite one is that unless we're actually doing hobby related things, we're not going to be allowed to stay in the shop.



I hesitate to ask but what else would you be doing in the shop ?

If you're sort of just hanging about shooting the breeze and , and this is the key bit, not in the way when they're trying to do their job, then I'd say he is being a bit OTT.

If on the other hand you're one of these people who seems to treat the shop as a second home and just hang about for hours on end not actually doing anything then I think he's got a point.

This is assuming he's stood there with a stopwatch and the very second you finish gaming he kicks you out of course.

Arhalien
17-04-2009, 20:45
Unfortunately he's enforcing the letter of the law as opposed to the spirit. :(


*cough*


All of them are just going too far: maybe within the letter of the rules, but not in the spirit of maintaining the store at all.


:angel:

In all seriousness though, I now have a lot of contempt for whoever it is that came up with those rules: they really need their head examining (especially on the SG issue: that's annoying me far more than it should...)

Tonberry
17-04-2009, 20:52
He sounds like what most GW employees should be, I'm going to sound like an ass saying this but it's a shop, not a social club.

thinkerman
17-04-2009, 20:58
He doesn't let us use the open copy army books (despite knowing we have the books), the store's dice, tape measures, templates, paints, glues, borrow any of the models or sit down on the chairs unless we're actually painting/making, go the toilet there, play any specialist game in the shop even with our own stuff. He's also very down on proxying. Some of these aren't actually that bad to be fair, but in general its his attitude.
My personal favourite one is that unless we're actually doing hobby related things, we're not going to be allowed to stay in the shop.



This is a common case and enforced in many stores by the managers - so much for encouraging the hobby.

Its mainly the new wave of managers 'yes yes yes' managers that have this attitude in my experience .
Im my op the managers you find in most GW stores ive been into over the last few years are just NOT upto the task

A managers role is many things:

To lead his team by example,
Follow the 10 commandments (which most throw out the window in favour of pressure sales),
Reconise the skills and strengths of his/her team and use there skills accordingly,
Meet targets and achieve goals
Listen to and respect there staff
Promote the hobby and the GW experience (raped for cash now)

Ive known some great managers, unfortunately i know some which dont deserve there jobs and am astounded by the way they treat there own staff and customers - i certainly would be spoken to in the way they treat there customers/regulars and staff.

In general the old school type of staff and managers in my op are on there way out - its a huge shame as GW stores to me just arent what they used to be........the experience im finding is popping into the store, having the newest shiney thing shoved in my face (war of the ring), purchasing what little bits i wanted, offered stuff i dont need and can get cheaper elsewhere, then once ive spend basically told to **** off unless i was buying something else.... what a charming customer friendly experience

kyussinchains
17-04-2009, 20:58
He sounds like what most GW employees should be, I'm going to sound like an ass saying this but it's a shop, not a social club.

that's where you're wrong, games workshop refers to its stores as 'hobby centres'. Most of them run participation events, painting tuition, veterans nights, all encouraged and supported by the company vision, actively encouraging people to spend time in the shop, and not just mindlessly spending money and then leaving.

zedeyejoe
17-04-2009, 21:01
I am always loath to take a view on someone, just because of someone elses opinion of them.

Hivefleet Kara'don
17-04-2009, 21:04
He doesn't let us use the open copy army books (despite knowing we have the books), the store's dice, tape measures, templates, paints, glues, borrow any of the models or sit down on the chairs unless we're actually painting/making, go the toilet there, play any specialist game in the shop even with our own stuff. He's also very down on proxying. Some of these aren't actually that bad to be fair, but in general its his attitude.
My personal favourite one is that unless we're actually doing hobby related things, we're not going to be allowed to stay in the shop.

Sorry, but I don't see he's doing anything wrong in asking you to do those things.

If your a vet (which you sound like you are) then you should have all the stuff you need to play with. If your going to go to GW to play then you should be taking all that stuff with you. If you don't have the stuff you need to play with then you should buy it and not just use the Store stuff all the time. This applies to Dice, Templates, Rulebooks etc.

You have to remember the painting tables are there to allow the staff to run painting/modeling lessons for new customers, there not there for you to lounge about on.

The Toilets are through the back of the shop, usually through the stock room. No-one should be allowed to use them accept for the staff.

Also remember that GW stores are First and for most a place of business it is not a hang out for you and your friends (unless you are using the tables)

I don't see he's done anything wrong with what he has asked you to do. I know a few Retail staff and from their (and my own) personal experience this sort of situation usually arises when you have a lot of regulars who have been allowed to become over familiar with the full-time staffers.

ToXin
17-04-2009, 21:05
I'd agree with you there completely Tonberry. The function of the facilities provided is to encourage new business and support growing business, not provide a hangout. As far as specialist games - it's going to be discouraged as any potential new customer who sees games / painting etc. should be able to turn round and buy anything they see, which as an aside, is why conversions / staff own miniatures were removed from the shop display cabinets.

How staff implement the 'rules' or business practice can come across as unfriendly if they are not diplomatic enough though.

xowainx
17-04-2009, 21:17
I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I can't imagine any wargamer having pedantic tendencies.

JLBeady
17-04-2009, 21:25
He sounds like what most GW employees should be, I'm going to sound like an ass saying this but it's a shop, not a social club.

If it's strictly a shop then there is absoluty no reason to host gaming, have hobby space, much less chairs for people to sit on. I will go and spend my money in another "shop", probably one on the internet where I can get 20% off. I mean, why support my LGS if my LGS is just a "shop".

That said, my GW is not like that at all. The store is setup to encourage poeple to game. The staff freely encourage use of the store copies (You just can't keep it at the table the whole game), and specialist games are welcome. As someone else said, complain and state that this individual's actions makes you feel unwelcome in the store and that unless the behavior changes you will be spending your money else where.

Chaos and Evil
17-04-2009, 21:35
I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I can't imagine any wargamer having pedantic tendencies.

Funny. :rolleyes:

Dangersaurus
17-04-2009, 21:36
You can't play Specialist Games in GW shops? I know Jervis isn't GW and GW isn't Jervis, but it sure makes it look like he's talking out of both sides of his mouth when they set policies like this.


The Toilets are through the back of the shop, usually through the stock room. No-one should be allowed to use them accept for the staff.

Not sure where the OP is from, but in many states here in the US a mercantile building must provide restroom facilities to the public by law (Uniform Plumbing Code here in CA). Calling OSHA or your local health department on it can get them fined or shut down. In some states the fines run over $1,000.

This is a more serious subject than most people realize. Laws like this help keep your cities cleaner and your people healthier. Every civilized country should consider instituting similar laws.

To the OP: Write a polite letter much like what you wrote above to GW. I'm sure it will get sorted out.

Chaos and Evil
17-04-2009, 21:42
You can't play Specialist Games in GW shops?

Many/Most GW stores ban them.

Being as in-store gaming tables are really just another form of promotion of the hobby (potential customers walking by can see people playing the game against each other), and GW only want to promote the three core games, I suppose it makes sense, economically speaking.

It just sucks if you favourite system happens to be on the list of banned games.

Verm1s
17-04-2009, 22:55
Funny. :rolleyes:

It kinda was, though. ;)

TBH I'm not going to be as generous as the guys saying 'but those are the rules'. When I read the first post and the ones that agree with it, I hear "Whine whine whine. Retail staff won't let us treat their shop like our parent's houses."

Dangersaurus: you're assuming Jervis is much more than than a PR mouthpiece they wheel out every so often, like Troy McClure.

"Hi, I'm Jervis Johnson! You may remember me from such wargame credits as..."

venus_redscar
17-04-2009, 22:56
This is exactly why I don't feel like I am losing out with no local GW. I go to a third party shop and its friendly, nice, and very open.

ehlijen
17-04-2009, 22:58
Those are actually the rules. Just because some staffers become very familiar with 'their' regulars doesn't mean those regulars should expect the same leniency from anyone else.

The very fact that they have painting and gaming tables is already a major benefit to those who want to use them. But that is all GW's stuff and thus it should only be fair that we follow their rules, just as we would follow any rules our friends make for their games rooms.
You need your own dice'n'things? You should have them already anyway.
The seats are for painting? Well yes, they're at the painting table.
Intro sessions take priority? Well yes. that's what the shops are meant to do. Be glad they let you use those seats/tables at all. Most shops are not too keen on their customers using glues and paints to such abandon near their merchandise.
If they even have a toilet it's usually a staff one. That means cleaning schedules and health'n'safety regulations are not set up to handle public use.
If they have a public toilet and he refuses to let you use it, then that's wrong, but I don't think GW shops have those.
Specialist games are not products GW wishes to promote at this point. That is their (annoying) decision and that's fair (if annoying). Just because your friends let you break that rule does not mean you're entitled to break that rule.
By proxying, do you mean proxying (as in coke can droppods?) or count as (as in 'this converted, cool looking super cannon is a lascannon?). If the first, he's right. Proxying is a houserule, and one the 'house' of GW does not condone. The latter would indeed be stiffling the hobby rather than supporting it.

As for GW not being a social club, that is kinda true. It's meant to be a venue for enjoying the 3 main games. It is not 'somehwere to hang out' as many people treat it as, nor is it a storage point for figure cases (as many people here treat it as) nor is it a store model lender service (as many people here treat it as). Ie what they want is for people to go there and play games and if space allows, paint and build models. If you're not going to do that, and not going to buy stuff they are quite reasonable at asking 'what are you doing here?'.

Their store, their rules. If you don't respect them, at least follow them. Or go to a different store (and I hope you find one that provides gaming tables and painting table space, even if subject to space demands, for free, free!).

The Judge
17-04-2009, 23:06
I agree with the staff member's decision on everything aside from the Specialist Games - if there is space and it's Veteran's Night, I see no reason why you shouldn't be allowed to play them.

Thud
18-04-2009, 05:13
If I were a GW head honcho type, I'd fire that man in a heartbeat.

GW sells a niche product. Which means a small customer base. Which means it's more important to take care of the customer base you have. **** people off, and they just might not give you their money after all.

zedeyejoe
18-04-2009, 06:57
I hate to say it but lounging about, shooting the breeze is not making GW any money. Yes customers have a right to decent service, bending over and asking "please give me another" is not part of the job description.

If people have unrealistic expectations of what happens in a shop, then it is probably a good thing that they are challenged in that attitude. It will be a useful life experience.

Thoth62
18-04-2009, 07:13
On the flipside, a couple of my buddies just had a nice friendly game of Aeronautica on Thursday night at one of the tables in our bunker.

I think we're somewhat blessed here, in that we have a fairly lenient manager when it comes to games systems that are allowed to be played in the store. There are of course, still rules, and we do (for the most part) follow them.

Bottom line is though, it's a shop, and if you're not going to follow the rules that are laid down, then you can't blame the store if you don't want to go back and spend your money there. It's unrealistic to expect that you're allowed to get away with activities that aren't in line with that particular stores policy, so don't be surprised when the staff come and tell you not to continue that behaviour. It's childish, and smacks of immaturity.

RevEv
18-04-2009, 09:10
Whereas I feel this staff member is being a bit overzealous I see his point of view.

I have lost count of the number of times I have entered a store only to be met by a wall of geeky stares - you get the feeling that you are interloping in a private club and are not welcome (I've yet to get the League of Gentleman's 'Are you local? This is a local shop for local people!', but you get the gist). It also doesn't help that the, increasingly, sole staff member is so engrossed in conversation with their mates that they fail to even greet you.

Let's try to remember GW is a retail store with certain 'rules', and that the staff member has certain expectations put on them to achieve targets. If the regulars are getting in the way of this then expect to have the rules imposed.

Rather than complaining here speak to the staff member AND start to take in your own models, books, tape measures etc to play your games. As to specialist games, take them in on a Vets night and invite the staffer to play. They may never have seen them.

BigRob
18-04-2009, 09:11
This guy is in a new store, probably in a new town so he isn't one of your regular staffers you have known for years. It's only after you have known th staffers and proven yourself that they start letting things go. I know a couple of guys who practically live in my local store and they both know all the staff and make a point of making friends with new guys. They have both been staff at points in the past and they both still paint store models and help out with odd jobs.

This guy is new in town, and is enforcing what would be considered pretty standard rules in any other shop. You don't go and hang about in your local toystore unless you want to play "Spot the Store Detective" or sit for hours in those chairs you get by the checkouts in some supermarkets. GW is no different. I know several that have had problems with parents dumping children there for the day and treating it like a creche so I'm not surprised that some stores enforce a "doing nothing? Then please leave" policy. Don't forget 90% of GW stores are quite small places and so crowds of random people prevent more customers entering and browsing easily.

As far as SG goes its pretty standard not to play them in stores. We played WHQ on veterans night for years until it was suddenly banned by the newly promoted manager (who had been a redshirt there and a player in the campaign 6 months previously). If you want to play SG go to a games club, your mates house or some other venue.

As for the paints and glue thing, my store required you to bring your own and will not loan or give any out. This policy has been in place for several years. The same with the chairs at the paint station. They are for people painting, not people sitting down chatting. Store copies of books/games are for interested customers and look better if they are not dogeared and creased by constant reading. Store dice and rulers are for intro games, since your expected to know the rules if you do play in store then you should have your own dice, rulebook and tape measure, its basic gaming kit.

So go easy on the new guy, he is just doing his job.

Tonberry
18-04-2009, 09:40
that's where you're wrong, games workshop refers to its stores as 'hobby centres'. Most of them run participation events, painting tuition, veterans nights, all encouraged and supported by the company vision, actively encouraging people to spend time in the shop, and not just mindlessly spending money and then leaving.

I was referring to this in particular;



He doesn't let us ... unless we're actually painting/making

i.e staff led focused activity to encourage participation and eventual sales, not 'Hang around all day as we've no-where else to go' / 'Oooh! Free daycare!'

wraith[cs]
18-04-2009, 09:45
I don't get it.

Yes, he's being a bit silly with the Specialist Games thing.

But, come on. You guys need to get a grip about the tape measure, dice, rulebook, codex/army book thing. It's pretty irresponsible to not bring anything actually *needed* to play a game.

I noticed from hanging out in my local shop (and when I was a staffer) that once you let someone use a book a few times they won't ever bring their own book in and eventually the store copy gets trashed. People don't at all respect store property, be it books, dice, tapes, or terrain.

So, cool off on the guy a bit. Step into his shoes, as it sort of makes you look like a lazy gamer who expects to be pampered and given free reign of items that you should honestly have every time you go out to game.


That, and from a pragmatic point of view think of it this way : You are using the Witch Hunters book because while you own it, you neglected to bring it. Johnny comes in and wants to look at the Witch Hunter book, because hes thinking on starting an army, but oh wait you have the book. Now the staffer has to go over to your game and interrupt it just because you were too lazy to bring something you already own.

Yes, he was following the rules. Yes, he was being a tad overzealous. But try and look at it from his point of view. He doesn't know you guys, he doesn't know how the store operates. You don't know the store/company rules, he does (or may, whatever).

Cut the dude some slack.


Oh, and this is the universal "you", not the singular "you" before anyone accuses me of singling someone out.

parus_ater
18-04-2009, 10:44
That's a terrible way for staff to behave!

I had a similar problem last week at Pizza hut. I went in and set myself up at a table and was quite happy, I even brought my own food so as I wouldn't bother anyone. Then, this jobsworth of a manager came over and wasn't happy and then flipped out when I politely asked him for a loan of a plate and some cutlery....... see where I'm going with this?

zedeyejoe
18-04-2009, 11:03
wraith, nicely said.

parus_ater, thanks for the humour.

Gaargod
18-04-2009, 14:49
Thanks for the replies.

To clear a few things up:

> Obviously, if someone who actually wants to paint/make, we get up for them. But as we have like 8 or so chairs, that's pretty rare.

> Generally we only need to borrow the books to check something we can't remember.

> Not using the toilet isn't really a big issue, but its just a part of his general attitude of not allowing us anything. Same with dice and rulers.

> By not doing Hobby i mean: finished a game, have a bit of a break before doing something else, but still looking forward to playing another game. Or waiting for a table to play. Plus, he actually enforces this when there's about 5 people in the store.

The annoying thing is that our GW is quite small, but gets a ton of people on weekends, way too much for the one staff member to run beginner games, painting lessons and do the till. So with previous guys, the vets normally always end up running the beginners / helping with painting. And we're very happy to do so.
But this new guy is just being a complete killjoy, so we don't really feel like helping out. So understandably, he's a little less likely to let us do as we wish, so in the end the store actually goes down as a whole.

parus_ater
18-04-2009, 15:01
I'm noticing 'we' have only 8 chairs and 'our' gw is quite small... I think the issue isn't that this guy is laying down the law but that you and your friends see this space as belonging to you as a hang-out and and outsider is now in the position of power. You see this dynamic a lot in small work forces where someone new is come into a management situation over a group of staff who've been working together for years.

And as you say, you're local shop is pretty small, could it be that the staff are getting a little ratted that the shop is a little too crowded?

Wolf Scout Ewan
18-04-2009, 15:07
He sounds like what most GW employees should be, I'm going to sound like an ass saying this but it's a shop, not a social club.

QFT. If you wanna hang out then join a club.

However... on the other side of the equation and from personal experience having some loyal customers around if you get trouble in store is the next best thing to your own personal bodyguard.

Cry of the Wind
18-04-2009, 15:31
However... on the other side of the equation and from personal experience having some loyal customers around if you get trouble in store is the next best thing to your own personal bodyguard.

This is something that is very helpful at the local GW I frequent and used to work at. We have a very strong base of veterans (most ex staff at the store) who spend large amounts of time at the store. We have more lax rules than those mentioned in the OP but being mostly ex-staff we know when to bring it back and when we can relax more based on how busy the store is. Whenever there are a group of people that threaten the stores customers (you all know the type of people I'm talking about) it is great to have a few older and more mature people around to help convince those types to leave. Also very useful to have us around when it is busy since we can help newer players learn the game and teach them to paint when the staff are busy with other customers.

Angelwing
18-04-2009, 15:39
He doesn't let us use the open copy army books (despite knowing we have the books), the store's dice, tape measures, templates, paints, glues, borrow any of the models or sit down on the chairs unless we're actually painting/making, go the toilet there, play any specialist game in the shop even with our own stuff. He's also very down on proxying. Some of these aren't actually that bad to be fair, but in general its his attitude.
My personal favourite one is that unless we're actually doing hobby related things, we're not going to be allowed to stay in the shop.

Anyone else think that this is going way over the top?

Shop army books: For promoting the army to prospective buyers or helping staffer solve a rules dispute. Not for you use in a game. You should have your own copies.
Dice, tape measure, templates: For intro games. You should have your own. Also, stores have a theft problem with these items.
Paints and glue: For painting / modelling lessons and store armies, not for you to assemble your own armies. It would seem a bit harsh if you couldn't glue a model that just broke in a game though.
Borrow store models: For intro games and set piece promotion games. Again stores have a theft problem with models. You should have your own.
Sitting on chairs: Chairs at the painting table are for painting only. Other chairs are usually for exhausted parents whilst little Timmy runs about the store.
Toilets: I suspect that if the store actually has a toilet, it will not have public liability insurance. Also they are usually past or through a stock room so security is an issue.
Specialist games: Yes it's annoying, but I believe it's at the managers discretion. I don't agree with the apparent policy of ignoring specialist games.
Proxying: It doesn't look good to new customers if armies consist of proxies / non GW stuff and doesn't promote GW products.
Hobby related activity: Quite frankly, no you shouldn't be in the store unless you are buying or doing something hobby related. The thing is and this applies to lounging about on seats too, is that a shop full of people stood about chatting is intimidating to new customers. It will simply put many people off asking for help, or even entering the store.

Do I think the staffer is out of order? I can't answer that as I wasn't there, so I can't determine his attitude and method of relating store rules to you.
However, the store has rules for good reasons. If you don't like them, play at home or an independent that has different rules.

Templar Ben
18-04-2009, 15:57
If it's strictly a shop then there is absoluty no reason to host gaming, have hobby space, much less chairs for people to sit on. I will go and spend my money in another "shop", probably one on the internet where I can get 20% off. I mean, why support my LGS if my LGS is just a "shop".

That said, my GW is not like that at all. The store is setup to encourage poeple to game. The staff freely encourage use of the store copies (You just can't keep it at the table the whole game), and specialist games are welcome. As someone else said, complain and state that this individual's actions makes you feel unwelcome in the store and that unless the behavior changes you will be spending your money else where.

In theory the reason we pay full retail is for access to those facilities. That is what seems to come up whenever price is discussed.

5Pointer
18-04-2009, 16:02
Quite frankly, no you shouldn't be in the store unless you are buying or doing something hobby related. The thing is and this applies to lounging about on seats too, is that a shop full of people stood about chatting is intimidating to new customers. It will simply put many people off asking for help, or even entering the store.

This is one of the prime reasons I've given up using my local GW. I see it flooded with a bunch of cliquey regulars all talking far too loudly.

One problem with some regulars is when I'm talking with a staffer (getting advice etc) and then they butt in and derail the conversation and flood it with in-jokes. I get it, you are friends with the staffer, good for you! I'm gonna go home to my wife now, I'll leave you two to it.

Legionary
18-04-2009, 17:44
Hmm. Well, it's not your local gaming club, even if it is your local gaming store.

You shouldn't expect to go every time and borrow the store's equipment and books. However, you should be allowed to borrow them occassionally.

You shouldn't expect to be able to use the staff toilet - 90% of shops with a staff toilet and no public ones will refuse to allow you into the staff one. That's because it's usually a major breach of security to be letting anyone other than employees into the back of the shop.

It's a retail outlet first and foremost, so you shouldn't expect to be allowed to lounge about for hours and hours. However, you should be given at least an hour to watch games/talk if you wish to because they're hobby centers as well.

If you're not painting or modelling you shouldn't be sitting at the paint station or using the seats which are provided for that purpose. If your legs are tired from standing then that's a hint you've been in the store for too long and should go home.

It sounds to me as though you've become used to an overly friendly relationship with the store staff. This is always a problem in GW stores; the staff should maintain distance with the customers because when they don't inevitably you get weird and uncomfortable cliques with certain of the regular customers and staff. When I walk into a shop I don't want to have to drag a staff member away from chatting with regulars in order to speak to him or her.

That's not to even start on people coming to the wrong nights. If it's a newcomers day then the vets should stay away and let the new guys have one-on-one time with the staff and learn with the other new players rather than being creamed by an experienced player.

And as others have said, yeah, cliques with people talking very loudly and interrupting other people's conversations with the staff -- grr!

So yeah, he's sort of being a bit ******* by doing the things you describe but in my view you're being a bit ******* by expecting not to be called at all on YOUR behaviour by the staff. No offence intended.

Mouldsta
18-04-2009, 19:42
I remember when I worked at GW, at the worst point we got through 4 tins of dice/tape measures/templates a week. We also had to replace the space marine codex every week because it was either missing or it looked like someone had half eaten it.
There was never an available tapemeasure/dice/templates when you wanted to run an intro game, the intro game would never be set up because someone descided they needed to borrow 2 predators, 4 space marines and 20 orks so there was nothing to actually play with, and if somehow the customer was interested in getting started you couldn't show them the rulebook because the open copy was under someone's case somewhere.

We also had a sofa, which was for vets nights/tired parents. It would instead fill up with random colledge kids that had no interest in anything, but were loud and obnoxious and quite clearly put off actual customers, so we had to clear them out on a regular basis.

There's a thin line - if you've packed all your stuff but missed out packing your measure then lending one out to you is fine, but if you just can't be bothered to actually own one, then why should you be lent one every time?

Similarly if you've brought your army in for games night, but have to do a bit of shopping first then of course we could put it out back for an hour or two, but that doesn't mean you get to store everything you own in the store room on a regular basis.

Don't get me started on "captain readie" who would wander in, pick up a black libary book and then just settle down in the sofa area and attempt to read it in it's entirety, liberally thumbing the pages of course

Havock
19-04-2009, 02:28
This is exactly why I don't feel like I am losing out with no local GW. I go to a third party shop and its friendly, nice, and very open.

Quoted for truth.

Chem-Dog
19-04-2009, 03:29
While the guy may seem like a killjoy, those are actually the rules. He may come from a store where the manager is really strict.

Give the guy a break and let him get on with his job.

Not to mention the fact this guy may be a noob. It takes time to insert oneself into the flow of a retail environment, you need to develop an understanding of what boundaries exist and how flexible they are, it may be one thing that a more senior member allows something to happen, it's an entirely different thing if the new guy does it....



This is a more serious subject than most people realize. Laws like this help keep your cities cleaner and your people healthier. Every civilized country should consider instituting similar laws.

How about a "Going before you leave the house" law or a "well signposted directions to public conveniences" law or even a "hold it until you get to the next bathroom" Law....:rolleyes:



However... on the other side of the equation and from personal experience having some loyal customers around if you get trouble in store is the next best thing to your own personal bodyguard.

Have you been in a GW when an obvious shoplifter walks in? It's amazing, like watching Meerkats.


I remember when I worked at GW, at the worst point we got through 4 tins of dice/tape measures/templates a week. We also had to replace the space marine codex every week because it was either missing or it looked like someone had half eaten it.

"Known Losses" would swallow that up easily ;) Although, if I were replacing a codex every sing week, I might just be inclined to take one of the "ruined" copies separate all of the pages and binder them up in plastic wallets and use that as the in-store copy....


There was never an available tapemeasure/dice/templates when you wanted to run an intro game

Keep them behind the cash desk or "out the back" until needed....


the intro game would never be set up because someone descided they needed to borrow 2 predators, 4 space marines and 20 orks so there was nothing to actually play with,

Intro games with PREDATORS? Awesome :) ....



Don't get me started on "captain readie" who would wander in, pick up a black libary book and then just settle down in the sofa area and attempt to read it in it's entirety, liberally thumbing the pages of course

This reminds me of my favourite GW anecdote.
Way back in the mists of time (2nd edition) a Manager by the name of Laurie (IIRC) observed a young lad reading through the Eldar Codex quite intently, in fact, upon closer inspection, he was transcribing the book, word for word!
Calmly our Manager watched the morning drift away slowly as the boy continued to scribble away at his notepad until about lunchtime and the boy returned the book to it's place in the shelf and made ready to leave.
Quick as a flash the Manager leaned over the boy's shoulder and plucked the notepad from his hands, scanned it quickly (to confirm his suspicions) and then cheerfully ripped the offending pages up and sent the boy packing.

Luthor
19-04-2009, 03:58
Play at your house, much better environment, if I did play at the store it would be with people I know. Does it really matter where you play?

LictorIntheGrass
19-04-2009, 05:10
This reminds me of my favourite GW anecdote.
Way back in the mists of time (2nd edition) a Manager by the name of Laurie (IIRC) observed a young lad reading through the Eldar Codex quite intently, in fact, upon closer inspection, he was transcribing the book, word for word!
Calmly our Manager watched the morning drift away slowly as the boy continued to scribble away at his notepad until about lunchtime and the boy returned the book to it's place in the shelf and made ready to leave.
Quick as a flash the Manager leaned over the boy's shoulder and plucked the notepad from his hands, scanned it quickly (to confirm his suspicions) and then cheerfully ripped the offending pages up and sent the boy packing.

Hmmm I dont like those guys much but this really give me a :wtf: moment. Guy's obviously loves to get off on stuff like that. Kid was an idiot, but the manager a complete a**hole, shoulda stopped him in the beginning. Instead he let the little ***** continue. Probably lost a consumer for good too. Poor manager skills, so spiteful.

BuFFo
19-04-2009, 05:51
Sup Skragger,


Heya

Heya yourself bud!

Your problem is that you still frequent a GW retail store. Don't let the illusion that a GW retail store is a hobby center. It isn't. Thats just marketing.

The easy fix is do what I did waaaaay back in 2001. Stop patronizing GW stores and hang out at a locally owned game store. Buy your figures either online or in a mom and pop store, and game elsewhere.

I agree with you that this employee is being rather harsh, but on the flip side of that token, a GW store is only in existence to empty you of your wallet. It is NOT a center for the hobby by any stretch of the imagination. You need to start playing at your house, friends houses or a local gaming store. Those are the real centers of this hobby.

Now, of course, if you do not have access to a local gaming store with tables to play on, best thing to do is play at someone's house. And if you cannot do that for any reason, guess what?

That guy is going to be your best friend for life.

alexh
19-04-2009, 06:09
Three words - move to Middlesbrough!

Korras
19-04-2009, 07:36
what I was fearing when I walked into a GW for the first time in quite some years, was being treated as a regular newb. but, things went way against my expectations: of course, the inevitable question came regarding what army I play. I think listing three different armies decided for the employee that I was not a newb.

I still visit that GW once every two months or so, but they remember me. last time I came in during a crowded day, with not enough staff around. as I was just browsing the new Guard codex, eventually, one staffer came up to me with a kid in tow, asking me if I could help him with his army list, and see what he still needed to make it a bit competitive, while he helped other customers. I had no problem with it, I was just leeching the codex, and the kid wasn't some spoiled brat. :)

yabbadabba
19-04-2009, 08:04
I agree with you that this employee is being rather harsh, but on the flip side of that token, a GW store is only in existence to empty you of your wallet.

And you're telling me that a local gaming store isn't there to do the same thing?


Hmmm I dont like those guys much but this really give me a :wtf: moment. Guy's obviously loves to get off on stuff like that. Kid was an idiot, but the manager a complete a**hole, shoulda stopped him in the beginning. Instead he let the little ***** continue. Probably lost a consumer for good too. Poor manager skills, so spiteful.

Lighten up :rolleyes:. That was back in '94ish. GW had only just got gaming tables, painted their stores and introduced gaming and painting lessons. I know of a FLGS manager who took a hammer to a kid's tamagotchi - then gave him a 5 to replace it, all while laughing. And don't ask me about supermarket staff members.
Back in '94 there were "***holes" all over the retail industy. Proper customer service had only just started coming to the fore.

starlight
19-04-2009, 15:00
Let's have some understanding here...

GW stores exist to provide a consistent introduction to entry level gamers and their parents. They do not exist for veterans, although some managers attempt to accommodate them.

FLGS (if they're smart) are used to provide ongoing service to existing and veteran gamers. The smartest ones cater to all gamers from the intro game through veteran campaigns.

In a perfect world (for GW), gamers would be introduced to GW through a GW Retail store, and over their first year of gaming they would start or join a club and buy all of their hobby supplies through the GW Web store. In a more realistic world, the gamer will (hopefully) gravitate to an FLGS which is strongly supported by GW and provides gaming and painting space in addition to hobby support activities.

parus_ater
19-04-2009, 15:03
Let's have some understanding here...

GW stores exist to provide a consistent introduction to entry level gamers and their parents. They do not exist for veterans, although some managers attempt to accommodate them.

FLGS (if they're smart) are used to provide ongoing service to existing and veteran gamers. The smartest ones cater to all gamers from the intro game through veteran campaigns.

In a perfect world (for GW), gamers would be introduced to GW through a GW Retail store, and over their first year of gaming they would start or join a club and buy all of their hobby supplies through the GW Web store. In a more realistic world, the gamer will (hopefully) gravitate to an FLGS which is strongly supported by GW and provides gaming and painting space in addition to hobby support activities.

Got to be said, that's a load of nonsense.

isaac
19-04-2009, 15:06
Why does GW want people to NOT go to the local GW store?

Cane
19-04-2009, 15:08
From the sounds of it he's wary of employee theft but still sounds like a douche. Stories like these make me glad there isn't an official GW around here since indie LGS are a much more inviting environment and not run by a retail chain that got out of touch with its customers years ago.

LictorIntheGrass
19-04-2009, 15:09
Let's have some understanding here...

GW stores exist to provide a consistent introduction to entry level gamers and their parents. They do not exist for veterans, although some managers attempt to accommodate them.

FLGS (if they're smart) are used to provide ongoing service to existing and veteran gamers. The smartest ones cater to all gamers from the intro game through veteran campaigns.

In a perfect world (for GW), gamers would be introduced to GW through a GW Retail store, and over their first year of gaming they would start or join a club and buy all of their hobby supplies through the GW Web store. In a more realistic world, the gamer will (hopefully) gravitate to an FLGS which is strongly supported by GW and provides gaming and painting space in addition to hobby support activities.

Very true Starlight, but how come their can't be a tier step plan to help out both new comers and veterans? Veterans in the long run pay for the bulk of GW's product. Newcomers are usually short term. Now the alienate us with prices increases and horrible codexes/armybooks. An during a recession, the shame...

starlight
19-04-2009, 15:12
Let's have some understanding here...

GW stores exist to provide a consistent introduction to entry level gamers and their parents. They do not exist for veterans, although some managers attempt to accommodate them.

FLGS (if they're smart) are used to provide ongoing service to existing and veteran gamers. The smartest ones cater to all gamers from the intro game through veteran campaigns.

In a perfect world (for GW), gamers would be introduced to GW through a GW Retail store, and over their first year of gaming they would start or join a club and buy all of their hobby supplies through the GW Web store. In a more realistic world, the gamer will (hopefully) gravitate to an FLGS which is strongly supported by GW and provides gaming and painting space in addition to hobby support activities.


Got to be said, that's a load of nonsense.


That would be your opinion.


On the other hand, I got my information from GW's Director of Marketing when he outlined how I was supposed to support our FLGS.



Very true Starlight, but how come their can't be a tier step plan to help out both new comers and veterans? Veterans in the long run pay for the bulk of GW's product. Newcomers are usually short term. Now the alienate us with prices increases and horrible codexes/armybooks. An during a recession, the shame...

Because GW did some research in the UK (and to a lesser degree the US) that (in my opinion and contrary to the research I did when I worked there) showed that customers did the majority of their spending in the first year. That was extrapolated (again, erroneously, in my opinion) to *prove* that veterans weren't worth paying attention to...:( Unfortunately, by alienating veterans GW has violated most of the basic tenets of good customer service. :(

GW thinks that the way they do business is the best way to make money (assuming they aren't gunning for an MBO). Sadly, their sales volumes prove otherwise. :(

DashworthSS
19-04-2009, 15:13
having used to work for GW, back when we used to get weight order and really did have fun working for GW. i Know for a fact that the 5 years GW produced the LOTR 'coregames' it was plain sailing, it was all about the easy sales (with constructive and supportive training from management), celebrating the hobby with customers new and old aswell as giving that customer service GW used to be reknown for.
unfortunatly now GW's sales tatics seem to be more concerned with throwing coregames at 10yr olds.
example: a yound lad comes in the store and staff member (st.albans) starts the stereo typical convo of 'you alright there mate? how are you today, can i help? the young lad replied that all of his friends had been playing for a while and that he was interested in playing (collecting imperial gaurd to be precise).
the staff member then insisted that he buy the core game, nothing else, no intro game, no convosation to find out what he already had or what his friends were using and to me this is bad practice. even when the child said no, he then waited for his mother to come in the shop and had the same convosation with her.
thats just the tip of the sort of bull we now have to deal with in my store.
ill finish with....

1.why cant i use the toilet in the shop? your sending customers/regulars and CHILDREN to the the other side of town
2.whats changed in the way they promote sales in GW? why when i come in do i have to dodge flying coregames and say no 50 times when i dont want to sign up for something?
3.when did buying GW scenery become more important than building your own? where has 'its your hobby' gone? do the staff members not know how to make scenery anymore?
4.why do we have to deal with single staff stores when the 'children' who are 'running' them clearly need constant supervision or shouldnt be working for a company like GW at all
5.stop running shops with fear, get back to basics and stop cost cutting, there isnt a quick fix to the issues affecting

Lowmans
19-04-2009, 15:35
Three words - move to Middlesbrough!

QFT!

It's the only thing the place has going for it, mind.....!

:)

Sleazy
19-04-2009, 15:53
Sup Skragger,



Heya yourself bud!

Your problem is that you still frequent a GW retail store. Don't let the illusion that a GW retail store is a hobby center. It isn't. Thats just marketing.

The easy fix is do what I did waaaaay back in 2001. Stop patronizing GW stores and hang out at a locally owned game store. Buy your figures either online or in a mom and pop store, and game elsewhere.

I agree with you that this employee is being rather harsh, but on the flip side of that token, a GW store is only in existence to empty you of your wallet. It is NOT a center for the hobby by any stretch of the imagination. You need to start playing at your house, friends houses or a local gaming store. Those are the real centers of this hobby.

Now, of course, if you do not have access to a local gaming store with tables to play on, best thing to do is play at someone's house. And if you cannot do that for any reason, guess what?

That guy is going to be your best friend for life.


Why are you starting all your posts "Sup Skragger"?.

All I can think of is Skragger from the Blood Bowl novels.

CasperTheGhost
19-04-2009, 16:29
Because GW did some research in the UK (and to a lesser degree the US) that (in my opinion and contrary to the research I did when I worked there) showed that customers did the majority of their spending in the first year. That was extrapolated (again, erroneously, in my opinion) to *prove* that veterans weren't worth paying attention to...:( Unfortunately, by alienating veterans GW has violated most of the basic tenets of good customer service. :(

Really. I quite frankly don't believe that research for a moment. I know a lot of long time players that spend a load of money on the hobby, mainly because they are the ones with a greater disposable income. Sure the younger ones might have Mummy and Daddy to pay for their models but it would stop somewhere. The older games just have to smuggle it in and hide them from their significant other :p

In answer to the OP. Yes he's not the best people person and that proberly isn't the best way to run a GW but some of the things he is doing is right. Borrowing out things now and again is all well and good but too often is pointless.

In my experience my local store has had 3 'long-term' managers as far as I know. The first one was a good manager, of that there isn't much doubt, but he wasn't a good GW manager and so that got him in trouble a fair number of time. The second one is about as much as you described but then he had been moved down to my local GW as a bribe that if he 'fixed' it he would get to go back to his old store. Ironicaly him 'fixing' it made me stop going there. Go figure ey.

The new manager is fairly good and I would have to say he strikes a nice middle ground between the two mentioned above. He enforces the rules but isn't a total ***** in doing so. In fact he lent his entire Blood Angels army to a friend so my friend could go The Great Devourer as he didn't have time to paint his own due to GCSEs. Which I think is rather nice.

I think you have to give this guy a chance and see if he gets any better. If he stays there of course. At the end of the day it is mainly because its something new and your not used to it. Live with it really as your going to be pushed out of your comfort zones a lot in life ;)

Casper

starlight
19-04-2009, 16:56
Really. I quite frankly don't believe that research for a moment. I know a lot of long time players that spend a load of money on the hobby, mainly because they are the ones with a greater disposable income. Sure the younger ones might have Mummy and Daddy to pay for their models but it would stop somewhere. The older games just have to smuggle it in and hide them from their significant other :p

Unfortunately it's not about whether or not *you* believe it (because I don't believe new gamers outspend veterans either, but that's not the point), because GW *does* believe they get a better return from new gamers than veterans and they base decisions on it. :(

Sadly they only look at the first 12-24 months of spending, rather than lifetime spending...as most successful companies do...

The result of this can be seen in the OP's complaint. The staff member in question is toeing GW's line...to the detriment of long term customer relationships. :( The evidence that this behaviour isn't working can be seen in GW's falling sales volumes.

Lewis
19-04-2009, 17:03
Surely the point is that kiddy-gamers vastly, vastly outnumber veterans and swiftly replace their numbers when they fade away and thus outspend us. Meanwhile adding to our numbers takes a comparitively long time.

In essence they're like gretchin and we're like Eldar Aspect Warriors, that's all I'm saying.


having used to work for GW, back when we used to get weight order and really did have fun working for GW. i Know for a fact that the 5 years GW produced the LOTR 'coregames' it was plain sailing, it was all about the easy sales (with constructive and supportive training from management), celebrating the hobby with customers new and old aswell as giving that customer service GW used to be reknown for.


Seems to me the answer is therefore another movie tie-in game. Watchmen the strategy battle game perhaps?.....

I have Doctor Manhattan. You lose.

alexh
19-04-2009, 17:10
QFT!

It's the only thing the place has going for it, mind.....!

:)

cheeky beggar :D. Seriously though, move to Middlesbrough :D:D

starlight
19-04-2009, 17:20
Except that they *don't* vastly outnumber us because GW is a niche within a niche. The vast majority of kids outside the UK have never heard of GW...which comes a a shock to senior GW types, who almost exclusively live in the UK. The other reality that GW doesn't see is that veterans introduce their kids and support their growth, whereas kids don't do that with each other anywhere near as much *and* are far more likely to bail for the next cool fad, thus Pokemon being blamed for GW's woes in the early/middle 90's.

According to GW's numbers, the average *kid* buys about 1500-2000pts and leaves withing the first 90% in the first 12mo (UK) to 80% in the first 24mo (US). How many kids would GW have to attract to compare to my armies...? 10,000pt of WFB Greenskins, and (at last count) at least sixteen 40K FOCs of 2000-3000pts each.

So even on the low end, I've bought more than sixteen kids, and as many as thirty-eight, depending on how you average the kids...and I'm still buying. According to GW 80% (US) to 90% (UK) of the kids stopped buying long ago. Standard business practices maintain that it is far easier to retain clients than to recruit them. Once the customer has made the emotional commitment to purchase from a company, they tend to remain with the company until it is perceived that the company has done something to damage the relationship.

And if you ask the owners of any company out there if they'd rather have customers who were devoted (if demanding) Aspect Warriors, or fickle and cheap Grots...I know where I'd be investing...

parus_ater
19-04-2009, 17:28
Except that they *don't* vastly outnumber us because GW is a niche within a niche. The vast majority of kids outside the UK have never heard of GW...

I think you've hit the nail on the head concerning this issue. Here in the UK GW's a lot different, there really is a shop in almost every city, sometimes two. So making sweeping statements about GW's marketing strategy accross the board when that strategy, if it even exists, only applies way out on the sticks.

BuFFo
19-04-2009, 17:39
Sup Skrag,


And you're telling me that a local gaming store isn't there to do the same thing?


Keeping with the Original Post, which is what my previous post was in response to....

"He doesn't let us use the open copy army books (despite knowing we have the books)" - My local game store lets you use the store copies as long as you want, all day long. You just can't use the ones on the rack for sale. So, if you want to play new IG, go ahead and use the store copy as long as you want.

"the store's dice, tape measures, templates" - My local game store has tons of extra templates and dice for you to use. And because people always leave their tape measures, there are tons of those to use as well.

"paints, glues" - Yup, my local game store has some extra paints, glues, box cutters, scissors, etc for you to use as much as you want.

"borrow any of the models" - Last year before my local game store moved from one street to another, it had space for display models, and people who the owner knew could use them all they wanted. But in the new store's location, there is no room for them, so there are no models to lend out anymore.

"or sit down on the chairs unless we're actually painting/making" - My local gaming store has a bunch of tables and chairs, and it is perfectly fine for people to hang out all day and play cards, board games, draw, watch movies on the store's TV, whatever you want to do. The old store had a couch, but the new one doesn't due to smaller space.

"go the toilet there" - Yeah, any person in the store can use the toilet.

"play any specialist game in the shop even with our own stuff" - Specialist games? Ha, come to my game store and play magic, WoW cards, mageknight, Warmachine, Axis and Allies, Anything you want!.

"He's also very down on proxying." - Ah, this one.... This is the reason I stopped going to the GW store in Manhattan up in new york city back in the early nulls. I brought some epicast nids into the store in the late 90's. The people working said I wasn't allowed to be in the store with non gw models. I was like, are you ******** me? These ARE gw models! You are going to hold over the fact that the company that made them wasn't GW, even though they were licensed by GW? They said yeah. This isn't exactly proxying per se, but its along the same lines.

So I went back in 2001 and the manager remembered me from back in 1997 when I bought out their entire stock of necron raiders. He asked why I never came back, I told him 1) I joined the army and 2) the story with the epicast nids. He said epicast models were fine to bring in. I told him, um no, you and your buddies told me I wasn't allowed ot use them. He said "Um, no, we would never tell you that." So I said "Oh, so, first you call me a liar, and second, I am only good enough to dump 800 bucks on your entire necrons stock, but not good enough to spend an hour of my afternoon to play the game here because you didn't like my epicast models, which I bought FROM GW years prior?"

And thats why I refuse to ever ever ever set foot in a GW store. That one bad apple ruined the bunch for me.

So to answer your question, yes both the Op's GW Store and my local game store are there to empty you wallet. Of course. But one environment makes me WANT to, while the other one DROVE me away. Thats the point.

Just remember this post here is about the OP's experience in his GW store , not all GW stores. I am sure there are plenty great GW stores out there.

Lewis
19-04-2009, 17:51
Except that they *don't* vastly outnumber us because GW is a niche within a niche. The vast majority of kids outside the UK have never heard of GW...which comes a a shock to senior GW types, who almost exclusively live in the UK. The other reality that GW doesn't see is that veterans introduce their kids and support their growth, whereas kids don't do that with each other anywhere near as much *and* are far more likely to bail for the next cool fad, thus Pokemon being blamed for GW's woes in the early/middle 90's.

According to GW's numbers, the average *kid* buys about 1500-2000pts and leaves withing the first 90% in the first 12mo (UK) to 80% in the first 24mo (US). How many kids would GW have to attract to compare to my armies...? 10,000pt of WFB Greenskins, and (at last count) at least sixteen 40K FOCs of 2000-3000pts each.

So even on the low end, I've bought more than sixteen kids, and as many as thirty-eight, depending on how you average the kids...and I'm still buying. According to GW 80% (US) to 90% (UK) of the kids stopped buying long ago. Standard business practices maintain that it is far easier to retain clients than to recruit them. Once the customer has made the emotional commitment to purchase from a company, they tend to remain with the company until it is perceived that the company has done something to damage the relationship.

And if you ask the owners of any company out there if they'd rather have customers who were devoted (if demanding) Aspect Warriors, or fickle and cheap Grots...I know where I'd be investing...


But you've bought as much as 38 kids over how long? I'm not for a moment suggesting that vets don't deserve more love, but I do think their must be some sort of basis for the idea of wheeling that grot through his first few easy purchases and then accepting his inevitable and messy death purely because he will be replaced by another start up player in a few days.

I find myself wondering how many vets there actually are in comparison to children. I accept that we are valuable aquisitions but I wonder if we make up such a small proportion of the people buying GW products at any one time that the market is not geared towards us. If you took a snap shot of everyone playing GW games on a given day what percentage would we be? 20%? 5%? What? Take that snap shot again in a years time and the percentages would remain constant, even though that 20 or 5% remained the same and the other 80%/ 95% were comletely different people, which doesn't matter to GW one bit Admittedly this attitude is dependent upon consistent take up which is why GW are so vulnerable to Pokemon.

Obviously it all comes down to whether we believe that the newbie percentage really is out spending the vets or not, and I'm even less qualified to comment on this than I am about anything else I've been sounding off on.

CasperTheGhost
19-04-2009, 17:54
And thats why I refuse to ever ever ever set foot in a GW store. That one bad apple ruined the bunch for me. GW stores are NOT hobby centers... my local game store IS a hobby center. I learned that the hard way.


So.... going back to my point.... and to answer your question, yes both the Op's GW Store and my local game store are there to empty you wallet. Of course. But one environment makes me WANT to, while the other one drives me away. Thats the point.

And my local GW is perfectly fine and many of the things you've described happen in the store. I cant sit on the chairs, although i'm asked to give them up if someone wants to paint which is fair enough. I can use the toilet (I wouldn't for the life of me want to be its there) and many other things. I believe I can play Specialist games on Vets night but I don't go to those anymore so I can't say for certain. And as for proxing how else are we meant to build LotR armies without buying a load of metal models ;)

I understand where your coming from but comparing a LFGS with a local GW isn't the best bet as they are bound to be run differently, one is run by someone who is passionate about the hobby they are in, while the other is run by someone who is given a set of rules about how the shop should be run (although that isn't saying they are not passionate about their hobby).

I think it really comes down to the person running it and whether they choose to follow the rules to the letter or deviate to make it a bit more social or fun.

Casper

static grass
19-04-2009, 17:56
According to GW's numbers, the average *kid* buys about 1500-2000pts and leaves withing the first 90% in the first 12mo (UK) to 80% in the first 24mo (US). How many kids would GW have to attract to compare to my armies...? 10,000pt of WFB Greenskins, and (at last count) at least sixteen 40K FOCs of 2000-3000pts each.

So even on the low end, I've bought more than sixteen kids, and as many as thirty-eight, depending on how you average the kids...and I'm still buying. According to GW 80% (US) to 90% (UK) of the kids stopped buying long ago. Standard business practices maintain that it is far easier to retain clients than to recruit them. Once the customer has made the emotional commitment to purchase from a company, they tend to remain with the company until it is perceived that the company has done something to damage the relationship.


This is a very interesting post Stalight. You have to credit GW for attempting to understand how to make money. You are something of an exception as illustrated by your post count. But if you rumbled into a random GW wearing a 40K T-shirt and a kid came in wearing the same. You would have to appreciate that the staffer would want to try to sell stuff to the kid because his doctrine tells him that the kid will probably buy more during this trip than you. I think it is okay that GW try to make their easy money. It is we the vet's that benefit because we have already made the emotional investment in the game.

I think you are right though that it is easer to retain a customer. I think that's what GW think too ;)

starlight
19-04-2009, 18:34
Sadly, no. GW is always trying to recruit the new customers, rather than retain the existing ones. :( To the point that training revolved around it. :(

The point that a random kid *might* spend more in a trip than I will is valid, but GW should be looking at who spends more over the course of a *year* (or longer). Going for the so-called *easy money* in a kid's pockets doesn't make sense if you ruin the chance to have ready access to my Visa card. Sure the kid might spend more today, but I used to drop $300+ twice a year and most of my gaming group was close to that. Unfortunately most of them stopped buying GW products because of the poor service, not because of the price...

Part of the problem is that GW doesn't retain staff long enough to see trends like this, so they go with the short term view they've always had. :(

But as long as GW thinks we can be replaced by kids that require huge amounts of invested time and energy, who are we to disagree? Oh wait, GW's sales volumes have been dropping steadily for the last seven-ish years, so they *aren't* replacing us anywhere near as fast as they think they are...

Lewis
19-04-2009, 18:44
I guess he other problem is that a year long gamer kidwill get involved, peak in his spending and the trail off over hisyear whilst an experienced player will spend evenly across the time. Furthermore, the more the boxed games move toards being loss leaders the smaller profit year-kid will represent.

starlight
19-04-2009, 18:55
...and a veteran is more likely to create conversions using Direct Bitz/models and buy from FW, both of which are higher profit margin activities for GW. After all, how many brand new gamers are likely to build armies of Elysians, DKoK, or have resin Superheavies? Veterans are also more likely to use their FLGS and online sellers as their source for GW product, both of which are the second highest margin GW has (after their own web store). GW's Retail stores are their *least* profitable avenues of selling, but GW understands the value of a captive audience, so they're willing to eat the *lost* profit to be able to maintain an exclusive atmosphere.

Lewis
19-04-2009, 18:59
We are pains in this ass with our forums full i of complaining though. Maybe Games Workshop just hates us for that and are willing to lose money as a result.

yabbadabba
19-04-2009, 19:23
@Starlight - I know your experience is mostly Canadian based. As we both know, GW had a problem with the UK retail market driving the Global retail sales strategy due to it's success, and not necessarily because it worked for all countries. Ironically, the US is apparently now in the driving seat (as it was with the introduction of gaming tables). The reasons why GW have problems rationalising Vets and Beginners in their stores are many, and were orginally not aimed at alienating Vets. Unfortunately GWUK went through a Tesco style lowest common denominator approach to their store's performances (because of poor performance management) and concluded that only one way was guaranteed to work in every store. Anyway, I could go on ... ... ;)


"He doesn't let us use the open copy army books (despite knowing we have the books)" - My local game store lets you use the store copies as long as you want, all day long. You just can't use the ones on the rack for sale. So, if you want to play new IG, go ahead and use the store copy as long as you want..

"the store's dice, tape measures, templates" - My local game store has tons of extra templates and dice for you to use. And because people always leave their tape measures, there are tons of those to use as well..

"paints, glues" - Yup, my local game store has some extra paints, glues, box cutters, scissors, etc for you to use as much as you want.

"borrow any of the models" - Last year before my local game store moved from one street to another, it had space for display models, and people who the owner knew could use them all they wanted. But in the new store's location, there is no room for them, so there are no models to lend out anymore.

All these can be fairly easily dealty with. If you start of with a new customer, from day one, explaining that you need all this stuff to play with, that the idea is to play and paint at home/club with friends, and that you need to plan your time and money to get the best out of your purchases and gaming time, you make a better hobbyist. It also teaches people respect of equipment and each other. In addition, I don't even have to work for GW to know that if you give something for free, people respect it less and tend not to spend money on it once it costs.


"or sit down on the chairs unless we're actually painting/making" - My local gaming store has a bunch of tables and chairs, and it is perfectly fine for people to hang out all day and play cards, board games, draw, watch movies on the store's TV, whatever you want to do. The old store had a couch, but the new one doesn't due to smaller space.

Would I want a whole bunch of customers hanging around in my shop all day? No. I can't get my other work done and I have to pay attention to them and what they are doing. If I have a high turnover of customers through my store in a day that would be fine, as my sales would be high and I'll know there will be a quiet day in which I can catch up on my work. It sounds to me that your local FLGS has realised that it's local GW is a great feeder store, taking on all the hassle of recruiting and developing new customers, and then it can catch all the follow on sales once they reach unruly teen-time. Fair enough. a lot of GW stores work on that bases anyway. The FLGS deals with a different osrt of customer, although there are crossovers.


"go the toilet there" - Yeah, any person in the store can use the toilet.

Originally, alot of GW stores' toilets were in security risk areas. It's a long standing policy. One store had it's toilet next to the safe! With the changes in the Disable Access Law in the UK, aslot of GW stores are going/have gone through the process of changing their toilets to customer access.


"play any specialist game in the shop even with our own stuff" - Specialist games? Ha, come to my game store and play magic, WoW cards, mageknight, Warmachine, Axis and Allies, Anything you want!.

Question. Why promote something you don't sell? Makes no sense to promote something in a store that that person then cannot buy there and then. But as this is not a company wide policy, it's obviously up to interpretation.


"He's also very down on proxying." - Ah, this one.... This is the reason I stopped going to the GW store in Manhattan up in new york city back in the early nulls. I brought some epicast nids into the store in the late 90's. The people working said I wasn't allowed to be in the store with non gw models. I was like, are you ******** me? These ARE gw models! You are going to hold over the fact that the company that made them wasn't GW, even though they were licensed by GW? They said yeah. This isn't exactly proxying per se, but its along the same lines.

So let me get this right, it would be fine for GW to allow someone to play a War Machine 'jack as a dreadnought? No? Thought so. Epicast is not GW. Promoting their miniatures means money going in someone else's pocket. As for the follow on to this point, the manager was obviously not too much up on his customer service, as even if you were wrong and he was right, a quick apology and an invitation to a game would have sorted that out straight away. Hence ... ...

And thats why I refuse to ever ever ever set foot in a GW store. That one bad apple ruined the bunch for me.

... although it is a poor reason to base your whole opinion of GW on.


So to answer your question, yes both the Op's GW Store and my local game store are there to empty you wallet. Of course. But one environment makes me WANT to, while the other one DROVE me away. Thats the point.

No, they didn't drive you away. You made a choice based on the fact that the store was running in a way contrary to what you wanted as a customer. Nobody threw you out and told you to never come back. In some cases, the customer is not always right. The trick in the retail business is to get your customers to buy into the changes you have to make.


Just remember this post here is about the OP's experience in his GW store , not all GW stores. I am sure there are plenty great GW stores out there.
Agreed, and it is the same for every retail business out there. It is why the phrase performance management was invented. Unfortunately for GW it's customers are involved with a non-essential, leisure hobby activity and they get emotional attached to their local store.

starlight
19-04-2009, 20:40
@Starlight - I know your experience is mostly Canadian based. As we both know, GW had a problem with the UK retail market driving the Global retail sales strategy due to it's success, and not necessarily because it worked for all countries. Ironically, the US is apparently now in the driving seat (as it was with the introduction of gaming tables). The reasons why GW have problems rationalising Vets and Beginners in their stores are many, and were orginally not aimed at alienating Vets. Unfortunately GWUK went through a Tesco style lowest common denominator approach to their store's performances (because of poor performance management) and concluded that only one way was guaranteed to work in every store. Anyway, I could go on ... ... ;)

It's good to hear the US is having a bigger voice. :) Sadly GW would be much further ahead if they'd supported the US (and to a lesser extent the Can) Studios. Lots of great ideas came out of them, but they didn't *fit* with GW's UK centric model...and look where that led us... :(

In response to the Bolded part...GW's issues are (and always have been) singular... Arrogance of a very few people in key positions (mostly in the UK, but not exclusively - GW Can had a few wonders) in thinking that GW's success is solely due to their efforts and that all of GW's problems can be blamed on outside issues. :( That sort of thinking leads to corporate failure. :( From Kirby on down, GW would be a lot more successful if it was interested in working *with* it's staff and customers, rather than treating them as expendable resources. If you don't think Kirby thinks that way, read the GW Annual Reports where he assures shareholders that no matter how poorly GW treats it's customers, they will keep buying. He also continually deflects responsibility for GW's current state by blaming a long series of external factors, only recently admitting that GW has become *fat and lazy*...

Oh well. I'm just glad I invested elsewhere when I had the chance. :)

Lewis
19-04-2009, 20:42
Is there an archive of annual reports anywhere?

starlight
19-04-2009, 20:44
You can order free copies from online agencies. A web search should turn up local providers. Not sure how far back they'll go. GW's investor relations can be found here:

http://investor.games-workshop.com/

Templar Ben
19-04-2009, 21:42
The bigger problem for GW is they are engaging in churn and burn with the teens in an environment where most of that will end up on eBay. As more and more people buy sets to play for a year, let it sit under their bed for two, and then put them on eBay, that is future GW sales that are not available.

starlight
19-04-2009, 21:53
As opposed to vets who have closets full of stuff and keep buying more, and get their kids into it who need their own armies. :)

darkace77450
19-04-2009, 22:16
that's where you're wrong, games workshop refers to its stores as 'hobby centres'.

And White Dwarf is referred to as a 'hobby magazine'. I called my bicycle a time machine once...I was unable to travel through time. I guess labels can be misleading.

Templar Ben
19-04-2009, 22:28
As opposed to vets who have closets full of stuff and keep buying more, and get their kids into it who need their own armies. :)

Exactly. As I pointed out earlier, I would not wish to alienate vets as they have a tendency to evangelize against the games when they get upset.

I can't think of how many times I have seen people post "I am getting out of the hobby should I eBay my xxxx army?" but I never see posts of "I love GW should I eBay my xxxx army?"

Lowmans
19-04-2009, 22:36
cheeky beggar :D. Seriously though, move to Middlesbrough :D:D


I don't live in Middlesbrough, I have a GW in the city where I work and a GW in the town where I live and I don't got to either. I drive to Boro and go there.....

Why!?

Big place with a good layout. A friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Excellent, top marks to 'em! :)

Some of the other GWs.... :(

starlight
19-04-2009, 23:07
Ditto my local GW. :) Victoria, BC is a great shop, if a bit small. :)

parus_ater
19-04-2009, 23:36
This is turning into a completely different thread....

http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=178917

Brother Siccarius
19-04-2009, 23:58
First off, I want to say that finding out that you're not able to play GW Specialist Games in a GW store was mind blowing. All I can think of to say would include the word "Why" repeated over and over for three page lengths.


If it's strictly a shop then there is absoluty no reason to host gaming, have hobby space, much less chairs for people to sit on. I will go and spend my money in another "shop", probably one on the internet where I can get 20% off. I mean, why support my LGS if my LGS is just a "shop".

That said, my GW is not like that at all. The store is setup to encourage poeple to game. The staff freely encourage use of the store copies (You just can't keep it at the table the whole game), and specialist games are welcome. As someone else said, complain and state that this individual's actions makes you feel unwelcome in the store and that unless the behavior changes you will be spending your money else where.
QFT, There's a reason for selling those models, and it's to get people into the hobby. If you're not supporting the hobby or the people who play it, why own physical stores and have tables set up to play on.

QFT. If you wanna hang out then join a club.

Sorry, but shouldn't GW be supporting the clubs, which keep people in the hobby much longer than if they were on their own? That whole idea just doesn't make any business sense.


However... on the other side of the equation and from personal experience having some loyal customers around if you get trouble in store is the next best thing to your own personal bodyguard.
Very true. I've known more than one occasion where the vet gamers at my old LGS stepped in to deal with difficult customers. Heck, if you have someone nearby who knows the hobby extremely well, they can answer a lot of questions (I attribute 1/3 the weekend gaming sales at any LGS I've been to to having gamers nearby to make the sale for the staff).

starlight
20-04-2009, 00:03
First off, I want to say that finding out that you're not able to play GW Specialist Games in a GW store was mind blowing. All I can think of to say would include the word "Why" repeated over and over for three page lengths.

QFT, There's a reason for selling those models, and it's to get people into the hobby. If you're not supporting the hobby or the people who play it, why own physical stores and have tables set up to play on.

Sorry, but shouldn't GW be supporting the clubs, which keep people in the hobby much longer than if they were on their own? That whole idea just doesn't make any business sense.

Very true. I've known more than one occasion where the vet gamers at my old LGS stepped in to deal with difficult customers. Heck, if you have someone nearby who knows the hobby extremely well, they can answer a lot of questions (I attribute 1/3 the weekend gaming sales at any LGS I've been to to having gamers nearby to make the sale for the staff).

1) beacuse GW can't make an immediate sale of product (silly, but there it its)

2) as noted earlier, the GW Retail stores are specifically for introducing *new* gamers and providing a stable environment to get them started

3) they do, at least that used to be what the Community Managers were for. Contact one and see what sort of support you can get. :)

4) very true...

Mouldsta
20-04-2009, 00:33
There's a difference between hanging around doing something vaguely constructive and just hanging around - seeing some mates and getting a game in, doing some painting, planning a new army, checking out the new codex, discussing the merits of a lascannon vs missile launcher are all "hobby based activity", and are generally seen as fine.

Having a gaggle of people just standing in the middle of your store lounging all over any available chair while endlessly talking about how pissed they got last night is incredibly off putting for new customers (especially parents), and can really get in the way if you have a small store.

The other thing is that all the FLGS I've ever been in have very different customers from GW - all the FLGS customers are older gamers, or people that from the moment they walk in already know what it is they're after/what everything is. GW has a large number of non gamers who walk in because they've heard about it/the window displays.
This means that FLGS can have a jokey "everybody knows everybody" attitudes with proxies etc that would be off putting to "hobby virgins" - I've spoken to LOADS of parents that said that it was only because the GW staff were neatly dressed, with a tidy store and neat displays and quiet music that they'd even set foot in the shop, and that they'd avoided the nearby FLGS because there was loud music coming out of it and loads of people slobbing around inside it.

Commisar
20-04-2009, 04:17
I just wanted to say, the GW I Frequent is nothing short of excellent.

I have been going there for the best part of 15 years, and so I know the current manager and staff realy rather well.

For the last couple of years my buddys and I have gone there gameing just about every week.

I frequently go there to shoot the brease as it were, and leve without buying anything. I feel I can do this because Games Workshop *is* diffrent to other shops.

I frequently have "Non hobby related discussions" Not often, addimittedly. BUt then, I'm a wargamer, a good 30% of conversations I have in the pub are Hobby related.

Peaple are frequently playing Epic or Blood Bowl or what have you.

We have *sofas* in the battle bunker, you cant even paint or play 40k from a sofa. A Sofa is for sitting and talking with your mates.

Yeah, the toilet things a pain. In the past we have mentioned it to the manager, and he very apolgeticly explained all the things peaple here said. Its behind a stock room, and for staff use, and it would be impossible for it to be otherwise.

I just wanted to say all this because of all the peaple saying:

"Gw is Terrible, dont go there"

or

"What do you expect, they are a shop for selling things"

My Local GW is not terrible.

Because of this, I buy everything I can from it, I now make a point of makeing mail orders in store, because I have lerned it counts for that stores sales figures. I want to support my store, If my store closed. I would be sad.

This, to me, seems good buisness sence.

Good buisness sence is not to push product all the time. If that happened I would just buy online. Were it is cheap.

Pink Horror
20-04-2009, 05:23
We have *sofas* in the battle bunker, you cant even paint or play 40k from a sofa. A Sofa is for sitting and talking with your mates.

I've played 40k from a sofa. I bought one of those foam boards second-hand. It can rest on the coffee table. I often have to stand for the movement phase, but once the dice get rolling I can go back to the sofa. And of course, there is the opponent's turn. I also tend to move my army towards my sofa, as long as it makes a little sense in the game. It's where objectives go, of course.

Anyway, a sofa is for watching TV.

zedeyejoe
20-04-2009, 07:18
Also for the gamer who helps out when the local store manager is busy. I have found such people in the past off-putting. They seem to have their idea of what is 'service' and frankly I would prefer it if they were not there. Of course there could be good ones out there, all I can do is mention my own experience (the forming of little huddles chatting away is also unpleasant).

Seating, I think there is at least one business that does not have seating in their meeting rooms. The idea that if people have to stand, they say what they need to say and then finish the meeting quicker. So no seating except for those people painting seems like an excellent idea (and yes I include the staff in that).

RevEv
20-04-2009, 23:11
Seating, I think there is at least one business that does not have seating in their meeting rooms. The idea that if people have to stand, they say what they need to say and then finish the meeting quicker. So no seating except for those people painting seems like an excellent idea (and yes I include the staff in that).

Yes - it's called Buckingham Palace. Her Majesty apparently hates meetings and likes that standing up stops waffling.

And, no, this is not a joke but an interesting Factoid.

Crazy Harborc
21-04-2009, 01:27
Many of the actual "buyers" of little tommy and johnny's minies are old and grandparents. Standing for extended periods is NOT good for our health. There are other/"younger" people who have similar problems.

If what the OP said is correct and as stated, he should contact that guys higherups. If he pulls some of that stuff on a couple of old farts and or impaired adults (teens too for that matter).....GW the company just might get hit with a lawsuit.;)

Up until the last day, the only GW within 300 miles of my area closed.....The employees were supposed to talk about how the store was the place to come for help painting etc. GW says it's a hobby, not just a business to go in buy it and......GET OUT NOW.:eek:

zedeyejoe
21-04-2009, 06:45
Standing for extended periods is NOT good for our health.

I know the feeling :) The idea of the no chairs rule is to concentrate the customers to do what they have to do and then go. Not being mean about it but just to keep the numbers of people in the shop down (notice the word shop there). On the other hand there are plenty of cultures where you get invited to sit down and have a glass of tea whilst discussing your purchases (and you get to haggle too).


If what the OP said is correct and as stated, he should contact that guys higherups.

It seems from what others have said that he is just implementing SOP (standard operating procedure) but of course it would not hurt to ask.

Emperor's Grace
21-04-2009, 16:27
Not sure where the OP is from, but in many states here in the US a mercantile building must provide restroom facilities to the public by law (Uniform Plumbing Code here in CA). Calling OSHA or your local health department on it can get them fined or shut down. In some states the fines run over $1,000.

This is a more serious subject than most people realize. Laws like this help keep your cities cleaner and your people healthier. Every civilized country should consider instituting similar laws.


Laws may vary. Here in NY at least, I believe that you are only required to provide a public restroom access if food is served on the premises.

starlight
21-04-2009, 16:40
As well, many malls (where the majority of NA GW stores are located) provide public facilities for *all* stores, rather than requiring individual stores to do so.

zedeyejoe
22-04-2009, 07:41
Not sure where the OP is from, but in many states here in the US a mercantile building must provide restroom facilities to the public by law

In the UK we have what are called public toilets. They often are not very pleasant but they do the job. In the old days the cost of entering a stall was a penny, so spending a penny became a euphemism for going to the toilet.