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PsyberWolf
28-01-2011, 23:06
While looking back over several years of financial statements and press announcements, trying to glean some additional insight, it struck me that many of the statements made by the Chairman and CEO were sometimes funny but often ironic, sad and confused when viewed over the course of many years. I wanted to try and pull some of these out and add some comments. I tried to put a reference for each statement but some of them were left out.


Return to growth
Statement: …sales in September, October and November reinforce our confidence that the business is returning to growth. (November 2006 Interim report)
Statement: We believe that it is only a matter of time and hard work before we re-establish our historic linear growth rate. (June 2007 Full year report)
Statement: …our energies are now focused upon returning the business to profitable growth. We believe that the sales declines of the last three years have been arrested and that the business has stabilised. (June 2008 Full year report)
Statement: So a pleasing set of results. But the real story this year is that we have been preparing ourselves for growth. (June 2009 Full year report)
Statement: The principal risks and uncertainties for the balance of the year lie in the ability of the sales businesses to establish and maintain sales growth… (June 2010 Full year report)
And we are still waiting…




Focused on growing sales
Statement: …sales delivery remains an area of key focus. (November 2007 Interim report)
Statement: Although sales have declined in the first half of the year in constant currency terms… (November 2009 Interim report)
Statement: …our principal focus remains restoring real sales growth. (June 2010 Full year report)
Statement: Sales fell by 4%... (Nov 2010 Interim report)
A lot of focus but not much growth in sales.




Continental Europe
Statement: Management's response to the decline in sales since 2005 has led to changes in the management teams in all but one of our Continental European territories… appointed our most experienced senior manager as head of sales for Continental Europe in order to increase the focus on profitable growth. (June 2007 Full year report)
Statement: We still have work to do in Continental Europe to re-establish sales growth. However, we believe that the right managerial and operational steps are being taken. (November 2007 Interim report)
Statement: As you will see we have not had such great success in Continental Europe. I expect to be extolling their virtues next year. Or else. (June 2008 Full year report)
Statement: The work needed to establish growth in all channels in all territories goes on with some significant progress being made in this half-year where, with the exception of Continental Europe. (November 2008 Interim report)
Statement: Northern Europe and North America both showed growth in the year, while Continental Europe continued to decline, although at a slower rate than in previous years. (June 2010 Full year report)
Statement: Continental Europe made similar staff reductions in retail a year ago and that territory is in growth in the first half. (Nov 2010 Interim report)
Finally… only took 5 years. Must have been those management changes 3 years ago, back in 2007 – yeah, that’s it!




Restoring growth through Warhammer
Statement: In 2010/11 our focus will be the issue of restoring LFL growth in our Hobby centres.
Statement: The third global project has been the relaunch of Warhammer this summer. We relaunched Warhammer 40,000 in 2008/09 and this created a great amount of excitement, gaming activity and purchasing. After four years of development, we expect the Warhammer relaunch to create similar levels of excitement and purchasing activity in the coming year.
Statement: Sales fell by 4%...
A great amount of excitement, gaming activity and purchasing for the new version of Warhammer… eh, not so much.




Emphasis on opening new stores
Statement: Our emphasis has been to focus on the development of our own Hobby stores and on investing in recruitment and also in structured training at all levels of management and staff. We are strengthening all direct channels to market. (Nov 2005 Interim report)
Statement: Our strategy to underpin this growth remains the same: we will continue to open new stores. (Nov 2006 Interim report)
Statement: Investment has been focused on two key drivers of performance, opening more Hobby centres… (June 2009 Full year report)
Statement: We make things. We are a manufacturer. Not a retailer. (June 2010 Full year report)
:wtf:




Customer retention or lack thereof
Statement: There are no silver bullets for growing sales at Games Workshop. It requires a consistent focus on the basics of recruiting new hobbyists through our Hobby centres and using our games to teach them how to buy, build, paint and collect ever larger armies of miniatures.
There is only one other industry, business, group, etc. that I know of that spends so much energy on finding new clients and so little focus on retaining them – and that would be caretakers – but that’s only because they literally can’t sell anything else to their customers.




Employer loyalty?
Statement: The return to growth has also been assisted by the US business, and a lot of credit must go to the head of that business - Ernie Baker. He has been working tirelessly for many, many months to re-instil the simple disciplines we need and recruit the right kind of people for our future, and all the while displaying and championing the attitudes and behaviours we ask of all our staff. (Full year report 2008)
Statement: We have also asked Ernie Baker, head of our US business, to take responsibility for our Canadian business as well, ensuring that we have a co-ordinated strategy across the Americas. (Full year report 2008)
Interesting that the individual that returned them to growth was sacked about 1.5 years later. My, how things change…




Bad economy is no excuse
Statement: We said at the last half year announcement that as a niche business we do not usually suffer, or benefit from, macro-economic factors. (Interim 2009)
Statement: We are not significantly affected by economic factors, as recent results show. (Full year 2010)
I wonder why when sales goes down GW defenders blame it on the overall economy? They must not think that GW’s management knows what they are talking about!




A pathetic excuse to raise prices
Statement: Amongst the product delivery risks are those relating to input prices. The cost of raw materials, such as metal and plastic, represents no more than 4% of our sales and therefore we do not believe that the price volatility of these inputs represents a significant threat to our long-term profitability. (Full year 2007 report)
Statement: The cost of raw materials, such as metal and plastic, represents no more than 5% of our sales and therefore we do not believe that the price volatility of these inputs represents a significant threat to our long-term profitability… However, the recent increases in the price of both metal and plastic have been significant, and we will take action to protect our gross margins. (Full Year 2008)
Statement: Among many other concerns the world has been struggling with the rising cost of energy, transport, and materials... Today we are contacting all of our Trade customers globally to announce that due to these rising costs, we too will be raising some of our prices. We do not do this lightly. We fully understand that the timing of the price rise directly conflicts with our annual July price review and for that we deeply apologize. I hope that you understand that this price rise is not something Games Workshop Global desires to do, it is something we have to do. (Sept 2008) (emphasis mine)
So we have statements here that say costs for raw materials represent no more than 5% of sales and that price volatility does not represent any long term threat but then a month or 2 later they raise prices on metal miniatures 25% because of the price of raw materials. Note – their gross margin increased. Worse, when the prices later dropped there was no corresponding drop in price.




Outsourcing fail
Statement: We implemented a new factory layout in Nottingham which will help deliver gross margin improvements as volumes increase. We have improved our resin manufacturing processes in Nottingham and implemented a new resin cell in Shanghai to manage the significantly higher levels of sales growth we have been experiencing from Forge World. (Full Year 2009 report)
Statement: The decision was taken in the first half to close the Shanghai facility as the global cost benefits no longer justify its continuance. The paint and resin manufacturing operations have been consolidated in our Nottingham factory thereby achieving greater operational efficiencies. (Nov 2010 Interim report)
Wow! I got to give credit on this one… kudos for actually recognizing that in many cases you don’t save that much money by outsourcing/offshoring. Unfortunately, it took them a couple of years to figure it out.




The buck stops with...?
Statement: The main source of risk to this business remains management error. This is one of the reasons why management recruitment, development and succession planning are so important, and this is why we will continue to invest in our internal Academy which is our 'people development' function. (Full year 2008 report)
Statement: As we have stated in previous years, we believe that the key risks which face Games Workshop are not external but internal... Performance shortfalls in the past have been down to the quality of management and decision making. (Full year report 2010)
Statement: Sales were down largely as a result of shortfalls in Northern Europe and North American retail following staffing changes in Games Workshop Hobby centres to reduce overheads.
Well whose fault is the staffing changes?




GW & Quality
Statement: In addition, we can, and do, defend our intellectual property rigorously against imitators, thus ensuring that our worlds are synonymous with quality.
How about producing quality products to ensure that your “worlds” are synonymous with quality. About half of the sets I have gotten from GW in the last 12 months have been miscasts – where one half of the miniature is offset from the other half. Or what about the holes that are common in the marine backpacks? What about poorly fitting models that you have to use “Greenstuff”on to fill huge gaps?




CoD GW
Statement: We are also clear that we will only make fantasy miniatures, not historical ones. Fantasy miniatures from our own Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 worlds allow us unlimited scope for product innovation.
Statement: Our continual investment in product quality, using our defendable intellectual property, provides us with a considerable barrier to entry for potential competitors: it is B]our Fortress Wall[/B]. While our 382 Hobby centres which show customers how to collect, paint and play with our miniatures and games provide another barrier to entry: our Fortress Moat. We have been building our Fortress Wall and Moat for many years and the competitive advantage they provide gives us confidence in our ability to grow profitably in the future. (emphasis mine)
Sounds a bit paranoid to me! GW has steered away from historical because it would mean they have to compete. It’s like they’re holed up in a CoD ruin with the windows boarded up and the only weapons they have is lawsuits and retail stores (except wait remember - they’re not retailers – they’re manufacturers) So dang – they only have lawsuits – sorry CHS!

Inquisitor Kallus
28-01-2011, 23:25
While I agree with quite a lot of your points, I find the one about poor quality a pretty ridiculous statement. I used to work for GW and compared to the amount of product concerning miniatures that was sold, it was pretty rare to get any complaints. In fact I have been collecting for 19 years and could count the number of 'faulty products' on one hand (barring Forgeworld, who seem to have little quality control). I might have been lucky but I think this is fairly standard, and if you ever do get a faulty product they are more than willing to rectify the problem.

Whitehorn
28-01-2011, 23:28
A thoroughly enjoyable read, thank you. Sorry to hear about your model quality - I only tend to have issues with Forgeworld.

tezdal
29-01-2011, 01:57
I enjoyed that read..with that amount of ineptitude and doublespeak if GW does ever go out of business, I'm sure they could find employment in the US government

blongbling
29-01-2011, 08:09
does show the "schizophrenic" nature of GW

Tavendale
29-01-2011, 08:55
A couple of accurate points and a couple that just seem a bit bitter. Four points really caught my attention:

You are completely right to look on in bafflement about GW's lack of direction over whether they are a manufacturer or a retailer. That's a bit worrying and you can see the pattern over the last few years of rapid expansion, store closure, then the latest 1-man store push. They need to make a solid decision on this matter.

You have been very unlucky with model quality. In 13+ years, I've had one blister pack with the wrong head included, one miscast metal model and a plastic set with some slight warping. That's not bad. I find it a little hard to believe that half of your GW products have been miscast, but I suppose it's possible that you're the one stopping the rest of us from recieving them, for which I thank you.

The Forgeworld Shanghai was worth a go. GW had some success in outsourcing in other areas and decided to try it. It didn't work, they closed it. I don't see a big issue and I'd encourage them to look for cost-cutting measures like this instead of immediately jacking up prices.

But yeah, their fortress analogy at the end is just fail :/

Ozorik
29-01-2011, 09:25
You have a lot of time on your hands.

Promethius
29-01-2011, 11:00
Very interesting read. Thanks.

AdarII
29-01-2011, 12:19
You have a lot of time on your hands.

GW would be an interesting turn around case if they managed to return to growth so keeping an eye on their financial statements is a very good idea if you got money for investment.

Personally I only look a key figures from GW and they are so unattractive that I do not need to read the text to know that I don't want to buy GW stock. PsyberWolfs summary do however show that GW got a serious long-term strategy problem and I would actually be keeping a closer eye on their financial statements if they replace their top management. Their strong market position and significant difficulties for competitors to copy their business model makes them an interesting company as soon as they are able to show a reliable growth strategy.

PsyberWolf
29-01-2011, 18:03
As far as the quality issue. It has been half of the stuff I have bought in the last 12 months not since I started back in wargaming 3 years ago. I thought that is what I said but must have left it out. (goes to edit OP) If I remember, I will take some pictures of the "offending" models and you can judge for yourself. Quality is not just about fixing something when a customer complains but preventing poor quality or at least catching poor quality before it leaves the factory. They could cut costs and increase customer satisfaction at the same time.

As far as being "bitter" I like GW - I like the background, the design of many of the models and the customer service is very good. I don't like senior leadership that is running this company I like into the ground. Nor should you if you purchase their products.

Ok I am going to use a cheesy metaphor but stick with me. Companies are like snowballs rolling down a hill. They have a certain momentum and as they roll on they pick up more snow and get bigger and bigger. (That is why it is so hard to start a new company - you have to take it from a standstill and keep it moving until it gets that momentum going.) An incompetent CEO can come into a company and strip away the drivers of that momentum. The snow ball keeps rolling for a little while and may even keep getting bigger (because of its built up momentum) but at some point though it slows and either slowly loses snow or breaks apart.

This is what I feel the leadership is doing with GW. They had this built up fanbase that was self-promoting - yeah there were detractors but there always are - they just needed to keep the snowball rolling. Instead over time they have steady stripped away those drivers and it was fine for a while but the snowball has been slowing down.*

I don't think it will take but 1-2 years before the investors replace the leadership here. Remember, that 60% of the company is owned by 3-4 large investors. It was already recounted in a yearly report how an investor gave Kirby a tounge lashing on costs. How long before he gets one on poor sales? The problem is that their attitude has been "more of the same" instead of "what are we doing wrong?"

Ultimate Life Form
29-01-2011, 18:35
Personally all of the new products I bought over the course of the past 12 months were top-notch quality, though admittedly some of the older models still in production may suffer from the issues you describe.

What you're predicting sounds like a big GW implosion to follow soon. Well I'm not sure about that, especially since the Hobbit film will reinvigorate sales via the Tolkien license, so another bubble of short-term profit is just waiting around the corner, ready to distort the picture of what is really going on. I'm a tad concerned that GW's reputation may drop into mediocrity long-term wise.

However what I find interesting about your analysis is that it's basically GW's screw-up admitted in their own words so the fact that something's fundamentally wrong can't be dismissed as an internet legend again.

Tavendale
29-01-2011, 19:02
Ok I am going to use a cheesy metaphor but stick with me. Companies are like snowballs rolling down a hill. They have a certain momentum and as they roll on they pick up more snow and get bigger and bigger. (That is why it is so hard to start a new company - you have to take it from a standstill and keep it moving until it gets that momentum going.) An incompetent CEO can come into a company and strip away the drivers of that momentum. The snow ball keeps rolling for a little while and may even keep getting bigger (because of its built up momentum) but at some point though it slows and either slowly loses snow or breaks apart.

Your snowball metaphor is a lot better than their fortress moat one.

I definitely get where you're coming from and I think you've explained your position far more effectively in your last post, whereas the original one did come across as bitter sniping.

I'm not confident that the leadership will be replaced as quickly as you think, especially if the bubble you predict has the desired effect.

nvillacci
29-01-2011, 21:27
Sounds a bit paranoid to me! GW has steered away from historical because it would mean they have to compete. It’s like they’re holed up in a CoD ruin with the windows boarded up and the only weapons they have is lawsuits and retail stores (except wait remember - they’re not retailers – they’re manufacturers) So dang – they only have lawsuits – sorry CHS!

Hmm... wonder what would happen if that fortress wall they are so proud of decides to collapse..There is a major development in the works for CHS.

PsyberWolf
29-01-2011, 22:13
Hmm... wonder what would happen if that fortress wall they are so proud of decides to collapse.. There is a major development in the works for CHS.

While I am not a lawyer I do play one on the Internet.:)

Anyway, seems to me that they need to called out for their coercive monopolistic practices.

The sooner GW learns to not rely on the threat of lawsuits the sooner they will realize (hopefully) that the key to succes is being more responsive to their customers.

Codsticker
30-01-2011, 01:11
I have removed posts that reference the pending litigation as they are not pertinent to this discussion. IF the Moderation Team decide to re-open the Lawsuit Thread then that would be the natural place for them.

Codsticker

The Warseer Mod Squad

PsyberWolf
30-01-2011, 01:42
Found this interesting article from last January:

http://www.thisisbusiness-eastmidlands.co.uk/gamesworkshop/Games-Workshop-chairman-Tom-Kirby-heads/article-1727481-detail/article.html

Here is the most interesting part to me:


Games Workshop chief executive Mark Wells said: "One of our big growth areas over the next few years will be North America where sales are flat.

"We took the decision that we needed to change the leader of the US business and put in a bigger hitter to drive sales.

"I asked Tom Kirby if he would be prepared to do that and he has agreed."

Mr Kirby will spend three weeks in North America and one week in the UK to fulfil his executive chairman role.

Mr Wells said the strategy for driving sales will involve concentrating on one city at a time and covering it with Games Workshop hobby centres.

"When we have good enough coverage, we will move on to the next," he said.

Games Workshop is already in eight cities in North America – Washington DC, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and Toronto.

The company – which has 120 stores in the UK and 86 in the US – is eyeing up at least another 20 cities in its plans for expansion. "The US has a lot of growth potential," added Mr Wells.

Oh no! They are going to multiple shops in each city and then when they have enough coverage they'll move on... this is terrible idea! I think they should only have 1 store in each city and they should start with the cities that don't have good Independent retailers. They are following the same failed strategy as before.

I also find it interesting that the original plan was to have him in the US for 2 years but he only stayed 1 and declared victory. I need to find out what cities besides the ones already mentioned did they open stores in.

Darsc Zacal
30-01-2011, 01:51
"Games Workshop is already in eight cities in North America – Washington DC, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and Toronto."

This statement is incorrect if from last January. GW was in a lot more North American city's than this a year ago. Just here in Western Canada they missed Victoria, Calgary, and Edmonton.

Could they be talking about Battle Bunkers?

Torpedo Vegas
30-01-2011, 02:38
Amusing, to say the least.

yabbadabba
30-01-2011, 10:19
does show the "schizophrenic" nature of GWAbsolutely; although I am disappointed as a whole guys. These words from GW Upper management aren't worth the paper their written on. Its almost as pointless as listening to politicians for the truth.

blongbling
30-01-2011, 10:40
The Forgeworld Shanghai was worth a go. GW had some success in outsourcing in other areas and decided to try it. It didn't work, they closed it. I don't see a big issue and I'd encourage them to look for cost-cutting measures like this instead of immediately jacking up prices.



Wasn't a FW thing but a GW thing, GW doesn't make soldiers anywhere except UK and US....the rising costs of doing business/manufacturing in China and the lack of sales growth put the mockers on having a manufacturing plant there

Tavendale
30-01-2011, 11:55
Wasn't a FW thing but a GW thing, GW doesn't make soldiers anywhere except UK and US....the rising costs of doing business/manufacturing in China and the lack of sales growth put the mockers on having a manufacturing plant there

I wouldn't know, you could be right. I'm just speaking specifically about the resin production they spoke of in the statement from the OP.

Bob5000
30-01-2011, 17:01
The ' Fortress ' analogy from the statements seems blinkered , if thats what they really think - or is it just exec-speak .

Taken on face value if this is a true reflection of a strategy - sure , the IP's they hold can be protected from competition but the wargaming hobby cant , and as the competition has proved ,Fantasy and Sci-Fi miniatures arent a protected IP .

Its obvious that GW can protect their specific IP's from other manufacturers and of course they should do so .

Going with this Fortress analogy on to another slant , it could be said that GW are bringing new players in the front gate , but losing them from the back , or over the walls which arent high or solid enough to prevent the Fortress dwellers seeing the other 'Towns / Villages ' of the competition .

I recall a new manager at a GW I used to frequent stating GW didnt have competition , whether propoganda drummed in to him in training or his own views I dont know but
whichever it was , in my eyes a very blinkered approach .

Ludaman
30-01-2011, 18:33
We have no competition is often a viable sales approach. Worrying about what the guy next to you is doing is often a waste of time, they are going to be doing it anyway. Instead focusing on what you can do better as far as sales, marketing, and overall product quality goes is often a better strategy. As jack-in-the-box proved back in the late 90's when they turned their company around, you don't have to make the other guys look bad, just make people like you. To date their "Jack's Back" advertising campaign was one of the most successful ever in the US, and in no way did it focus on the competition. I seriously wish GW would start focusing on a faster release schedule and better rules though...

Chaos and Evil
30-01-2011, 18:45
I seriously wish GW would start focusing on a faster release schedule and better rules though...

GW make very good rules, for children.

tu33y
31-01-2011, 08:57
there is a lot going on here... firstly it sort of breaks the bubble that at theend of the day, GW bignobs are "us" but better off... still gamers.

it seems not the case. GW is no longer (and hasnt been for a long while) a FUBU company. I very much agree wit the logic of bringing big business men in to handle the money and admin, but i lament the fact strategy is now run by Suits not Iron Maiden T-shirts...

secondly, there is no way on earth to argue GW quality is anything but the best. the actual design of minis might be subjective (river trolls, stormraven) but they never let us down from a technical standpoint (with rare exceptions obviously).
FW don't count in that as they advise till they are blue in the fact it is for experienced skilled modelers. The only reason more people are buying FW now is that as GW price levels have increased they have almost come to parity with the pretty much static FW. That tanks £31, the FW version is £42...

Thridly, the top tiers of the company seem to always be in motion. peope being moved to spain, canada, US, SE asia... in an ideal world that makes the model very strong and means good practise runs through the company... its like when you see the CEO of McDonalds UK or Starbucks UK... they are often, especially in the early days, american.
But there seesm to be a very cutthroat, no seconds chances paranoia in these upper spires, so when the sucessful are promoted to greatness (or the dullards promoted sideways:
"good news ____ we want YOU to head up the Central african market! your plane to Lagos leaves in an hour... unless you wanted to find more exiting opportunities at Mantic? good... clear your desk and ____ off."
so this paranoia spreads to other markets.

my very final pointis just really a wry observation... in an IP built on elements literally lifted from Tolkien, Dune, Gemmel, Star Wars, Starship Troopers Et al its a teeny bit rich to treat this IP as the family silver. I would be more proud of the manufactoring and creative base, but hey ho...

as ever i know where i am, so please feel free to dive on this and rip it to shreds... its what warseer is for after all... xx :-)

Osbad
31-01-2011, 10:36
Nice piece of research Psyberwolf. Someone needs to call Kirby and Wells on the ******** they put in their shareholders report, many of the claims they make are really ludicrous. I have been tempted to do something similar in the past, but I've never had the incentive to do it in any systematic way.

One of the interesting things about a UK listed company's annual report is that the statements it contains should be supportable by evidence, while clearly after several years of saying the same thing (GW have been "returning to growth" for how many years? And back in the day how many times did the same "LotR bubble" burst?), the management's statements in many areas need to be seriously challenged.

It might be interesting if a shareholder were to raise this issue with their Statutory auditors, who are according to the 2010 annual report PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Contact details can be found on PWC's own website http://www.pwc.co.uk/midlands/.

Just sayin'

codeslingerMalthius
31-01-2011, 19:54
"Games Workshop is already in eight cities in North America – Washington DC, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and Toronto."

This statement is incorrect if from last January. GW was in a lot more North American city's than this a year ago. Just here in Western Canada they missed Victoria, Calgary, and Edmonton.

Could they be talking about Battle Bunkers?

Wonder how that fits in with all four Boston area stores closing a couple of years ago... I guess Huston probably needed another five to six.

PsyberWolf
02-02-2011, 01:57
RETAIL
GAMES Workshop – which sells the Warhammer series – yesterday said inexperienced staff failed to keep its tills ringing during the summer, triggering a 15 per cent fall in pre-tax profit to £6.7m for the six months to November.
Mark Wells, chief executive of the table-top war games maker, said: “We made some changes to our staffing. We had inexperienced managers and we were a bit flat-footed.” Sales in the six months were down four per cent at £60m. The store usually has games being played in-store to explain the rules to customers.

(http://www.cityam.com/news-and-analysis/profit-games-workshop-down)

Interesting that inexperienced staff are to blame especially since they are always talking up their training.

Wolf Lord Balrog
02-02-2011, 03:08
(http://www.cityam.com/news-and-analysis/profit-games-workshop-down)

Interesting that inexperienced staff are to blame especially since they are always talking up their training.

I find it to be a BS excuse. I've been down to the Memphis Battle Bunker a couple times recently, and I think I discovered the real problem. The guy behind the counter spent the whole time I was there hard-selling me on anything I so much as glanced at. He seemed plenty trained, like you train a dog to fetch a stick, or maybe more like you train a dog to attack intruders ...

PsyberWolf
02-02-2011, 03:18
I find it to be a BS excuse. I've been down to the Memphis Battle Bunker a couple times recently, and I think I discovered the real problem. The guy behind the counter spent the whole time I was there hard-selling me on anything I so much as glanced at. He seemed plenty trained, like you train a dog to fetch a stick, or maybe more like you train a dog to attack intruders ...

The only GW store I have been in was in a mall in the Atlanta area. The guy there was laid back and seemed genuinely nice. He never was pushy or tried to sell me stuff I didn't need or want! They have since closed the store and I am assuming he was let go.:(

If the sales people are pushy it's because GW wants them to be that way.

Santiaghoul
02-02-2011, 03:36
Working for GW is like being captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts. "You did good work today so I wont fire you today. I'll probably fire you tomorrow." Hence the rabid attack in the Memphis bunker. The amount of pressure on the staff there must be mind-bending.

Chaos and Evil
02-02-2011, 10:26
(http://www.cityam.com/news-and-analysis/profit-games-workshop-down)

Interesting that inexperienced staff are to blame especially since they are always talking up their training.

Well, they can't blame their prices and rules design now, can they?

blongbling
02-02-2011, 11:05
(http://www.cityam.com/news-and-analysis/profit-games-workshop-down)

Interesting that inexperienced staff are to blame especially since they are always talking up their training.

In the UK they did some silly things with all their managers which resulted in about 80% of the managers leaving, that will have a massive effect on its largest retail chain and directly contributed to the Head of the UK business being moved somewhere else, out of harms way.

Hermanesq
02-02-2011, 13:22
(http://www.cityam.com/news-and-analysis/profit-games-workshop-down)

Interesting that inexperienced staff are to blame especially since they are always talking up their training.

Cor, Now that feels like a cheap pop as a now ex-manager, and with it the bitterness and resent grow a little bit more. i'll be a Sith Lord in no time at this rate, lol

Satan
02-02-2011, 14:03
This thread is branching in far too many directions already. Please stop it...

Thanks to the OP for collecting those snippets from the annual reports. To me it does indicate an inability to sustain long-term strategies and acting coherently, which is interesting. As a major shareholder/owner of GW I'd be a bit disappointed. I'm wondering what their board is really up to? Not just the upper management, but what are the board of directors reaction to the annual reports for the last few years?

Vulvol
02-02-2011, 20:06
It's always worth taking anything written in GW's annual reports and trading statements with a large dose of salt. The senior management hold "The City" in contempt and one gets the feeling they would issue no information if they had the choice.

One of the things that used to be joked about was the bland quarterly trading statements that continue to be issued i.e. "trading for the past x months was broadly in line with the Board's expectations" pretty much regardless of what business had been like.

They issued one of these on 19th April 2010, stating:
In the four months to 4 April 2010 trading has been broadly in line with the board's expectations.


Followed by this less than three weeks later on 5th May 2010:
The Group's performance in the second half of the year to date has been somewhat better than the Board's expectations

Either they had a stunning couple of weeks, enough to change the final year end profit position, or they weren't telling the truth.

Satan
02-02-2011, 20:41
It's always worth taking anything written in GW's annual reports and trading statements with a large dose of salt. The senior management hold "The City" in contempt and one gets the feeling they would issue no information if they had the choice.

One of the things that used to be joked about was the bland quarterly trading statements that continue to be issued i.e. "trading for the past x months was broadly in line with the Board's expectations" pretty much regardless of what business had been like.

They issued one of these on 19th April 2010, stating:
In the four months to 4 April 2010 trading has been broadly in line with the board's expectations.


Followed by this less than three weeks later on 5th May 2010:
The Group's performance in the second half of the year to date has been somewhat better than the Board's expectations

Either they had a stunning couple of weeks, enough to change the final year end profit position, or they weren't telling the truth.

...is it possible their board is incompetent? The board of my company would go haywire if we filled our annual reports with that sort of bland statements.

yabbadabba
02-02-2011, 20:42
...is it possible their board is incompetent? The board of my company would go haywire if we filled our annual reports with that sort of bland statements.Or is it that the major shareholders are incompetant?

Hermanesq
02-02-2011, 20:53
Thats possibly because of GW's buisness model/expectations for growth. Which doesnt ever change year on year

1% Growth + 3% inflation = 4% every year as the standard target for all stores

Satan
02-02-2011, 21:06
Or is it that the major shareholders are incompetant?

Touché. But aren't they partly the same folks?


Thats possibly because of GW's buisness model/expectations for growth. Which doesnt ever change year on year

1% Growth + 3% inflation = 4% every year as the standard target for all stores

Seriously? I'd say those are pretty sad goals. And pretty useless too as Growth is bound to increase or decrease by more than 1% (or less, even) due to all sorts of external variables.

blongbling
02-02-2011, 21:23
Thats possibly because of GW's buisness model/expectations for growth. Which doesnt ever change year on year

1% Growth + 3% inflation = 4% every year as the standard target for all stores

thats not true

Hermanesq
02-02-2011, 21:29
thats what we were told on a store basis, 104% of previous years financials. Meh, they talked numbers in meetings and i started daydreaming in a jd from scrubs fashion, lol. Hence why the managers 'bonus' was for everything beyond that 104% of your stores target

blongbling
03-02-2011, 08:50
thats what we were told on a store basis, 104% of previous years financials. Meh, they talked numbers in meetings and i started daydreaming in a jd from scrubs fashion, lol. Hence why the managers 'bonus' was for everything beyond that 104% of your stores target

it may have been a retail number then, not true across the departments and not true globally as well

Hermanesq
03-02-2011, 10:11
quite probably your right. All singing from the same sheet. Or not.

Osbad
03-02-2011, 13:16
Or is it that the major shareholders are incompetant?

Absolutely. As the whole "bankers bonuses" issue demonstrates, most UK shareholders aren't fit to be trusted with running the economy...

Sadly, I am one of them (a shareholder in general I mean) via my pension scheme. Those who vote (or don't bother) on my behalf have a lot to answer for.

The fact that most major shareholding institutions have a lassez-faire attitude to the businesses they own, only stepping in in the direst of circumstances, and even then usually too late to do anything about it, is one of the reasons the UK economy is down the toilet.

If businesses were family owned (like they more often are in Germany - even BMW is a private family-owned company) there wouldn't be such blinkered short-term, "bubble", knee-jerk decision making going on!

yabbadabba
03-02-2011, 14:10
This is why its pointless assessing anything from these statements. Its a code, or foreign language. Its the same as me trying to understand the pseudo-sexually suggestive communications between my neice and her teen mates. It means something to them, but bugger all, or entirely the wrong thing to me :confused:. Facebook can be a bloody nightmare sometimes for an old man :(