Friday, February 5, 2010

New car, caviar, four star daydream

So I saw this while reading the Bell of Lost Souls today:

So we have been getting steady reports of some subtle shifts in the retail policy of Games Workshop stores. It looks like broadly speaking there is a new emphasis on formal retailing (selling of products), and the introduction of the hobby to new customers. This is coming at the expense of a downplaying of the hobby and secondary games side of things. Some customers report being told to curtail their hobby/painting activities in store, and others report an inability to play Specialist Games on the premises.

So my friendly local game store, Gaming Experience, closed recently which leaves me with ZERO Reliable local outlets for my Games Workshop need.

I loved GXP, let me say that first, but it seems to me that part of why they closed was because it became a hangout instead of a retail establishment. Chad, Rich, Guys, you all know that I mean absolutely nothing against you in that statement. I loved hanging out there and I'll be the first to say I wasn't the most spendy customer you guys had but anything game related I did buy was always from you.

Stores are in Business, Business means making money, people hanging out all day generally doesn't contribute to your business in any meaningful way. I personally run a video game retail store where I have regulars who do nothing but come in, talk about whatever game they want but won't buy or reserve, play the demo units for 2 hours and leave while spending Nothing.

These people, and don't get me wrong I'm always glad to see people in the hobby, are a drain on store resources, the most important of which is an employees time. If that employee has to chose between talking to you for an hour while you paint some mini or actually selling to the customers who are making purchases (purchases that eventually become his paycheck) then the ONLY right choice for him is to make those sales.

I love this hobby, truly I do. I've got 3 armies for 40k, own Blood Bowl, BFG, Space Hulk and Necromunda. I've put my fair share of cash into the business and I would literally kill for a local battlebunker, or a solid store that could cater to my needs. I could care less for the tables in the store if I had friendly staff ready to sell me whatever I happened to be looking for. I'm not there to play 40k with the manager, I'm there to get my whatever product I'm looking for and then leaving.

For those who are griping about how the "retailing" of these stores is going to ruin everything then please, use your fatty trust funds and lottery winnings to open your own game store where people can play free of charge 24/7. Since making a profit or at a minimum keeping the lights on would not be any sort of worry for you, you would be in heaven I'm sure. Or, if you don't have a Scrooge Mcduck size piggy bank to invest in a store, then just take out a business loan and see how many of your non-paying regulars come to save you when that payment comes due.

GW Stores are a business and business need to make money or else they cease being in business.

I try not to read comments sections for things like this because all it's going to do is make me want to choke people. Everyone basically says "Let me paint, give me free stuff blah blah blah" and none of them want to face the fact that them hanging out all day is not contributing to the business. At best they say they like the store to someone who will actually make a purchase, at worst they bring their broke-ass friends to hang out as well and that helps nobody.

Maybe I've been in retail to long, but it's getting harder and harder to see things from the "free" point of view when it really comes down to me paying my own bills and feeding my kids. These people need to grow up and understand that when that store they love to hang out at but buy nothing from closes, they don't just lose a place to play at but they cost the entire staff their livelihoods.

I'm in the mood to paint some Commissars now.

1 comment:

  1. yah, I did try to buy stuff as I was able too, but with me loosing my job along with everybody else who played semi regularly it was just doomed to happen.