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The Desolation of GW 
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Hard, but Fair
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http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/64920/the-desolation-of-games-workshop--64920.html

I really like the title of this article. The contents are somewhat disheartening though. But I'm glad GW is taking flak for the repurposing of their stores to sales points instead of hobby centres.

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:45 pm
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Assassin
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the sad part ;

Quote:
Management made no reference to the dividend in the interim results but did say it regarded the firm's current problems as being of a short-term nature. Tom Kirby, chairman and acting chief executive officer, said management expects to see growth return in both its own shops and in independent retail outlets.


they don't see a problem.

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:10 pm
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Neither did the captain of the titantic


Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:51 pm
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Lord of the Dragon Caves
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The drop in sales at independent retailers is a strong indicator that this is not a temporary problem related to the restructuring of GW-branded stores. The public statements by GW show a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the real problem -- price.

Profits are higher, but revenue is down. This means that GW is relying on a shrinking pool of customers. The way out would be to cut prices and endure some short-term pain in order to allow the customer base to recover and ultimately grow.

My prediction--GW won't increase prices further, but won't lower them either. GW will try to wait it out and try to let consumer buying-power catch up to their price level. In the meantime, the customer base will continue to erode because fewer players = fewer new recruits. In 5 years, GW will be truly floundering. GW stores will close, some other company will come in and by the company cheaply, and will try to revamp and dumb-down the game in an effort to reach a wider audience.

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:15 pm
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Highborn

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Wait, what?

They reduce the number of staff in the store and cut opening hours. The natural conclusion is surely that there will be fewer salea (fewer people to make them in less of the time).

How is that supposed to increase revenue?


Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:16 pm
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Dragon Lord
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Their logic is that a single person focusing on sales will make more profit compared to three people focusing on hobby.

It makes sense short term... like when you have a closing sale... but long term they're past shooting themselves in the foot... they're shooting themselves in the balls.

I just hope that either GW hires a CEO who knows how to run a healthy long term business or someone who does buys them out and doesn't dumb down the product.

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:26 pm
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Miscast into the Warp
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Yes, one man, one store, works fine if all you are trying to do is stand behind a till taking money.

The issue becomes more apparent when that one person is also trying to look after a painting area, running beginner games and answering random questions from lost parents trying to buy gifts, as well as trying to stand behind the till.

What it creates is an untenable position for the poor employee who just manages the best they can, but really ends up delivering under par customer service for all.

I can understand the stance from a financial point of view for short term gain. But it is very narrow minded from a view of building your business long term.

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:46 pm
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All of this is, of course, nothing but a cashgrab for Tom Kirby right before he quits. Kind of like those £300k dividends he pocketed last year.

GW has never lowered prices, so I agree with Dyvim Tvar.

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:17 pm
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we can look at the bright side ;

Action are back at where they were in early 2012, after a massive increase in value.

They still are twice the price from back early 2010.

If you look at the 5 year graph (http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON ... ares/YEAR1), you notice that it often drops (425 to 350 back in January 2011, for roughly 18% drop).

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:58 pm
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From their latest actions I would guess they are more aware where the problem is than we give them credit for. It doesn't neccessarily mean they know how to get out of it though.

Prices: They actually started to discount their bundles in the last part of the year. They will not lower prices, but I guess they will not up them and continue with these. Not perfect, but something...

Busy schedule we saw in the last months: This is generally a good thing, but they are doing it wrong (PR wise). Too obvious it is done for money grab first, hobby second (it can be the case, but the customer really should not notice that). So even if they did everything else right, they will still alienate people. Which is a shame, really.
There is also a danger they will make a mess of the rules if they continue with dataslates at the rate 40k now shows...

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:03 pm
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Hard, but Fair
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Yeah, those dataslates... Anyone remember the time when you got stuff like that for free in White Dwarf?

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:46 pm
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Those were the days. I remember the veteran hydras upgrade...

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:00 pm
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Dalamar wrote:
Their logic is that a single person focusing on sales will make more profit compared to three people focusing on hobby.

It makes sense short term... like when you have a closing sale... but long term they're past shooting themselves in the foot... they're shooting themselves in the balls.

I just hope that either GW hires a CEO who knows how to run a healthy long term business or someone who does buys them out and doesn't dumb down the product.



Not Likely. Tom Kirby has been at the helm for at least 15 years.


Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:21 pm
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Dragon Lord
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Didn't GW just hire a new CEO this past year (coinciding with their move to single employee stores etc.)?

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Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:44 pm
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So my local manager is very good at all aspects of GW work, he's really good at 40k and moderately good at the other two but he is very good at model conversions and painting. The trick he's done, he's let us do what we want with the store within reason, we as a store started our own fantasy campaign and 40k one. He even has a couple of people that volunteer to do beginner games on his behalf. It works for him, and he is technically allowed to do it as its basically just the same principle of booking tables etc.


Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:21 pm
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Clockwork wrote:
Wait, what?

They reduce the number of staff in the store and cut opening hours. The natural conclusion is surely that there will be fewer salea (fewer people to make them in less of the time).

How is that supposed to increase revenue?


Many stores in Asia pacific are in malls. These have expensive rentals and often have cinemas which requires long opening hours.

The amount of sales generated late at night isn't much so stores lose money. Shortening hours will reduce coss with no loss in sales.

Many of the "battle bunker" stores both GW and independant have failed. You need lots of space to run games but it's not space that generates sales. Battle bunker style stores were forced to sell products at expensive prices to pay for the gaming space. This didn't work because people bought the product from online only retailers at a discount and then brought their models into the battle bunker stores to play.

No other type of stores have a battle bunker style of approach. It would be like a womens clothing store having half the store taken up with a fashion runway.

Even scale model shops don't put on painting and model making classes.

So all GW is doing is moving their retail stores into a model more like other comparable stores.

I'd be glad if GW got rid of the tween drop in centre look. It's a big disincentive to go into a store that if full of smelly teens yelling at the top of their lungs. It's far nicer to go into a store which does not resemble a daycare centre for torubled teens.


Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:37 am
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