Monday, March 10, 2014

Non-Existant Independent Retailers

Whenever I visit somewhere new or move house, I like to scope out the friendly local gaming stores (FLGSs) and far flung Games Workshop shops. To do this, I often use Games Workshop's own list of independent retailers (as per their web site).

Sadly, I now know for a fact that this is not a list that is either up to date or wholly reliable. I tried to visit two FLGSs this weekend and was disappointed by both. The first one simply did not exist. A double check on google maps revealed that the store was in a state of being "permanently closed". Indeed, whichever shop it used to occupy was now something else entirely! The second one was a department store. But in a smaller department store, certain sections do not appear to exist either. So after wandering the store aimlessly flipping between children's and hardware sections, it became apparent that they did not, in fact, sell any Games Workshop or roleplaying games beyond connect-4. It seems that (from reading on the internet) only a small sub-set of their stores retail hobby products, presumably as an experiment (ongoing). Sadly, the Games Workshop website appears to list every single store of theirs as a retailer when they're not.

So in essence, this blog entry is not a whinge (although I can see how it might be interpreted as such). Its merely a warning. Details are not up to date in a small, limited number of cases.


oni said...

I'm curious if the store you're referring to is Hobby Town USA? I've seen some of these that do carry GW and some that do not.

eriochrome said...

If I remember right, I think Jabber is down under so it is probably not hobby town.

This is probably more an issue of corporate turf wars. The online store team is probably in charge of updating that database but they want you to shop at the web store. I am sure trade sales if they actually were doing their job would want that list as up to date as possible but they probably have very little pull with the online store team.

That list also probably would include stores that have trade accounts as opposed to those people who get the products through a distributor. While these stores will probably not have discounts, they might still have the product.

jabberjabber said...

hey guys - yes, I was in Australia up until January, but have now moved to the UK….!!! (tis a long way to come!).

Reading around the internet, I think the issue is that the store in question was "trialling" selling hobby and GW stuff at a few of its stores with a view to perhaps expanding it to all stores later. However, GW lists all stores already on its site.

Sounds from your comments that this is not an isolated incident though!

Lunar Camel said...

I've seen the same thing too. Actually had a friend who had a store explain why they do it. They list a physical location as the "store" so that way they can get the GW stock but sell it on the internet as part of the "store's" on-line store. Its a way to get around the not selling GW products on the internet clause that GW puts on independant retailers.

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