Some interesting news cropped up on some of the other sites recently.
Originally Posted by Bigbossogryn
Today I was talking with a close friend who is an independent stockist of GW goods and something very interesting was raised during our conversation. Apparently, GW have confirmed an initiative will go active sometime in June that has been two years in the making (mainly due to legal issues). This initiative involves the use of a tier system to rate indies and then adjust how much discount their trade account is liable for.
Sounds interesting so far, right?
There will be four tiers (one to four funnily enough) with one being the best and four being the worst in terms of trade discount and 'other' perks which I am not at liberty to discuss. Which tier an indie factors into will be determined by a point system with the maximum being twenty four (I'm guessing six points to a tier) and the indie will score points by basically being a mini GW store. By this I mean having GW product advertised clearly and having it on display, running gaming clubs and intro games to name a few.
By the sounds of it, 99% of dedicated online stores will be tier four, meaning that they will clear less on GW products unless they start selling a shed load more. Here's an example:
Space Marine Bike - £10 to us general public
Tier 4 store trade price - £7.77 excluding tax
Tier 1 store trade price - £5.77 excluding tax
So, is this GW finally plugging the hole that is online stores? Discuss
Our very own rich1231 also added later on:
Originally Posted by rich1231
Its not a rumour.
foolish to comment fully until we have the new trade terms documents and I have had them scrutinized.
I still fully believe this will lead to consolidation of online retailers. And that B&M retail is non viable in most areas of the UK and europe in this climate.
rich1231 being the owner of a large online webstore, so obviously in a good position to comment on this particular topic. To summarise the content of some of the rumours and threads (full largely of the usual drumbeating posts that go with these topics), apparently GW intends to offer a tiered discount system to resellers. The idea being that GW rewards those with a brick and mortar presence similar to GW hobby shops and 'penalises' (or 'unrewards' if you like) those resellers who are less like a GW hobby shop, i.e. online only resellers and small LGS's that stock limited GW product.
From my point of view this is comes across as a kick in the nuts for those of us that regard GW prices as too high and only remain in the hobby due to 20%+ discount internet sites. It could be that I have misjudged GWs aim, the proof in the trade documents remains to be seen, but it appears that GW are making an attempt to further control GW product resellers. 'If you have a 'hobby centre' and sell lots of GW product you get a nice discount, otherwise kindly get fucked'.
It would seem that this will really hurt the small independent shops and online stores that aren't just a facsimile of a GW hobby shop or don't have the required turnover to access a good tier. I am sure there will still be some discount shops, but a reduced market and more control over discounts and resellers by GW may (pessimistically perhaps) result in less discount for us, the playing and paying public.
If this proves to be the case, for me I suspect it will mean GWs bizarre approach to marketing in a recession will finally help me kick the habit, I mean hobby...