It really is bizarre, the way that GW prices here in Oz. The Australian dollar is doing well overall, but disposable income for most folks is not terribly high. For comic shops (who import all of their stock, and rely on a loyal fan base, like those who play GW's games) this means that prices have gone down while profits have stayed relatively stable, thanks to the decreased costs of importing (since the Australian dollar is performing well, relative to its' traditional value). What GW are doing is keeping their prices static (in terms of the , and in fact increasing them with the general price hike. Even if they didn't increase prices, they would considerably increasing profits due to the relative worth of the Australian dollar. As it is, the price hike is just an added kick in the teeth for consumers here.
I'm not going to say that I'll boycott GW products over this, or anything so melodramatic. But I do know people who have stopped playing because the prices have moved out of reach, and I personally refuse to buy anything from a GW store that I can get elsewhere. Buying on eBay may not be the easiest way to do things, but given the fractional costs, that's where my money's going.
Personally I put the profit decrease down to the ease of online purchasing, like GW do, but I think that they're being outright greedy by charging the prices that they do, and not adjusting for the strength of the Australian Dollar over the past few years. We have a saying here in Australia: "Don't piss on my shoes and tell me its' raining." That's exactly what GW is doing with their pricing policy and embargo. Saving the hobby? No. Saving their inflation in costs here, is closer to the truth.
Yes but here is the kicker, the problem for GW here in Australia is one of their B & M stores, especially in Sydney, Sydney has the third highest retail rents in the world, not only this but Public Liability Insurance is extremely high, GW is classified a toy importer and must pay very high insurance costs to say someone sell electonic games. This is compounded by the fact Australian have one of the highest basic wages in the developed world. A person working in a GW store in Australia would earn at least double that of someone working at a GW store in Britian. GW has no choice but to charge what they charge.
What is happening is what i said previously, Australians like me are shopping around, and finding better deals overseas at 55% to 60% cheaper than GW Aussie shelf prices.
Example i recently bought 2 x Chaos Space Marine Terminator Squads and 2 x Chaos Possessed Squads including postage for $146 USD ($135.42 AuD), the same items on GW Aussie selves $258 AuD.
So for the cost less than of 2 x Chaos Terminator Squads on GW Aussie shelf price i got to add 2 x Chaos Possessed Squads for free and including postage, and it took only 6 days to get from the USA to my Post Office Box in Australia