So recently I attended a GW store to buy some paint, then realized that store had a no FW policy. I was quite unhappy about this and proceed to send GW a complaint email. They have since responded. I was not initially going to post this, as I thought I would have a better outcome. I have edited my initial email here as not to call out the specific store I attended.
Dear Games Workshop Australia Regional Management,Recently I have visited the X, STATE Warhammer store to purchase some more paints. However, I then learned that the manager has a no Forge World models policy for the store. This did not make sense to me as Forge World is apart of Games Workshop, their earnings are in the yearly financials for the Games Workshop group etc. Doing further research, Games Workshop leaves whether Forge World is usable in store at the discretion of the store managers, as that is the policy not if Forge World is actually allowed in store- which it should be as the official company policy. I have the following to talk about.I have a finance background, with professional contacts in both sales and marketing. Excluding customers who buy more niche/aftermarket/ prestige products from the entity in question is not the way to go, especially with their purchasing power in comparison to other customers is far greater. I walked out of the X store feeling angry, disappointed, marginalized and discriminated against due to not being able to use the official miniatures I had paid for that are legal and valid to use in the current 8th edition rule-set for Warhammer 40,000. Australians already pay more than the majority of others internationally for the Games Workshop hobby, then being told they cannot use the official products in the Warhammer stores is a further blow to the customer base. Paying for products we cannot use in your stores seems like a complete scam or even outright theft of our money. The reasoning behind no FW products is flawed.Customers can't buy it in store, so I don't want it in my store.Customers do not have access to the FW rules, so it is unfair.I don't like that I have to tell customers they can't buy this in store and have to use a website.The first point, that attitude makes no sense, because by that reasoning you could not use the limited edition primaris lieutenants, store anniversary models, games day event exclusive miniatures etc in the store because many are both out of production and unavailable to buy in the store. Also this would apply to whole armies such as the Vostroyan Firstborn Imperial Guard (Astra Millitarum) miniatures as they are no longer produced by GW or sold in Warhammer stores. The second point, customers do not have access to the rules, this is untrue, if I have a model I have the codex and rules for that model. It is no issue or inconvenience for me to pass over the Imperial Armour index book for my opponent to read and for me to talk about and answer questions on how the FW units work. While admittedly, the manager won't sell the FW stock physically in their store inventory, Forge World orders could easily be done and paid for over the counter, with delivery going to that particular store. Customers could be notified by phone, email, text message, facebook/social media etc that their order has arrived and is there to pick up in store. This is also convenient for customers who are often not home, unable to sign for packages or if the area has problems with leaving packages at the door. You can already do such orders at Warhammer stores where they don't have enough quantity of main line GW stock you want in store or online only GW products, it gets delivered to the store, you can pick it up from the store without worrying about having it delivered to your home.Now to clarify the type of customer you are driving away with the no FW store policy. The potential Warhammer store customer who purchases FW products is aged from their late 20's, employed, working at a job that pays well enough. They are happy to buy extra product they do not necessarily focus on, such as the specialist games ranges, like Necromunda or Titanicus. (I am looking forward to Aeronautica Imperialis!). Every store visit results in a purchase, could be anything- books, paints, more miniatures etc. Speaking personally I never manage to walk out of the store spending less than AUD$80-$100+ minimum. So this is money that Warhammer store will not see as a result of a no FW models store policy.If the FW model ban is as pervasive as I hope it is not, no Warhammer store will see such business as it will go to independent stockists who also have space to play and an all encompassing GW product policy. Having players using FW products in store is free marketing. Having someone ask "how do I get that?" your store managers can up-sell the faction that FW unit came from to a prospective customer. Sales can always be made of GW kits in armies that use FW models. Up-selling and cross-promotion in this way is a win-win for the store manager. As a professional who has finance, marketing and sales experience I question the competency of the store manager at their job who are afraid of allowing FW miniatures in their store, in their ability to sell your other products by instituting a no FW models policy in your stores. This impacts your brand image by having such people and policies as representative of your company. The GW hobby dose not feel inclusive and accepting at all with a FW model ban at your stores. Again, this is a needless hit your company is taking to its reputation and brand image.Now as a final point, if nothing will indeed change as a result of this email I would like to know which Warhammer stores in Australia, STATE I can actually go and play using my FW models. Please tell me which stores I can attend that do not have a FW product ban that makes me feel angry, disappointed, marginalized and discriminated against.Yours Sincerely,MegaVolt87.
Thanks for the emailing in your feedback on this matter.At this time the allowance of Forgeworld model use in store is up to the current managers (of that stores) discretion.The best advice we can give is to contact the local stores around you to see what they say on the matter. Any further issues you have with this feel free to email us again. If we update this in the future we will let all our customer bases in our stores know.X The Games Workshop Customer Service Team
Edited by MegaVolt87, 12 June 2019 - 10:35 PM.