Wednesday, February 15, 2012

GW's New Policy Revealed in Detail

Here are the details of Games Workshops new policies with independent stores. We have the details, and I think its a positive step forward.

via Kroothawk
we had some speculation on what changes might happen to the GW policy towards independent store . This week, GW started to officially inform them, so it is not speculation anymore. I think these changes are worldwide (with some of it already implemented in USA for years), but I can only be sure for Europe currently. Changes start beginning this week, but are fully implemented only starting June. I use personal translation from German names and only estimates for prices, as they vary between countries.

1.) There are online-stores (including stores with mainly online-sales) and normal retailers that don't want to become a "GW stockist outlet" (or for some reasons don't qualify). The following doesn't apply to them.

2.) If you want to become a "GW stockist outlet" (abreviated "stockist" from now on), you have to commit yourself to stock about 50 different basic plastic boxes (2 each) from a list. The list includes the starter boxes, the paint starter boxes, mostly one standard from all Fantasy races, one or two boxes for each 40k faction (4 for Space Marines). You have to restock these at least once per month and send GW a check list proving your stock. This is the basis for becoming a GW stockist and is called "Module 1". It includes basic commitments for GW support like being listed in WD as stockist, being allowed to order "direct only" products (max 650€ per month) etc. GW grants you 260 € per year for products used in promotion, terrain and tournaments, but it can also be used to send back unsalable products (Dreadfleet ). More modules increase that amount, but may be subject to GW's approval. Weekly orders remain, but no minimum order. Keeping and reporting the stock is the only requirement, failing to do so may let you lose the status of a GW stockist (see 1).

3.) The other modules are not yet implemented, but should be June latest. Module 2 includes basic accessories including a selection of paints. Module 3 includes WD and new releases. Module 4 includes an extension of module 1 and covers about 200 products like army books, heroes, monsters, selected after popularity. Module 5 includes the complete paint range and even more hobby products. Each module includes a fixed list of products you have to stock and report once per month (in case of module 4 once half a year). The lists are reviewed and updated by GW February and June. You can (and usually will) of course stock more GW products, but those are extra and don't need to be reported. Each store can freely chose what modules he wants, only module 1 is required for being a GW stockist. Module 2 increases your allowance by another 260 € (see 2), Module 3 by 130 €, Module 4 by 585 €, Module 5 by 195 € (allowances by Module 3-5 need GW approval for what you can get). Allowance is for one year and expires each end of May. These allowances are what was called "free product support policy" in the other thread.

4.) The policy includes more rules and technicalities including who can get free GW racks, who is offered limited items first, how to get painting-promo-packs and tournament-packs (including trophies) and other promo stuff.

All in all, the policy change sounds reasonable. The stock requirements also seem easy to fulfill (well, not everyone will have 2 of each basic box) and are less restricting than it sounds at first. Not sure how time consuming the reporting is, if you have more than just one module. Good to see more free product support (as folks in USA already enjoy).