Thursday, May 19, 2011

GW Price's and The growing disquiet

Well a small update here,

I promise ill have some hobby related items soon!

Anyway anyone who thinks that GW have got it wrong and feel that a message needs to be sent

Please join this face book group Gw Australian and NZ price Petition

So far the only comment we have seen from GW is from their web team :

"Hi everyone,

Well, we can see that there are quite a few of you with strong feelings about several issues, and the threads have gone a little crazy. We’re sorry many of you feel frustrated. We have read all of your comments and  because we (the web dudes) don’t have the power to act on any of them, be assured that we have passed your comments on to the higher levels of management in GW.

We want to continue posting pictures of your fantastic miniatures, and link to hobby related items. We would like future threads to remain relevant to the topic in question, so everyone else can have their voice heard and enjoy the discussions about the hobby we all love.

We’ve got your comments both in this thread and on those older posts, which will remain open for you to carry on the conversation there – please, feel absolutely free to do so, we will indeed read them. But in any new threads, we want to celebrate the creative efforts of others. Any comments that stray off topic will be removed.

Just remember that we must remove any strong language and abusive users, in consideration of our youngest fans.

The web team."

For my part I sent my complaint to them 2 days ago now with no response as I am sure countless others have.

There have also been some other measured views such as Sons of Taurus what I think needs to be mentioned here is that price rises can be expected and as Sons of Taurus discussed from an American price perspective and taking a long view the price changes do seem reasonable for the most part.

I think the main point of difference is the price differential for a like product.  While a price increase can be consumed, to barred from accessing cheaper like product and have seemingly artificial prices enforced on the purchasing community. That seriously strikes the consumer as clearly unfair and that really is the crux of the matter.

The perception is that the company in question applies what looks to be a price discrimination against Australians and other like countries to the tune of approx 1.6 the cost.

The embargo can be seen as a protectionist move by GW to shore up FLGS and Front-line store trade within the targeted countries.  The problem is the volume of trade that has now been cut off could be measured in the millions of dollars, and from the view of a retailer recuperation of such lost trade will not be recouped within  one financial cycle if all in two and would only see a very marginal rise in trade for that product.

This in my view represents a no win situation for local trade as not only has this for the most part upset the customer base, but will generally drive that discretionary income into other luxury items.

If you look through the thousands of comments across multiple forums, there is a general consensus that consumers will either A) reduce their overall spend with GW to minimal levels or B) cease consumption of GW product all together.

For the FLGS this at least sees some hope as they can stock product that is non GW that the consumers are willing spend money on.  This does not help the local GW company and would seem counter intuitive almost to what such a embargo would be designed to drive.  

There are comments in the stock reports from the directors of the company that allude to a belief that the consumer base is also price insensitive.  It would be argued that any view held by that company close to that opinion has be refuted by the consumer outcry.

GW does hold the majority share of the gaming market in sales- a quote kicking around suggesting as much as 85% but regardless such a dominance in the market should be a driver to work harder to maintain the margin through continued competitive pricing and "effective customer service".  There is a significant difference now to what existed upwards of 10 years ago, competition for this market is expanding and the GW model is being applied with allot of success if not more so with such firms as Privateer Press.

It strikes me as odd that their strategy to cut the fat and become a leaner company from a cost to income ration fails to recognize that for a company purely based on support from a niche market that effective price competition is not warranted especially in an emerging market with new players on the field. 

In the end the consumer has a voice and it is possible that such general support can make a company start to acknowledge it and respect it.