In retrospect I'm not sure why - each week there were more and more left over copies of White Dwarf Weekly on the shelves at my local Games Workshop. Were sales slumping or did they just send out more?Whatever the case, something wasn't right!
Anyone who works in retail will tell you that shelf stock is dead stock - know your customer, keep them happy and the shelves lean.
In terms of actual content, the quality of White Dwarf from week to week was also sporadic. Some weeks it was a heavy sales pitch and very light on actual content, other weeks it was really diverse and seemed to cater to everyone, and there were weeks when it was just full of awesome.
In discussions here, one of the real dangers we see is that without a weekly White Dwarf, what is going to keep customers going back to the shop each week? I know that if it's not out each week, then I won't need to go in, in fact maybe I'll just subscribe and skip the store visit all together.
This all leads to less foot traffic, less impulse buys and sales each week. Sure the big items will get sold and pre-ordered, but can that paint wait until next week or what about that new book I might be interested in and pick up just to see. That seems to be the real danger, just less people through the doors.
Sure, the focus of a monthly publication could be (A) all hard sales or (B) sales plus hobby sections.
In an age of seriously internet savvy people, if it's hard sell, this monthly one will fail and fail quickly. If however they go down more of the path that Warhammer Visions has started to in recent months, then maybe they have a good combined formula.
Speaking of Warhammer Visions - this magazine was a real disappointment for a long time. It promised hobby and gave recycled pictures, no content, even poor photography at times - BUT - once the format settled a bit, Warhammer Visions became a real community publication. There were people's armies, longer Paint Splatters and awesome discoveries like some amazing models in Blanchitsu and rising stars from around the hobby world like @Teabreakgossip and Maxime Pastourel .
Now this is a little out of left field, but how about this.... with Warhammer Visions gone and Games Workshop stores now being called Warhammer, this leaves Games Workshop without a publication with the store's name on it. It will say "Games Workshop Presents White Dwarf". Where's Warhammer in that equation? How would I necessarily know to go to that shop to buy those products?
As far as brand recognition goes, it's a bit of a risk!
I know that we know it's Warhammer the game, Warhammer the store and White Dwarf is Games Workshops' magazine, but the new kid starting out doesn't know, or their parents - I mean who does the buying? It's little Johnny's/ Nancy's parents and they're not necessarily going to put two and two together - have you met most people? They are stupid!
Anyway, that was just a few things we have been talking about here and would love to hear what you have to say. Drop us a line on the Facebook or comment below.