Thursday, November 5, 2009

Floorspace Shenanigans


My friendly local Games Workshop has moved. Today was their opening day at their new location and I am a bit disappointed.

Granted the move to a new location did save them some rent money. Which, is a good thing.

What disappoints me is the size of the new store. It's too small.

Now, the old store was about 1500 square feet in size and supported seven gaming tables, a painting bar, and the demonstration table. It never felt crowded.

The move to a new store with a commensurate lower rent would lead to the conclusion that there would be less floor space.

That conclusion would be incorrect.

The floor space of the new store is roughly 2000-2200 square feet.

So, why does the new store feel too small you ask? Because the corporate headquarters has mandated that all stores (not Battle Bunkers) will be about 1100 square feet in size. This has cut the store down to three gaming tables, a paint bar, and the demonstration table, and about two feet between each table.

So, what do you do when you are renting a store that is twice the size mandated by the corporate HQs?

Why you build a wall in the middle of the store. I am not kidding, that is what happened.

"Buy our product and please leave.", is the message I get when I look upon a store that is forced to only use half of it's available floorspace. The Baltimore management team even stuck around to take pictures proving that the floorspace standard had been met.

So disappointing.


  1. I've seen a few of those "new-format" mini stores. And they are ridiculous... only a handful of customers can walk around at any moment, and it makes the staff-to-customer ratio seem exceptionally high.

    The North American hobby centers have been nothing but a money pit for GW. I wish they would just give up on them and divert the resources into supporting indie retailers and more Games Day-type events.

  2. Just so you don't you're being victimised - UK GW shops are similarly tiny with two or three tables, a painting bar and just enough room to squeeze past.

  3. My local hobby center has 6 large tables, paint bar and a demo table, with lots of storage space in the back. I desperately hope nothing changes, as it's nearly perfect. The other two stores in Michigan I've visited are agonizingly tiny, especially the one at Great Lakes Crossing mall. West Oaks has a fair number of tables but you practically have to climb over each other to get around.

    FLGS has a couple gaming tables tucked into what looks like a utility closet and a HUGE r/c track out in the open. Their priorities are clear.