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Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Soap Box: Drax and Gw stores!

Hi, Jacob here. This is the next instalment of the soap box. Please send you entries to me using my email. On the left of my blog is a bit telling you about the soap box and a link to the post explaining what to do and that post has my email on it. Anyway I'm rambling. Please enter the soap box and read this latest one, it's Drax:

Drax's Soap Box Moment: GW STORES
Here's my twopenn'orth on Games Workshop Stores. Now, I've been into this hobby (with the half-decade hiatus that so many of us appear to have taken) since the early nineties, and since that time I've been in many GW stores throughout the UK and elsewhere. Rarely have I ever enjoyed the experience.

Don't get me wrong: I love looking at the pretty models, and I particularly enjoyed the 'bargain buckets' they used to have in the old days...I certainly don't want to gripe at the hobby itself here, as I seemingly keep participating in the consumption of what many seem to term 'plastic crack', but I usually find the experience singularly dismal.

GW Norwich was my old local store before I moved across the country, and was - I believe - rather typical. There was one chap in there, called Chris, who was lovely! He'd let me browse, avoid haranguing me, seem genuinely interested in my replies and he never tried to sell me anything! Consequently, I frequently bought things from him. Better still, he was decent enough to vaguely remember me from one visit to the next. Thank you, Chris.

On the other hand, the Norwich store was forever haunted by the gangly, unkempt, unfragrant and seemingly unwashed Annoying Guy. Annoying Guy was the one who pounced on everyone who came in. Annoying Guy was the one who always asked you the same formulaic questions in that weasly, ingratiating way usually reserved for dayglo-tabard-wearing students who accost you in the high street in order to pressure you into giving money to whichever charity is choosing to waste its money on dayglo tabards and clipboards.

But I digress.

He's the guy who'd always shout a little bit too enthusiastically in the demo games; the guy who'd yell 'WAAARGH!' at a novice player before slaughtering his ill-glued force; the guy who always, always wanted to sell you the latest £100 battle box. He annoyed me, he smelled bad, and he made me not want to go in there.

I know that as a 'hooked' 29-year-old 'veteran' I'm not in GW's target market any more, but this ought to be acknowledged, not ignored; and besides, I hated this approach as a kid, too. I know we all wonder at their marketing strategy from time-to-time, but this one really does seem to be an odd choice.

I could go on, but Drax Minora is calling, so here are my closing thoughts on a small selection of stores: GW Norwich = often okay, but sometimes very frustrating; GW Covent Garden = pants; GW Portsmouth = tiresome and surpisingly sparse; GW Cambridge = very unfriendly; GW Plymouth not unpleasant, but oddly apathetic.

Best GW Store for Drax? GW Fox Valley Mall, Chicago, IL, USA. Wonderfully friendly and interesting;

Worst GW Store for Drax? GW Berlin, Germany. Jeez, that place was unfriendly! Brilliant city; grumpy geeks.

Cheers, all,

- Drax.

Jacob: Great stuff Drax and thanks.

My local GW is actually really nice, the two guys in there might ask you whether you have enough glue to do your army but only when you are already buying stuff. they rember me and everyone else. TBH it is more like a mini gaming club that sells stuff than a store. I really enjoy going in there and loads of my high school friends are noramlly there. I am friends with people 2 years above my in school so it gives us a chance to talk proper warhammer.

Thanks for reading,

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