Friday, September 27, 2013
GW One Man Store Managers weren't already Salaried?
So Apoc 40K has some rumors about changes in the GW retail empire. The first one was that GW was moving all the store managers to salaried. I find it shocking that they were not already salaried. Seems like a bone head initial state to be in where you have to pay someone overtime who is trying to keep a whole store open by themselves. It is not like GW positions are really benefit heavy so overtime to your manager beyond a few hours a week would quickly be more than a lower cost part time employee to help out. Plus it frees them of the sticky legal point of essentially having a set up which was impossible to run in a 40 hour week but require you to only report 40 hours since they will not provide any overtime authorization.
Ofcourse overworking and under paying those people who supposedly man the fortress against the forces of the enemy does not really sound like a good long term plan. The compensation plan also apparently involves growth bonus but it does not seem to me that the Store Manager has much freedom here. They do not control what they stock, the prices, the location, the release schedule, store hours, or pretty much anything. I am not sure if they get a budget for prize support or promotion so they probably have nothing they can really do to get people into the store. Given that they have to compete with their own online store (why bother drive like 30-40 minutes each way down to the store when you can order it online at the same price and have it just show up). This ignores ordering from 3rd party vendors. You really have to feel sorry that these are the jobs they have to take in the current labor market.
GW invests a ton of money just having a retail chain. Gaming retail is not a very profitable business compared to high priced plastic kits. They maintain the stores to keep the volume of the plastic kits high enough to support the production infrastructure. I would bet that their overall margins would be higher selling the models only through third party vendors but that their profit would drop since the volume would drop significantly. GW might want to think that their products sell themselves but against all the competition in the retail space now I am not sure what value the GW stores give the customers. Apple Stores have tons of employees to answer questions and demo products. Lego stores usually have several employees and stock every product in production normally be them normally retailer exclusives or normally online only. They also have pick a brick and build a mini figure stands for unique experiences in the store. Not sure what GW offers other than a pushy sales person.