Gamesworkshop is a company that makes model soldiers and board-based games. Based in Nottingham, the business has seen incredible growth rates over the past two years – becoming the best performing stock on FTSE’s all-share index for 2017, with share prices increasing 500% since 2016 and revenue increasing from £118m to £220m over the same period.
So what’s been driving this meteoric success?
The success of Gamesworkshop mirrors the success of other B2C and online retailers over traditional B2B, whole-sale models.
Now-a-days, people tend to look online for product purchases – especially niche products like wargaming – and Gamesworkshop is aware of this. 71% of their sales come from online, and 75% of all sales come from over-seas markets and are distributed from either Nottingham, Tennessee, or Sydney.
Considering this trend towards online sales, Gamesworkshop has a nuanced view towards their physical stores. Instead of seeing them as primarily a vendor based market place to sell to consumers, the company prefers to instead see them as ‘recruiting grounds’ for new customers – with the hope of driving repeat sales after the customer has left the store.
The company also seems to have a genuine love for a) the product they produce, and b) the customers who buy it. In a world where massive companies seem only interested in profit margin, and are fully willing to let the quality of their product slip as a result (think annualised, repetitive video games such as Call of Duty, or films such as Iron Man or the Avengers), it is refreshing to see a company that puts its focus on quality of product an service doing so well as a result of it.
Perhaps other companies should take a note from Gamesworkshop and stop mercilessly ramming marketing materials for money-grabbing products down the necks of consumers and take the time to understand their customers and products, and adapt their strategy to benefit both equally.
(None of this excuses the price of Gamesworkshop products – a single model can set you back £22.50)
The company, which owns the Warhammer franchise but produces dozens of different games, saw pre-tax profits reach £74.5m, up from £38.4m