Wednesday, 30 October 2013

When Retailers Go Bad

On my recent family break in London we did some of the tourist trap stuff and also did some shopping. Some of that shopping involved a trip for me out to Leisure Games for the first time and I had a great visit and plan to go back next opportunity I have.
However there was one particularly negative shopping experience that has been niggling at me since that break.

We went to Hamleys in London solely for our daughter to have a look and spend her holiday money.  She decided to get a new Build-A-Bear and whilst she waited in the queue I did some investigation into the "hobby games" section they had.

Pretty decent selection all in all.
Pandemic, Ticket To Ride, Settlers Of Catan, Carcassonne, X-Wing and a few others that I can't recall.

What struck me though was the price of the games...

Taking 1 specific example - Pandemic RRP is £29.99. Hamleys price £40.  I stood there for 5 minutes looking at it and picking up multiple copies just making sure it wasn't an error in case the wrong price tag had been put on it.  However all that happened was that the price was confirmed.  £40...

Ok so I know it's Hamleys and I know it's on Regents Street in London etc etc but a 33% markup over and above the RRP!?

Then I got to thinking a bit more and maybe this is something more core to the financial model of the hobby market.  Using the markups I had in my previous post on the 4 Party System that £29.99 RRP translates to a Distributor price of £20. So by pricing it at £40 Hamleys are putting a 50% markup over the Distributor price that they're buying it at (assuming they don't get a larger discount).
Maybe, just maybe, that's the correct price?  What I mean is I bet the majority of non-hobby games that Hamleys carry have a larger markup than 33%, indeed I'd be surprised if that markup wasn't 50% across the majority of non-hobby games that they sell.

I'd also have to say that Pandemic is likely worth £40.  Although I'd rather give my £29.99 to my FLGS!