Thursday, June 18, 2009

Miniature Clearance Sale

Times our tough, so we're being increasingly tight with inventory dollars. Inventory is a zero sum game. If you want more new stuff, something old has to go. Here's what has to go:

Warmachine: The bins of 20% off product are now 40% off in hopes of clearing it out. This is stuff that hasn't sold in over a year; a lot of it good and perfectly valid for play. We're planning to drop about a quarter of Warmachine based on flagging sales. I still think this game has a lot of strength in it and it's not going away anytime soon. Really, I promise. Privateer just needs to learn that they'll eventually need to pull back their skus, much like Games Workshop does now. You can't have limitless growth and expect retailers to carry the full line indefinitely. So Privateer, remember the Games Workshop complaint about SKU creep? That's you now.

Warhammer 40K & Fantasy: We've taken all of the slow selling blisters with duplicates and slashed the dupes by 40%. They're in baskets for your perusal. This frees up inventory dollars for our two most popular miniature games without limiting selection. We carry every SKU for Warhammer 40K. If you don't see it on the shelf, ask us. If it's missing and not out of stock, I'll give you a mint.

Alkemy Clearance. We threw a lot of stuff up against the wall at the beginning of the year to see what would stick. Infinity stuck, for example. Alkemy did not. The Alkemy product isn't even in my time thresshold for clearance, but it's on the wane and I'm low on space. Beautiful models; not a lot of play in the store. Enjoy.

Reaper: The Reaper basket was refreshed a couple weeks ago, but you can still find a lot of good bargains here. Reaper is a sad story that I'll share with you. People just aren't painting miniatures for role-playing games like they used to (you could say that about RPGs overall). It's as simple as that. We used to sell EVERY single Reaper miniature and it was a point of pride. We even had those big dragon box sets, Exalted and Legend of the Five Rings. Somewhere around 2006, something happened. I think the D&D pre-painted miniatures hit a critical mass of quality or maybe we hurt Reaper sales by selling D&D pre-painted singles. Reaper sales tanked and never returned. We now sell a LOT of character models mostly and some monsters.

The problem with Reaper inventory is that sales directly relate to available inventory like no other game. This is not true anywhere else in the store. I can drop the bottom performing 25% of any product line without seeing a significant decline in sales. Reaper is one of those lines where customers buy equally across the line, even the poor performing stuff. Just because a female ogre with a baby on its back only sells once a year doesn't mean the average Reaper customer doesn't want one today. If I cut Reaper inventory by 25%, sales decline 25%. It might not be a bad trade off for the store, but it's sad if you like Reaper. I just thought I would share my strange story. As an aside, we can special order anything in their catalog, usually for next day delivery.

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