Bill Eckman of Classic Cards & Comics in Castle Rock,
I read the interview with Loren Greenwood. He stated that 'Everything we do, from how we package our products to our organized play offerings, is tailored to the brick-and-mortar environment.' I admit that Wizards does a pretty good job supporting the hobby channel. FNM, release events, league kits, prize support are all available at little or no cost to the Premier stores.
What they don't do is control who they sell their product to or how they release it. Go on the Internet, search for booster boxes of Magic and you'll find lots of them available for for $79-80. Within a couple of bucks, this is what I pay to get my Magic directly from Wizards of the Coast. Are these people selling it at cost? It's possible, but I bet that's not the case. Let's assume that they're buying in larger volume with a better discount directly from Wizards. They can afford to sell at a price that most brick and mortar stores can't touch, because they: a) Can't afford to buy in that kind of volume; b) Have overhead to maintain their store that's probably 20-30% of sales; c) They need to eat, put the kids through school, etc...
If they really wanted to support the hobby channel, they'd give the stores running the weekly events a couple weeks of lead time to sell the new product before sending it to the mass market. If the players knew they'd have to wait two weeks to get their $80 box from the internet discounter, they'd be much more inclined to buy their initial cards from the hobby store where they go to play.
'...the services and support that come from the stores is essential to keep our business healthy.'
If you want to keep your business healthy, then you need to find some way to help the brick and mortar stores. If the venues close, the players have less opportunity to play or discover the game. Wal-Mart and Joe's Discount Internet Store don't do anything to promote the games to other players.
Less players equal less sales. Give the customers some incentive to buy from the stores that actually support the game.
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