Denise Shepherd of HyperMind, LLC in Burlington, NC saw the news of WizKids going exclusive through Diamond/Alliance (see 'WizKids Goes Exclusive') and offers these comments:
What is going on with this industry? I have to say the industry is just not taking care of itself. I hear a lot of brick and mortar stores complaining. When are these stores going to get up and promote product and quit crying for free stuff or for items to sell all by themselves. Create demo areas, get out in your community, don't be scared to present yourself or your store in a clean friendly manner. Quit promoting cheap Internet sales and bring those customers back into the store. You cannot have fun sitting at home looking at your collection, we all wish to have someone to share our treasures with.
I feel this industry needs some real professionalism.
There are a few manufacturers that need major overhauling, but for the most part the manufacturers are getting it right. Look at Goodman game's click to brick (great idea, low cost and minimal commitment from the B&M stores), Reaper's free paint 'n' take. Wizards has everything organized, you know what to expect. Out of the box thinking and guerrilla marketing, this is the way to keep costs down across the board.
The new announcement from WizKids is very disappointing. I understand trying something new but this was a bad way to go about it. Creating a monopoly is not the way to serve your customers and support your retailers. I do not agree with forcing the industry to purchase from one source. We as individual stores and an industry are going to have to make the decision on whether we will support this or not. We will be feeling our customers out over the next week or so.
We already have enough trouble getting the products we need or want without sinking ourselves with bad product. Distributors cannot carry every line but the big ones you expect to get from most. Is this the way of the future? It is if we let it. I sincerely hope WizKids will change their thoughts on this. They have said they were not getting feedback from multiple distributors; I feel this was probably not so. I have heard that WizKids was given feedback numerous times and they either lost it or it left with some. I am only on the outside of that discussion, so it is all he said, she said.
I have already voiced my opinions to companies involved or affected by this. I can only support the ones that have taken care of me along the way.
Maybe we can all support those that have taken care of us, and turn this into something good. For everyone trying very hard to promote this industry, cheers to you and keep up the good work.
The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.