I Read the Games Workshop Half Yearly-Report So You Dont Have To

Many interesting bits of information live in a shareholder letter or corporate report. I dug into the most recent report from Games Workshop to see what I could learn. Here are my findings.

Web Store

More than half (56%) of GW’s revenue comes from your friendly local game store with the rest split between their own stores and the web.

Sales on the GW web store are down. They attribute this to local game stores now selling their products online. I can confirm this from personal experience. Recently I found a copy of the Dominion box at a steep discount from a game store that was friendly, but not local. The shipping delays out of Forge World Memphis have likely also contributed.

James Workshop himself (or the board of directors) approved a £6 Million project to upgrade their web store. A tiny fraction of this has been spent, likely laying the groundwork for future changes. The GW webstore can be pretty difficult to use, so this upgrade is overdue.

Retail Stores

Of the 519 Warhammer stores globally, only 34 aren’t turning a profit. That’s impressive given the current state of COVID in many places. They run a tight ship, with many retail locations having only one employee, so it’s not a surprise.

The cafe-style stores in Dallas and LA are performing well. They don’t get into details about what “performing well” means. Presumably well enough to justify building two more of them. Two new cafe-style stores are under construction in the Asia region. Shanghai is currently paused as they wait for certification. Tokyo is on track to open in 2022.

Forge World Memphis

They’re currently upgrading the warehouses to improve capacity and shipping speed. Easing COVID restrictions allowed support staff from the UK to help complete the Memphis upgrades. Forge World Memphis' six-month backlog may finally be clearing by the end of January.

The job market in Memphis has been “more fluid than historical trends.” A polite way of saying they’ve experienced more turnover. It’s easy to imagine this is a result of Amazon’s wage pressure on the Warehouse industry. Love or hate them, at least Amazon’s rising tide is lifting all ships.


Sales of Imperium Magazine in the UK have been ahead of expectations. Versions are due to launch in several other countries, including the US, in the next few months. The magazine is weekly, but in the US it’s delivered in monthly shipments. It’s likely a steal if you wanted a Space Marine or Necron army.

In mid-2021 GW introduced the pre-order promise. Ordering most products during the pre-order window guarantees a copy. Once they run out of stock on hand, they ship made-to-order. It can take up to six months for made-to-order to arrive, but for many people that’s better than missing out. They attribute this decision to Warhammer being a collector’s hobby, capacity, and delivery issues. They expect to “pragmatically review” this policy as they return to post-pandemic operations. Likely the first warning that it won’t be around forever.

An exciting bit of news is that they are creating a community outreach team. They aim to support “creators and prominent community members” who champion the Warhammer hobby outside of GW’s own pages and spaces. This is the kind of thing most companies did a decade ago, so they’re a bit late on the scene, but better late than never. My expectation is to see more support of podcasts and battle reports. GW already had good support for painting Youtubers.

Capacity at the GW injection moulding plant is up to 43 machines. I expect this new capacity is why we’re seeing five backlogged Combat Patrols launch at once. Going forward I expect to see more updates of old metal kits to plastic. They don’t mention it, but my hunch is that they’d like to close down the old metal fabrication capacity.

A last bit of news is that they’re still shopping around a TV concept for “Eisenhorn,” based on Dan Abnett’s books. They mention that several other projects are in development. No specifics given other than they have both live action and animated concepts. I’ve wondered why they struck out on their own with WarhammerTV instead of partnering. I expect Netflix to have done a better job at every step, from interface to final production. Now I have to question whether the mistake belongs to Netflix. A show like Hammer and Bolter, with Netflix behind it, is a license to print money.

And that’s it! What has you the most excited from the half-yearly report? Let me know on Reddit.

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