Image from Games Workshop - used without consent.
I was walking past my local Games Workshop during lunch today, and realised that I hadn't been in there (in a buying capacity) in quite a while. I came to the further realisation that I had no reason to do so... I just don't shop there anymore.
I used to spend quite a fair bit of my money in there each month, but I think that had more to do with the fact that I didn't have the internet and the store was literally around the corner (I miss the 2-minute walk to work...).
We don't even have what you could call a FLGS in our area that could be sucking away my business. The closest one that I know of is in fact in Aldershot, about 2 hours drive away (it's called The Games Shop, and if you're in the local area, is well worth checking out).
The main reason I don't shop there is probably the internet. Try Wayland Games, for example. Even with shipping, you still make a saving on full GW price, and it's delivered straight to your door - you don't have to worry about all the pikeys giving you weird, calculating looks on the bus before you get your new purchase home. Then take Bits and Kits or BitzBox and suddenly, the lack of a meaningful bits service from GW doesn't matter so much anymore... and you have even less reason to go in there.
Another reason I used to go in was just for a chat with some of the staff (back when I knew some of them). They'd fill me in on news and rumours and I'd come out looking forward to purchasing something in the not too-distant future. Since my access to such information has greatly increased, again, due to the internet, I find myself seemingly knowing more about what's coming up than the staffers do themselves. Well, either that or they're all playng the ignorant.
I'm now also part of a gaming club that meets weekly - so I'll be getting regular games in with no need to attend "veterans night".
I suppose the brick-and-mortar stores aren't really aimed at "us" anyway (by "us", I mean 16-18+ year olds who are using their own money to buy miniatures), it's more aimed at children and their loaded parents...
Was beng in a GW fun when you were young? I would be curious to know, as I only joined the hobby when I was 17...
Do you still shop in GW? Why? Have the staff in your area made it a really great place to be? Or do you have no other choice? Is it just the most convenient place to go on your way home, or would you go on a mission to Town Centre specifically to go to the store?
Oh, and are FLGSs far more common in America, or is that a false impression I get from reading so many american blogs? :D