Games Workshop’s sales boosted by engaging online presence as physical retail suffers

Following today’s release of Games Workshop figures for H1 FY2020/21, Zoe Mills, Senior Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments:

“While Games Workshop’s H1 retail sales have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with UK retail revenue falling £6.2m to £7.5m, its appealing online proposition and trade division have more than made up for this, ensuring that the fantasy miniature specialist achieved total revenue growth (including retail, trade and online) of 25.9% to reach £186.8m over the period. Games Workshop has significantly increased volumes, up 30%, compared to the same period last year, highlighting not only the increased appeal of its products but also its ability to adapt quickly to these unprecedented times. It is evident that the retailer has benefited from consumers investing in hobbies as they spend time at home, with Games Workshop able to introduce the world of Warhammer and its many franchises to a wider audience, making it a retail winner in the UK in 2020.

“A strong online presence has been essential to retain lost sales from shuttered stores, with the proportion of its sales coming from its global direct-to-consumer division now equating to 24.6% of total revenue in H1 2020/21, up from 16.5% in H1 2019/20. Games Workshop’s investment not only in its website but community and social media channels including via live-streamed shows, has been essential in garnering loyalty among customers given the social experience it typically offers in stores has been lost. And while its stores remain an integral part of its overall proposition, with its knowledgeable staff and space to interact with the product, it must continue to push its presence on social media highlighting new products and engaging with online communities to retain shoppers and spend as physical locations reopen.

“Group operating profit continues to strengthen despite a challenging retail environment, resulting in the fantasy miniature specialist having already announced its intention to repay furlough support and other UK government subsidies as well as cancelling the UK expanded business rates retail discount scheme for 2020/21. Through careful cost management Games Workshop has been able to weather the COVID-19 storm with its operating profit rising by 55.4% to £92.0m for H1 2020/21 resulting in an operating margin of 49.3% (compared to 39.9% in H1 2019/20).

“Games Workshop’s prospects for H2 2020/21 and beyond look promising, especially as COVID-19 restrictions have enabled it to reach a new audience. While costly, ongoing investment in its manufacturing and warehouse capabilities via factory redesigns and expansion, will help it to better serve customers and support future growth.”

More Media