FLGS = Friendly Local Gaming Store. Most of us have a flgs that we frequent every week or so. Now I am a big supporter of small businesses so I avidly support the local flgs (in my case, Leisure Hours Hobby Shop). The problem is, Leisure Hours does not have any space at all for gaming. I've talked to the owner about it and he shot down the idea, which is kind of depressing. So instead I go out to the famed Chicago Battle Bunker with the rest of the DLT guys.
The Bunker is nice and all but I'm really starting to get tired of it. It has now become a spot where suburban parents think they can drop their kids of for a few hours (if not the whole day) while they go fool around with their personal trainers or Mailman or whatever. We were also told that we would have access to the annex of the Bunker because of our gaming club, which at time was was awesome. These days we are basically having to pull teeth in order to get to the annex we were promised access to. There has been times that we were told to play in the main room because (paraphrased)your armies are painted and we would like new customers to see painted armies which would hopefully boost sales. Are we a marketing ploy for GW? No. Do we get a discount if you are using MY army to try to boost sales? No. All in all I am getting sick and tired of the Bunker.
As I said earlier, I am a big supporter of small businesses. The GW Battle Bunker is not a small business. Now, I have heard stories of independently owned gaming stores that are as big as the Bunker, stock every gaming system (not just GW), have tons of tables to play on, give discounts to regular customers and are open till the wee hours of the morning. I honestly don't think a store like this exists in the Chicagoland area. I have heard of Games Plus and Black Sun games, but they're at least an hour drive from my house, if not longer. I am greatly disappointed that the third largest city in the US doesn't have big independently owned flgs's.
If such a store existed in my area, I would do all that I could to support it because I know a store owner would appreciate the support and he would return the favor. GW just wants my money, that's all they care about. Because of this, GW has lost a huge chunk of my business to Leisure Hours and The Broken Forge. I still buy the random product at the Bunker because I do believe in buying where you play, but no where near as much as I have in the past. Now let's say I want to give another gaming system a try, if it's not GW I can't play it at the Bunker. Fuck that.
So how is the flgs's in your area? Do you even have one or does GW have a monopoly in your market? Do you support your flgs? If you don't have one, which online site do you use? How can I remedy my problem, start my own store with the guys? Feel free to speak your mind.