Warhammer maker Games Workshop has announced that it will begin to re-open some of its stores following the worldwide coronavirus lockdown.
The company announced at the end of March that it would close its Warhammer shops, factories and distribution centres around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as pausing online orders made via its website. At the time, it gave no suggestion of when its outlets would re-open, saying “we will return to normal operations as soon as possible”.
Less than a month later, Games Workshop has said that select locations will begin to re-open this week, adding that it had made the decision “in line with local advice and government guidelines”.
The Warhammer shops will operate at a “reduced level of service”, global head of Warhammer Community team Andy Smillie confirmed in a blog update. The stores won’t be running games or painting lessons, and may have reduced stock levels for certain products. There will also be extra health and safety information for visitors to follow, with customers advised to contact their local outlet to check availability before visiting in person.
“The health and safety of all of you, and of all of our staff, remains the number one priority,” Smillie said.
No UK or US locations will be included in the initial wave of stores, Games Workshop confirmed, indicating that stores would re-open in countries beginning to “ease out of lockdown”.
Describing the limited re-opening as a “pilot”, Smillie said that Games Workshop could re-open further stores “in the short term” based on the success of the trial and the wider development of the global COVID-19 situation.
“As has been evident in hundreds of thousands of social media posts, Warhammer is a big part of people’s lives. Perhaps even more so at the moment, helping to keep people upbeat, occupied and connected to one another during this isolation,” Smillie wrote.
“Reopening stores, then, is about helping you get your hobby essentials. Please be sensible when deciding whether or not you should make the trip or whether that tenth Imperial Knight can wait!”