Covid-19: Games Workshop online operations to restart

Fantasy wargames manufacturer and retailer Games Workshop will start selling its goods online in the UK again, this week.

The business closed down its stores and eCommerce operations as the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis escalated in the country, but it said today (28 April) it has now “fully assessed the health and safety measures required within our operations to meet social distancing and hygiene requirements”. These measures are mainly centred on the company’s warehouse facilities.

It has now started making trade sales in Europe and North America, while online orders on will commence on Friday 1 May. Retailers, including Dunelm, Fenwick, Next, Quiz, and Schuh, all closed their websites for a period of time before reopening them as they dealt with the health emergency in their own ways.

Games Workshop, which is renowned for its Warhammer games, said the majority of its global store network remains closed. However, a small number of its sites have re-opened in China, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, in line with local guidance and subject to meeting local social distancing measures.

The business said its stores will continue to re-open across the world “as local restrictions are lifted and all required health and safety measures are met”.

As previously stated, trading for the group in the nine months to the end of February was in line with expectations. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent closure of operations globally, business has clearly been impacted – and the company now estimates profit before tax for the year ending 31 May will be "no less than £70 million".

It added that an agreement in principle has been made with its bank, Santander, to secure an overdraft facility of £25 million for a six-month period with a potential six-month extension, if required. The retailer said this will be drawn, as needed, to meet operational cash flow requirements.