Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mayfair Games Goes Exclusive and What It Means to You

As the press release below indicates, the big news for the gaming industry coming out of the San Diego Comic Con was the announcement that Mayfair Games entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Alliance Games and Diamond Comics Distribution (for those who don't know, Diamond Comics owns Alliance):

Mayfair Games is excited to announce their partnership with Alliance Game Distributors and Diamond Comic Distributors for the exclusive distribution of their games to the U.S. hobby retail network.

Management at Mayfair Games foresees a future bright with opportunities for national campaigns with coordinated outreach and events. With the advent of streamlined, focused distribution to the hobby trade, Mayfair anticipates continued direct support of the hobby retail channel through the MAR program and other means.

Dan Hirsch, President of Alliance notes: “Having worked with Mayfair from the early days of both companies, we at Alliance are excited to partner more closely with them. This partnership allows both of us to focus on the things we do best – Alliance coordinating and wholesaling, and Mayfair developing award winning titles, building brands and communities!”

What does this mean to you?  If you are one of our customers, not much.  We deal with both Alliance and Diamond so we won't have a problem having to open up a new account to keep stocking in Mayfair GamesIf the agreement helps keep Settlers of Catan and its expansions in stock, it helps make certain we don't suffer out of stocks of Catan and other popular Mayfair products

It may hurt other retailers that don't have an account with either of the two distributors as it means they will either have to open an account with Alliance or drop the Mayfair line.  Mayfair is the top selling board game line in many gaming specialty stores, so stores without an Allinace account will need to decide if it is worthwhile for them to create one. It also means that retailers won't have as large a selection of sources from which to procure Mayfair. Currently, if one supplier is out, stores can try another one and hope to find copies there.  Now, if Alliance or Diamond are out, so are we until Mayfair ships a reorder.

The gaming entity hurt most will be other distributors.  If they dealt in boardgames, Mayfair likely accounted for a significant portion of their sales.  Poof, that vanishes as soon as they sell out of their remaining Mayfair stock, leaving stores one less reason to put orders in with them.

Summing it up, little change for the customer, not much change for stores already dealing with Alliance or Diamond, major changes for stores that don't and other distributors.