As we all know Maelstrom have had more than their fair share of difficulties lately. Whilst they will continue to blame solicitors and unforeseen delays much of the blame has to be on their shoulders for following a short term strategy for far longer than i was sustainable. For all their fine talk of excellent customer service they have really given poor service and very bad signals out. I have now received at least four final sale not to be repeated offer e-mails which is both ironic and a little bit sad. Hell at the moment they have up to 75% off everything with 50% off what little of Battlefront they have left. The problem on going to their website though is that:-
1. If you bother reading the blurb at the top, it tells you they have financial problems. Freely they admit to cash flow issues, they use the term "Much needed cash flow" I just hope their Bank Manager does not read that or he will b pulling the plug on them. You Never, no I mean you NEVER admit to cash flow issues with your customer. They go bust with your money in their hands and you can for get it back, (best buy on a credit card that covers such events!). If I was a supplier bang as gone their credit limit. It's pro-forma until further notice and I would be chasing any overdue payments! Maelstrom are either up to their eyeballs or just totally lacking in business sense.
2. Go past the title page and be stunned by just what they don't have left. I mean almost everything is gone for the majority of customers. Want Vallejo paints? Hope you want one of the 3 bottles they have! Now this is a core item of trade, selling these off at below cost is simply crazy so on the face of it, Maelstrom is sinking and sinking fast. However, I have been to the shop*, in itself a bad sign given the serving staff were not on the floor (a warehouse lad was looking after the shop) and worse still the till was switched off! But on the positive side the shop had some of those very items that are showing as zero stock. What this tells me is that Maelstrom indeed is in a fair bit of bother but may well be able to survive. First up, they are not in administration (unless the administrators like breaking the few laws they can be done for) no signage up in the shop to say they had gone into administration for starters. But I think Maelstrom are protecting some core stock from sale so that they do not have to buy it all back in. However I remain sceptical on both the bricks and mortar shop and the on line presence can both remain a going concern. I expect the shop and gaming facilities to be dropped if it's one or the other.
Time will tell but for now I recommend taking your own basket to this picnic.
*I bought six can's of Maelstrom Purple Army Painter primer, each at £1 a can. AP had been commissioned by Maelstrom to supply this colour but it's been rather unpopular. I am currently testing the colour and it seems OK so probably will pop back and get more cans, they should have some as of yesterday they still had over 160 cans left. Also of note was that the guy who normally works the shop was on site as I saw his car parked outside.