I recently visited Wayland Games Centre and had a personal tour of the facilities by the General Manager; Stuart Mackaness. Read on to found out more.
Wayland Games are Europe’s largest independent retailer of hobby products. Situated in the South-East of the England, they have a strong mail order business posting all over the world. They operate out of an Industrial Park in Essex. Part of Wayland Games is their Wayland Games Centre, which is open to the public.
They have a retail area on site where you can purchase from their many stocked ranges. If it’s not on the racking, they’ll nip out back to the warehouse and check if they have it in stock. Prices are identical to what they are on their website but you obviously save on postage and because they have ample parking facilities that are free, you save on high street car parking fees as well.
In the same area as the shop is the gaming hall. There are custom designed gaming tables for up to 150 gamers all decorated with game specific terrain (15mm and 28mm). You’ll never have to wait for a table. All gaming is free. There are no charges. They also hold tournaments for all the popular gaming systems.
Next to the gaming hall is the licensed bar. Oh yes! If you’re of a legal drinking age, they’ll serve you alcohol. There are soft drinks, sweets, snacks etc to purchase as well. There are benches and tables to sit at and chill out with your buddies. You can play card games and board games in the bar as well.
What really struck me, was how great the staff are. With most of the staff being ex-Games Workshop Managers who love gaming you just feel like you’re having chat and not pressurised into purchasing anything and because they stock all the major ranges you’re getting unbiassed opinion as well.
I was also lucky enough to be shown around the warehouse and I got to browse the shelves chocked full of boxes of miniatures. The phrase “kid in a toyshop” springs to mind. Games Workshop products were quite prevalent, but I was also shocked by how much racking was dedicated to Warmachine, Hordes, Flames of War and Infinity. Just by looking at the stock levels, some of these others manufacturers are big players. For the full list of their products check out their website.
Whilst they had an incredible amount of stock, they still can’t stock everything. That’s not a negative point because stop for a second and think about it. They sell products from hundreds of manufacturers. Most of these companies have hundreds if not thousands of products. That’s a lot of stock to purchase. They’re big, but they’re not Amazon. If it’s out of stock you can expect to wait a while. The savings and convenience of shopping for everything under one roof is worth it though.
It’s a wonderful place. It’s like the dream gaming club. Lots of people, a store with discounted prices, a bar that serves alcohol, all the game systems you can think of being supported. I can’t think of anything bad to say about it. I recommend Wayland Games Centre to anyone.
Wayland Games Centre is open Monday (17:00 – 23:00), Wednesday (17:00 – 23:00), Friday (17:00 – 23:00), Saturday (10:00 – 20:00), Sunday (10:00 – 20.00). It’s closed Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Address: 17-19 Eldon Way, Hockley, Essex, SS5 4AD. (Not far from rail station or Southend Airport).
Have you ever been? What did you think? If you haven’t been would you want to go?
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