The letter I wrote:
I want to start this off by saying that I am a huge fan of Games Workshops product lines, especially 40k. I have really enjoyed the hobby and the lore, and hope to see many more 40k products (especially more tau products!)
That said, I am not sure I want to continue to support your company because you no longer seem to want to support the businesses where I purchase your products and play games, and you seem to consider myself to be an imbecile As a company, you seem to be dead set on sabotaging businesses that can grow and help your company instead of offering them opportunities to increase your own profits.
Stopping online retailer is frankly, foolish. I understand wanting to increase profit margins, but riddle me this: Do you or do you not make money off online sales, regardless of who sells the product? Yes, I am sure you make more money when I buy from your online store. But I have little to no desire to buy from your store, because of exorbitant shipping costs, frequent product delays on special order items, and the fact that I can buy your products at my local brick and mortar stores for the exact same price.
Having items I can get only through your website is fine, but you seem to be taking this to far. I would rather direct order with the local store and pass on the slim profit margin to them as a thank you, because without a local store, I wouldn't be purchasing your product. They need the revenue to stay open and provide a place for me to meet and play, and robbing them of that would cause me to buy less, not more. The best example for this is the new Death From the Skies book. Why was my local retailer not notified of this? Why was there no local store copy for me to page through and see if I was interested in it like the new codex's or White Dwarf? By the time my local retailer is actually going to get this book, I will no longer have interest in buying the book.
Which brings me to the next point: letting customers know about new products. If I were to know the new tau models were coming out, I would be more likely to buy more tau models. I have a finite pool of resources, and if I know to save up to buy new models I will spend more money on them. If I've already spent that money on a competitors game (which I have, by the way), I can no longer afford to purchase tau models for a long time. And since I have bought into that competitors game, when I do have money, I have to choose which hobby and company I am going to support. And right now, it is far, far more attractive to support that competitor. They communicate with their customer base better, offer multiple online retailer outlets that can cater to a variety of my needs, support the store where I play, and even let me know about cool new things that are coming down the pipeline months ahead of their release.
In short, as a costumer, I am asking you to be more open and supportive of both myself, the brick and mortar stores where I play, and the online retailers that I frequent. If you continue your current, insular tread of selfish greed and short sighted decision making, I will no longer buy your products because I can have a more fulfilling and enjoyable experience with another company's line than I can with yours.