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I’ve had similar experiences. Games Workshop a few miles for me. I occasionally (over a year since last visit) go in there for a pot of paint, but the staff tend to be disinterested in customers and more interested in playing a game with their friends.

Another local store went a few years back. I managed to chat with them after a few visits, but they treated ‘strangers’ the same way. It’s like going into a remote country pub that only welcomes locals.

Two shops remain near me. A Forbidden Planet outlet where I used to buy comics. They are friendly by comparison, but I have been shopping there for over 30 years, games, books, comics.

The last is a board game shop. Although he will talk, he’s mostly an online retailer, so the shop as much a warehouse as retail outlet.

Perhaps people perceive the ‘gamers’ as socially awkward based on their experiences in games shops.