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Hattons / Bachmann New Stock / cancelled pre-orders (07 Aug)

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I've read the whole 5-page thread and come up with my ow conclusions. that said, after watching the video where SDJR7F88 test drives the new Hatton's original class 66 (with sure sound and rail rumble), i can only conclude its an awesome product. that said, competition is good for the consumer. Bachmann will have no option but to up their game.

 

https://www.hattons.co.uk/newsdetail.aspx?id=340

 

Remember the Hornby documentary where rails of sheffield produced a terrier?  Their terrier has nothing to do with Hornby (on that not can you not order from Hornby direct? thus they are too a manufacturer and re-seller? What did Hornby do - nothing, they had it under control.

 

It makes me think their is a deeper issue than just Hatton's producing a train.

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1 minute ago, Nails6365 said:

I've read the whole 5-page thread and come up with my ow conclusions. that said, after watching the video where SDJR7F88 test drives the new Hatton's original class 66 (with sure sound and rail rumble), i can only conclude its an awesome product. that said, competition is good for the consumer. Bachmann will have no option but to up their game.

 

https://www.hattons.co.uk/newsdetail.aspx?id=340

 

Remember the Hornby documentary where rails of sheffield produced a terrier?  Their terrier has nothing to do with Hornby (on that not can you not order from Hornby direct? thus they are too a manufacturer and re-seller? What did Hornby do - nothing, they had it under control.

 

It makes me think their is a deeper issue than just Hatton's producing a train.

 

I do not know the answer, but I tend to agree with your final sentence. The fact that pre-orders were being offered for a long time when supplies were not coming in is an interesting factor.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Gwiwer said:

I had my email this morning cancelling my pre-orders.  Six items in total are affected.  There was no explanation simply a statement that the pre-orders had been cancelled because they could no longer be fulfilled.  They didn't even address me by name - any half-decent auto-mailer should have been able to manage that since my order details were correctly quoted.

 

My reply, equally terse and anonymous, informs Hattons that I shall never return to their business for any reason whatsoever as other retailers are available.  I have re-ordered the items with one of those others at almost the same prices.

 

A simple explanation might have helped even though the details will be bogged down in commercial confidentiality.

 

I had become disillusioned with Hattons when they moved out of Smithdown Road and became a warehouse operation but have now abandoned all hope of them offering anything resembling customer service.   

They gave you an explanation, the orders could not be fulfilled, simple as that, they dont need to give you any more detail.  Throwing your toys out the pram because the auto email didn't address you by name is a bit childish.

 

I, and many many many others, on this forum alone, have had nothing but great customer service from Hattons', both long term and new customers.

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20 minutes ago, Nails6365 said:

I've read the whole 5-page thread and come up with my ow conclusions. that said, after watching the video where SDJR7F88 test drives the new Hatton's original class 66 (with sure sound and rail rumble), i can only conclude its an awesome product. that said, competition is good for the consumer. Bachmann will have no option but to up their game.

 

https://www.hattons.co.uk/newsdetail.aspx?id=340

 

Remember the Hornby documentary where rails of sheffield produced a terrier?  Their terrier has nothing to do with Hornby (on that not can you not order from Hornby direct? thus they are too a manufacturer and re-seller? What did Hornby do - nothing, they had it under control.

 

It makes me think their is a deeper issue than just Hatton's producing a train.

Despite having their own well-publicised "issues", Hornby are masters of their own destiny to a degree that Bachmann Europe can never be. Even if the latter wanted to "up their game" by producing a 66 to compete with Hatton's on specification, they'd have to convince their parent company it would generate better returns than the various other items in the pipeline in order to get it prioritised.

 

Bachmann have demonstrated their reluctance to go head-to-head with other makers before, e.g. by cancelling their S15 when it became known that Hornby were planning one. This is frankly wise as they appear to lack the agility to get models into the shops ahead of competitors. Until Bachmann can reduce their excessively lengthy gestation periods for new products to levels more in line with industry norms, they will be vulnerable to other players (large and small) cherry picking popular prototypes they've left unimproved for too long.

 

I suspect that the way they've dealt with the Hatton's issue has as much, or more, to do with putting others off following a similar path as it has to any notion of bringing Hatton's to heel.

 

John

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Both Hattons and Bachmann have had since last November to test the model of not doing business together.  That they have decided to part company is a shame for us customers but it clearly makes business sense to them.  We have to accept that in their case “no deal is better than a bad deal”!

 

I have a shortlist of half a dozen model shops that have become my ‘trusted suppliers’ over the years.   Hatton’s used to have the lions share, but this year much of my business has migrated elsewhere.  The availability of Bachmann products is a factor, but it is actually more than that:  Hatton’s prices are simply not as competitive as they were.  Hatton’s used to be cheaper than my nearest model shop for many items across many brands, even taking postage costs into account.  Not any more.

 

So Hatton’s business model is evolving on other fronts too.

 

I can still get Bachmann products elsewhere, at competitive prices and with good customer service.  And there will be some interesting new products coming from Hatton’s too, in the not too distant future.  

 

I wish them both well!

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48 minutes ago, andyram said:

 

I do not know the answer, but I tend to agree with your final sentence. The fact that pre-orders were being offered for a long time when supplies were not coming in is an interesting factor.

 

 

The logical explanation would be that Hatton's continued for some time to believe in some possibility of a reconciliation with Bachmann but have now decided there is none.  Hence yesterday's action in advising their customers that they will not be able to fulfil their pre-orders.

 

Whether anything has really changed, or it's just a belated admission of misplaced hope, is moot,

 

John

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I believe that there is more to this than with Hattons now "in competition" as a manufacturer.  Downunder we have two main supermarket chains that betrween them control almost 80% of the retail trade.  Every now and then there is a shortage in supply of certain brandname products on the store's shelves.  The supermarkets are big enough in their market share that they are able within reason to dictate to the manufacturer the price they are willing to pay wholesale for the manufacturer's items.  when the store demanded wholesale price is considered too low then the manufacturer refuses to supply until negotiations reach an acceptable price.

 

Could Hattons be large enough that they are able to "dictate" the manufacturer's supply price (wholesale)?  Surely Hattons were a large share of Bachmann Branchline European sales output.  I do not believe that Bachmann sales in future will not be impacted.  A possible impact of this is that Bachmann may need to persuade dealers to take on more stock perhaps at a lower wholesale price or perhaps dealers will see stock sitting idly on store shelves and need to heavily discount to move the stock.  Another possibility is that without Hattons' deep discounting,   other stores may "fall in line" with Bachmann's sales requirement for new model release MSRP maximum discounting and effectively raise the "discounted" selling price of Bachmann models.

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2 hours ago, mevaman1 said:

However, the Bachy 66s have been around for some time and I, for one, have loads of them.  I will not replace them with Hattons models.  If people want a cheap 66 then the Hornby one will suffice.  In a nutshell, there will not be significant demand.

 

Surely a presumption as opposed to fact?  Conversely I have sold all of my Bachmann 66s...  and by stating that I'm not suggesting that the majority will do the same, just that there will be modellers who fall into either camp.

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5 hours ago, Ian J. said:

I'd prefer to see proper press releases from Hattons and Bachmann as to their view of their relationship.

 

I'm sure you do, but why does either party need to do that?

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5 hours ago, Gwiwer said:

I had my email this morning cancelling my pre-orders.  Six items in total are affected.  There was no explanation simply a statement that the pre-orders had been cancelled because they could no longer be fulfilled.  They didn't even address me by name - any half-decent auto-mailer should have been able to manage that since my order details were correctly quoted.

 

My reply, equally terse and anonymous, informs Hattons that I shall never return to their business for any reason whatsoever as other retailers are available.  I have re-ordered the items with one of those others at almost the same prices.

 

A simple explanation might have helped even though the details will be bogged down in commercial confidentiality.

 

I had become disillusioned with Hattons when they moved out of Smithdown Road and became a warehouse operation but have now abandoned all hope of them offering anything resembling customer service.   

 

Agree with every word of this. Hattons customer service is poor in my experience and they have become the model railway equivalent of Argos with almost all products kept in a warehouse inaccessible to the customer. 

 

I now do all my shopping at a couple of smaller shops that are much more appreciative of my business and willing to go the extra mile in customer service.

 

Hattons will almost certainly loose out more from this dispute as if someone wants a, for example, Bachmann 47 they will go to a shop that has one as opposed to buying an alternative from Hattons,

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I do find it odd that many are using the thread to bash the excellent service that Hattons provides.  For some years now I have used Hattons store exclusively because it is online accessible to me and over several hundred transactions the service has been exemplary.  I have had one or two minor issues which the staff were only too willing to resolve to my satisfaction.    Since the store started accepting PayPal online I have not dealt with any other store.

 

Hattons is a box shifter,  so if one wants first class silver service instore attention then maybe your "local" hobbystore is the place to go assuming that you are willing to put in the time to travel there just for free coffee and usually full MSRP.   I am more than happy to continue dealing exclusively with Hattons.  Of late most of my model purchases have been pre-owned so the unavailability of new Bachmann stock has had no impact on my purchasing.

 

Finally, many are assuming that Hattons are the bad guy in all this.  Hattons no doubt have been one of the main reasons that Bachmann Branchline has continued to operate on a commercial basis, providing a retail outlet handling a large quantity of Bachmann product line over the years.  I can understand Bachmann not wishing one of its dealers setting up as a competitor in the marketplace,  but surely this is a case of one side cutting off its nose to spite its face.  Hopefully common sense will eventually prevail. 

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8 hours ago, Nails6365 said:

Remember the Hornby documentary where rails of sheffield produced a terrier?  Their terrier has nothing to do with Hornby (on that not can you not order from Hornby direct? thus they are too a manufacturer and re-seller? What did Hornby do - nothing, they had it under control.

 

It makes me think their is a deeper issue than just Hatton's producing a train.

 

Hattons manufacture. Rails commissioned. Massive difference!

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I have never had any problems whatsoever with Hattons on either delivery or after sales service.

Bachmann are going to struggle with this stand off as most model shops will take delivery of 6 of this 10 of that etc whereas Hattons will probably take delivery by the pallet load when they order.

 

Also, one has to look at escalating prices from Bachmann. I was going to get a few National Power wagons to go with my Dapol 59 but not at over £55 per wagon, even after shop discount!

 

just looking forward to the Hattons 66 now and hope they are as good as they looked when I saw samples.

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17 minutes ago, JohnDMJ said:

 

Hattons manufacture. Rails commissioned. Massive difference!

 

Not to us consumers there isn’t! - which is why many are struggling to understand exactly what’s gone on

 

 

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14 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Not to us consumers there isn’t! - which is why many are struggling to understand exactly what’s gone on

 

 

 

See @Trains4U 's comment on the previous page. There is a world of difference between producing exclusive models (however you do that) and supplying the trade wholesale. It's Hatton's move into supplying their own models to the wider trade that's the issue - that really does put them into competition with Bachmann.

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7 hours ago, bart2day said:

 

Agree with every word of this. Hattons customer service is poor in my experience and they have become the model railway equivalent of Argos with almost all products kept in a warehouse inaccessible to the customer. 

 

I now do all my shopping at a couple of smaller shops that are much more appreciative of my business and willing to go the extra mile in customer service.

 

Hattons will almost certainly loose out more from this dispute as if someone wants a, for example, Bachmann 47 they will go to a shop that has one as opposed to buying an alternative from Hattons,

I do both. When I have the time to spare, shopping for model goods can be a pleasant way to spend an hour or two, When getting there and back is just going to occupy too much of my day, or obtaining a particular item locally is difficult, I hit the web, though by no means exclusively Hatton's. 

 

The project I'm currently working on got promoted to the top of my "to-do" list through Hatton's having the two donor coaches I wanted pre-owned at very low prices, so I grabbed them. It might have taken months to find both through visiting local shops where I'd have expected to find better than I needed for more than I wanted to pay. The pair cost me £20 including p&p. However, I had already spent more than that on wheels, paint and couplings from a local retailer the same week (and enjoyed a cuppa whilst there). 

 

These days, I'm seldom in the market for much from Bachmann anyway, as I've already bought all I need of those items in their range that align with my prototype interests. My next expected purchases will be a 1P 0-4-4T, and some Bulleid coaches, whenever they turn up.

 

In terms of a Brush Type 4 (my modelling era predates TOPS classifications), I'll be waiting to see how the forthcoming new effort from Heljan turns out unless I come across a Bachmann one silly cheap.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling

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Hatton’s are re-configuring their business model, it’s as simple as that.  They are transitioning from a ‘pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap’ retailer, to a commissioner/manufacturer/distributor... moving up the supply chain.  They will have reasoned that this will be a more profitable and sustainable business model for them in the medium to long term, and are heavily committed to making that journey.

 

Right now they are seriously investing in the new business model... just look what they are developing.  As well as the previously mentioned class 66’s, don’t forget the O gauge A4 and A3, the Gresley coaches... and other stuff being commissioned such as N gauge garratts.  All simultaneously.  This is a massive strategic move for them, but they will have confidence from their early successes.  Think industrial tank engines, 14xx, rail head treatment train, etc, etc.  It must be working well for them!

 

In the meantime, Hatton’s continue to trade as a retailer, maintaining cash flow from their established customer loyalty until these new investments start to bring in their bigger returns.  Bachmann’s response will have disappointed them, but it will have been a known and calculated risk, worth taking because they have their eye fixed firmly on the long term returns.  

 

Whether Hatton’s will continue as a ‘box shifter’ in the long term, I suspect even they don’t know yet.  If they can continue to turn a profit, and trading conditions allow, I am sure they will.  But if their current investments bring in the hoped-for returns, it will probably not be their core business in future.

 

So in the meantime, our purchasing habits are also evolving in response.  I continue to buy some stuff from Hatton’s, and some stuff from elsewhere.  Hatton’s have lost out on my more recent Bachmann purchases, but I will no doubt also buy some new Hatton’s products in the future, and that will be more profitable for them.

 

Hatton’s are changing, and inevitably this impacts on how we will be using them in the future.  Good luck to them!

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7 hours ago, bart2day said:

 

Agree with every word of this. Hattons customer service is poor in my experience and they have become the model railway equivalent of Argos with almost all products kept in a warehouse inaccessible to the customer. 

 

I now do all my shopping at a couple of smaller shops that are much more appreciative of my business and willing to go the extra mile in customer service.

 

Hattons will almost certainly loose out more from this dispute as if someone wants a, for example, Bachmann 47 they will go to a shop that has one as opposed to buying an alternative from Hattons,

Hattons have become what they are due to demand, we are all guilty of wanting everything in one place, as cheap as possible.  Much as we do with Argos/B&Q/Tesco etc.  They moved out of Smithdown Road due to the deteriorating building and lack of space - I believe they had already started storing stuff in a warehouse.  If they had searched around for a more central location, easily accessible by foot/public transport then the rates would be much higher, ultimately forcing prices up, causing us to moan about rising prices.  I'd wager a guess that Hattons had more online sales than in-shop sales long before they moved out of Smithdown Road, and when looking for new premises, being in a high footfall area probably wasnt top of their list.

 

I stay just outside of Glasgow, I dont have a local (I class Glasgow as local) model shop that sells what I need, or even the basics, the nearest shop which sometimes sells what I want is 40 miles away, who's prices are near RRP, most probably due to business rates.  I really have no option but to shop online.  My first port of call is Hattons/Rails/Kernow, as they are usually one-stop-shops, and of course eBay, but I also use smaller operations such as Branchlines, Southern Pride etc etc

 

Saying your local shop is more appreciative of your business, well Im pretty sure everyone who works at Hattons appreciates your business as it keeps them in a job

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23 hours ago, Legend said:

Seems clear then . They've failed to reach agreement .  So if you want Bachmann go elsewhere .  As others have said though , there's really not that much coming through on OO, don't know much about Farish , so I don't think its going to hurt Hattons overly much .  And the way for Hattons is now clear.  Bachmann may well regret this.

 

Interestingly it maybe also explains Hattons move into scenics as presumably Woodland Scenics , being part of Bachmann, will no longer be available .

I doubt it will hurt Bachmann one bit.  Plenty of other retailers sell Bachmann and from what I have heard they have been more than happy to pick up the Bachmann sales which are no longer going through Hattons which has added nicely to their sales.  All it needs is for folk to not misread the situation and ideally for Hattons to make clear they are no longer a Bachmann stockist for new models and all that they will be doing is trying to clear any existing stocks until it has all gone.  If you had a pre-order just place it with another retailer, simples

 

The nationwide model railway retail scene is, I am sure, more than happy to see Hattons out of the Bachmann picture on this one and all the consumer needs to do is take their business elsewhere - it really is that simple .  It's no different in many respects from Waitrose closing down a branch although of course they don't do nationwide l mail order - but other model railway retailers do.  And get on and support any local retailers you might still be lucky enough to have.

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2 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

I doubt it will hurt Bachmann one bit.  Plenty of other retailers sell Bachmann and from what I have heard they have been more than happy to pick up the Bachmann sales which are no longer going through Hattons which has added nicely to their sales.

 

I think this is very true. Most of my new rolling stock purchases have been Bachmann for many years now, along with a sprinkling of Heljan. My spending with Hattons has plummeted since the issue arose and I have gone elsewhere, although I'm still more than happy to use them for certain things. 

 

Presumably Hattons are also confident they can survive the break with Bachmann; otherwise they wouldn't be carrying on with their 66. They're bound to take something of a hit though (2000+ items listed, beaten only by Hornby as far as I can see), but it's obviously one they consider worth taking. There seem to be quite a few posts on here writing off the importance of Bachmann to Hattons, presumably because they don't buy much Bachmann stuff themselves. I personally don't see it that way, but I'm sure Hattons will have weighed up the situation carefully based on their plans for the future.

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14 hours ago, Gwiwer said:

I had my email this morning cancelling my pre-orders.  Six items in total are affected.  There was no explanation simply a statement that the pre-orders had been cancelled because they could no longer be fulfilled.  They didn't even address me by name - any half-decent auto-mailer should have been able to manage that since my order details were correctly quoted.

 

My reply, equally terse and anonymous, informs Hattons that I shall never return to their business for any reason whatsoever as other retailers are available.  I have re-ordered the items with one of those others at almost the same prices.

 

A simple explanation might have helped even though the details will be bogged down in commercial confidentiality.

 

I had become disillusioned with Hattons when they moved out of Smithdown Road and became a warehouse operation but have now abandoned all hope of them offering anything resembling customer service.   

Just an observation but if you can afford to have so many preorders then you really don’t have much to complain about. 

 

Griff

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10 hours ago, JiLo said:

They gave you an explanation, the orders could not be fulfilled, simple as that, they dont need to give you any more detail.  Throwing your toys out the pram because the auto email didn't address you by name is a bit childish.

 

I, and many many many others, on this forum alone, have had nothing but great customer service from Hattons', both long term and new customers.

To be honest I think Hattons have not handled the cancellation of orders very well.  And several threads on RMweb testify to that view with people running hither and thither, even with some seeming to think Bachmann are delaying or cancelling every new product until (or after) doomsday or some cancelling every Bachmann item they have on order.

 

What Hattons needed to say is that they were no longer able to accept pre-orders for new Bachmann items because Bachmann will no longer be supplying them - the plain unvarnished truth and end of story (although not the end of this thread).  If Hattons had any concern for their customers, and future sales to them, they might have added a bit more.  But a stark sort of email such as that received by Gwiwer hardly qualifies in my view as 'good customer service' and it might well give the wrong impression - as it obviously has to others - that for some reason the product is not now going to appear.  That's almost a 'sharp practice' in lines with Hattons laughable past policy of putting ludicrously low pre-order prices on new items when they haven't even been given a price by the manufacturer.  

 

To me it says a lot more about Hattons than it does about Bachmann.  And as other retailers on here have already said they are open for orders for Bachmann products and one of them is even prepared to put his teapot where his mouth is (although he's not saying much about biscuits).   The nearest of my 'local' retailers is about an hour's drive away and i was happy to part with a couple hundred £s in his direction recently (although as he was without assistance in the shop that day I did not get my usual cuppa) and I know full well he will continue to supply my Bachmann pre-orders.  Support you 'local' retailer - even if they're not quite as local as they once were. (my other one is a nice day out on the train away but I still consider him 'local').

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There are loads of model shops near me.....by train, and I am fortunate to be an old ####### and have a railcard that means I can even shop in Kernow of Guildford for a reasonable ticket price should I so feel like a good day out (Grommit). I can even get to the shop in Donny for nowt by bus. For social outings I meet up with a pal and go to Lincoln where there are two shops. 

You may have gathered that I don't give a #### about this situation with Hattons or Bachman, except I would love Bachman to get back on track and just produce good and wanted goods such as their promised Bulleid coaches. I'd then purchase them to probably add to the pile of stuff that will be in my 'Estate'.

Phil

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This may be a really daft question, but I'll ask it anyhow ...

 

If Bachmann are viewing Hatton's as a manufacturer, and therefore as a competitor, and thus refusing to have them as a seller of their products; could Hornby and Heljan and Dapol all do the same such that Hattons just end up as a manufacturer/wholesaler as they would then have nothing much to sell in their shop as all the other manufacturer's would also view Hatton's as a competitor?

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I think Gareth at Trains4U has indicated the detail that has irked Bachmann - Hatton's intention to wholesale their products, rather than merely selling direct. If Hornby et al do not have this specified in their Ts&Cs they may have no quibble. 

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