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42 minutes ago, MikeParkin65 said:

This only works if they sell the same volume of product directly as they would have done through their dealers. If it transpires that this is a deliberate Hornby tactic it would be deeply satisfying to see them stuck with a warehouse full of bright yellow Lima DMU's that they couldnt shift because we, the main buyers, voted with our wallets and chose to remain loyal to our chosen dealers. Plenty of other things we can buy not made by Hornby :)

Return of the Hornby fire sale........

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9 minutes ago, ruggedpeak said:

Return of the Hornby fire sale........

Analogous perhaps, as far as some retailers are concerned, to what the Japanese call seppuku which liberally translates as 'suicide by disembowelment' (that is not the literal translation).  Wwho is going to bother to order stock from a company which simply cancels your order without any sort of explanation or apology?  And if you do happen to get some of  what you ordered then undercuts you by holding a fire sale of what it couldn't shift any other way?  I wonder if déja vu has gone out of fashion?

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Posted (edited)

From yesterday's Engine Shed:

 

https://uk.Hornby.com/community/blog-and-news/engine-shed/diesel-deliveries

 

Latest Arrivals:

We have already mentioned the imminent arrival of the new Class 31 and Ruston 48DS models, however May should see the delivery of many more new models including the Mobile device controlled iTraveller set which utilises the recently launched HM6000 controller and app. Another pair of soon to be available additions to the Network Rail family and the GBRf Class 20, 20905.

R1271M – iTraveller 6000 Train Set

R4990 – Network Rail Mk3 DVT  82129 - Era 11

R3915 – RailRoad Network Rail, Class 121, '960015' - Era 10

Edited by ruggedpeak
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The amount of rolling stock I would like to purchase is far in excess of that required for my size of layout. That means I have to carefully pick and choose which items to purchase.

I have a Hornby locomotive on pre-order from a shop (who will be doing lots of extras that Hornby won't do themselves).

 

If Hornby cause my pre-order to be cancelled, then I'll just remove Hornby from my future plans and I'll still have more than enough, from other suppliers, to select from.

Edited by The Hawk
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3 hours ago, woodenhead said:

 

 

There are plenty of upsides to selling direct, more profit with no wholesale, lower distribution costs and control over the final price.  But if the item doesn't sell it is stuck in their warehouse not the shelves of shops - shops that might not be there in the future if Hornby cut them out now on the best selling items and only wish to let retailer access slower sellers.  Also you have to invest more in marketing and advertising to bring people to your website, no-one is going to stumble across the website and it's items, you're going to have to work harder to induce them in.

 

Another added cost of direct selling is employing more staff to fulfil the direct sales.

More sending out of lots of small packages, rather than fewer big boxloads to retailers.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, woodenhead said:

There are plenty of upsides to selling direct, more profit with no wholesale, lower distribution costs and control over the final price.  But if the item doesn't sell it is stuck in their warehouse not the shelves of shops - shops that might not be there in the future if Hornby cut them out now on the best selling items and only wish to let retailer access slower sellers.  Also you have to invest more in marketing and advertising to bring people to your website, no-one is going to stumble across the website and it's items, you're going to have to work harder to induce them in.

Whilst your comment on upsides is true, conversely if you are going to offer similar add-on services to match the Value Adding Retailers who fit extras, do weathering etc., then you also need extra specialist staff either on the fixed payroll or brought in as required. All either (a) added overheads if you do it or (b) a poorer service to end users if you don’t.

 

Edited by john new
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5 hours ago, sidmouth said:

 

one post office did a very nice sideline in 00 gauge models , the sub post master having a layout behind the shop . He was accused of fraud and sadly took his own life 

I hadn't heard of that one, but with the number of victims caught up in this outrage I had thought one or two might well have committed suicide as a result.  No amount of compensation can ever put things right for the poor fellow's family.  Given the widespread effect of what has happened, somebody senior in the post office hierarchy is responsible for all this and they ought to be doing time for negligence and/or conspiracy.  I don't see that happening though, at most one or two scapegoats might have to resign or at least lose some perks.

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Posted (edited)

Luckily when the employer I worked for back in the 1990s also bought in a piece of software that was arithmetically faulty* I managed to find the underlying issue and report it to finance before the Internal Audit started to fully investigate the income shortfall/ discrepancies. The outcome of the problem was substantial differences between what was being actually banked by the circa 600 customers of that function and the predicted income. Had I not found the cause first it would have been an obvious next step by Audit to look for some form of staff fraud by me or a bad apple in my team. Unfortunately the sub-posties were not so lucky and no one in authority believed their mass protestations of innocence. A true scandal.

 

* The name, supplier name and administration function it was bought for are deliberately not named for the obvious reasons. IIRC looking back one, but not the only maths error, was it wasn’t properly calculating and recording the VAT on fees as we had an early payment discount and somehow, as a consequence, the printed invoice values differed from what the system was recording internally as the due amounts!

Edited by john new
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Posted (edited)
On 29/04/2021 at 20:46, woodenhead said:

Crikey, even something as basic as a Limby 121 can't be guaranteed :(

The hypothesis that Hornby are going back to direct retail I just cant see applying to that one, but maybe it gives a clue..


Perhaps its as simple as optimising space in the container to get product on shelves by reducing quantities ?.. a few of many models being better than a lot of one model ?


If supply is the constraint, silence might be prudent...sure it might lead to speculation & disquiet but if stuff keeps coming, and the website has stock then its hard to say there is a problem. Consumers can buy what they want... That means theres nothing to see here, apart from the grumblings & speculation on the internet, which amounts to very little in the big picture.


 


 

 

 

 

Edited by adb968008
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I wonder if retailers are seeing the same with Corgi, Scalextrix etc?

 

As Hornby are saying the NR DVT and 121's have now landed it will be interesting to see what happens. I have the former on pre-order with a retailer and no sign of a cancellation as yet.

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10 hours ago, adb968008 said:

The hypothesis that Hornby are going back to direct retail I just cant see applying to that one, but maybe it gives a clue..

 

Well a page back in this thread there's a retailer announcing they're not receiving their full allocation on this old 'un so it seems to apply.

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10 hours ago, adb968008 said:

If supply is the constraint, silence might be prudent...

Except any significant constraint that will impact on sales/financial performance will need to be reported at some point as they are a PLC. The last update was a few weeks ago that made no reference to problems despite the growing pre-order cancellations well under way by then.

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11 hours ago, adb968008 said:

The hypothesis that Hornby are going back to direct retail I just cant see applying to that one, but maybe it gives a clue..


Perhaps its as simple as optimising space in the container to get product on shelves by reducing quantities ?.. a few of many models being better than a lot of one model ?


If supply is the constraint, silence might be prudent...sure it might lead to speculation & disquiet but if stuff keeps coming, and the website has stock then its hard to say there is a problem. Consumers can buy what they want... That means theres nothing to see here, apart from the grumblings & speculation on the internet, which amounts to very little in the big picture.


 


 

 

 

 

That doesn't necessarily sit very easily with Hornby's own words - to their shareholders, and the world at large through RNS - that supplies are 'resilient'.  If you are a retailer whose order is summarily cancelled, without explanation  (or a customer who has pre-ordered an item from their regular retailer and won't receive it),  that doesn't strike me as being in the least 'resilient'.

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Coming out on social media now, see comments section of this FB post (presume you need FB to view). Hornby are pushing out several FB posts a day. I don't use other social media so no idea if they are doing the same. I wonder if the PR department is connected to the sales department? Looks like they are pushing out template PR guff without knowing either the sales & distribution strategy has changed or they have other issues. Or they do know and don't care.

 

https://www.facebook.com/officialhornby/photos/a.10150197267445843/10157697592610843/

 

e.g. "All of these models are currently available to pre-order either via the Hornby website or your local Hornby stockist". Errr, sorry. I disagree. My pre-order has been cancelled because Hornby has not honored the pre-order from my chosen model shop. I am not ordering a Grant Rail 48DS from anybody else either. Why should I reward Hornby for failure?

 

Would anyone from Hornby care to comment about orders not being honoured? [with pic of Hattons cancelled order]

 

I wonder if Hornby really understand the realities of online? One of them, a lesson I've seen learnt the hard way by some major car manufacturers and other big brands, is that dealing direct with the public exposes everything. There is no "human shield" of retailers to take some of the flak when there are problems. Seen one major car brand rapidly reverse out of dealing directly with customers via social media as it rapidly filled up with unresolved warranty and dealer issues. They were the usual fob off situations you get with new cars, except social media meant instead of them being between customer and dealer they were now online for all to see! If you have a premium but unreliable brand this is not good :scratchhead:

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5 minutes ago, ruggedpeak said:

Coming out on social media now, see comments section of this FB post (presume you need FB to view). Hornby are pushing out several FB posts a day. I don't use other social media so no idea if they are doing the same. I wonder if the PR department is connected to the sales department? Looks like they are pushing out template PR guff without knowing either the sales & distribution strategy has changed or they have other issues. Or they do know and don't care.

 

https://www.facebook.com/officialhornby/photos/a.10150197267445843/10157697592610843/

 

e.g. "All of these models are currently available to pre-order either via the Hornby website or your local Hornby stockist". Errr, sorry. I disagree. My pre-order has been cancelled because Hornby has not honored the pre-order from my chosen model shop. I am not ordering a Grant Rail 48DS from anybody else either. Why should I reward Hornby for failure?

 

Would anyone from Hornby care to comment about orders not being honoured? [with pic of Hattons cancelled order]

 

I wonder if Hornby really understand the realities of online? One of them, a lesson I've seen learnt the hard way by some major car manufacturers and other big brands, is that dealing direct with the public exposes everything. There is no "human shield" of retailers to take some of the flak when there are problems. Seen one major car brand rapidly reverse out of dealing directly with customers via social media as it rapidly filled up with unresolved warranty and dealer issues. They were the usual fob off situations you get with new cars, except social media meant instead of them being between customer and dealer they were now online for all to see! If you have a premium but unreliable brand this is not good :scratchhead:

Just posted a query on their FB page - will see if they reply or delete it!

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28 minutes ago, john new said:

Just posted a query on their FB page - will see if they reply or delete it!

Done - and appears to have already been deleted! Screen grab as proof of posting below. Perhaps if we all bombard them with similar questions whoever manager their FB site they will at least get the strength of feeling on the issue and might pass it on up the line.

cropped Screenshot 2021-05-01 at 12.24.22.png

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I wonder if Hornby are in touch with the current "zeitgeist" (or whatever the word is). COVID etc has changed people's views on things. We are collectively much more interested in our local area/community etc than previously. This is coming out in market research, in politics etc where voxpops are suggesting voters are not interested in the behaviour in Westminster, but care about local politicians and what they will do locally to address local issues. Undermining the local model shop is no longer a shrug before we buy online, post-COVID means it is personal. For those on FB they will be aware that the proprietors at my local model shop, John Dutfield, had COVID on top all of of the other lockdown challenges. I am less concerned at paying retail over discount. I am paying a lot more for a haircut for example to help sustain my local barbers and tip more as I have the luxury of a well paid job and need to help bring things back to normal and support my local businesses. What was a bit of a chore and the chance for a quick natter is now personal interaction with sole traders who have had no income for months at a time.

 

That suggests to me that in the post-COVID world any brand that has strong loyalty based on family, community, shared history etc (sound familiar Hornby?) may be unwise to shut out small retailers right now as there will be a backlash against anyone undermining the high street. A purely marketing led approach failed last time and the timing is questionable to try it again. We not only understand the business impact on the retailers but have shared their personal experiences of COVID.

 

Hornby please note, for longstanding customers like me if the plan is cutting out model retailers in a post-COVID world,

 

Its-not-business-Its-Personal.png?fit=64

 

Let's hope it is all a big misunderstanding and normal service will be resumed. Time to fire up the reverse ferret? A bit of comms would be a start.

 

reverseferret-logo-230x300.jpg

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Like you I support my local toy shop/kits/model railway retailer when I can and am happy to pay RRP for convenience. Sadly though they don't stock the full Hornby ranges, for example they rarely stock in any diesels!

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37 minutes ago, ruggedpeak said:

Seen one major car brand rapidly reverse out of dealing directly with customers via social media as it rapidly filled up with unresolved warranty and dealer issues

 

Many people are under the misapprehension that social medias in the form of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are an engagement channel; they're not, it's just a low-cost broadcast medium - so don't expect answers. It's unlikely their marketing people would be monitoring or responding over a holiday weekend, they don't value customers that highly if they refer problems elsewhere in the supply chain.

 

There are some within the hobby that will respond to questions such as Accurascale, Modelu and retailers but the larger organisations don't have the same personal investment. It's the way of the world.

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5 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

 

Many people are under the misapprehension that social medias in the form of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are an engagement channel; they're not, it's just a low-cost broadcast medium - so don't expect answers. It's unlikely their marketing people would be monitoring or responding over a holiday weekend, they don't value customers that highly if they refer problems elsewhere in the supply chain.

 

There are some within the hobby that will respond to questions such as Accurascale, Modelu and retailers but the larger organisations don't have the same personal investment. It's the way of the world.

Don't disagree Andy, but if John New's post is accurate then someone is monitoring them.....I agree there won't be any direct response on social media, possibly at any point, but the pre-order issue does seem to extend beyond grizzled/grumpy RMWebbers like me!

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9 minutes ago, john new said:

Like you I support my local toy shop/kits/model railway retailer when I can and am happy to pay RRP for convenience

 

I've long been of the mindset of supporting local businesses for important stuff like the butcher, baker, garage and model shop as I still want them to be there when I need them, the price ticket isn't the issue, accessibility and quality of service is. I'll cast the net wider and cheaper where I don't need that particular business to be there next time.

 

A year ago shoppers were scrabbling around supermarkets for fresh meat, we could just walk around the corner to the butcher who was supplying his regulars with their normal needs whilst declining those who wanted to empty the place never to be seen again. He obviously didn't want to lose his future business for a quick buck. If he can understand that so should some bigger operations.

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I have been following this topic with great commercial and personal interest.

 

Having been a Hornby stockist in the bad old days. We could order what we liked in pretty much any quantities. Delivery and out into the shelves. Fantastic. First customer through the door... ‘do you price match Hornby?’. Check Hornby website and it’s being sold for less than we paid for it. Angry phone call... basically that’s tough... 

 

Jump forward to 2020 and Hornby are producing some fabulous products. Announcements made, order in within minutes of the announcement. 

 

Let’s use the scenario of what might have happened with the Limited Edition Triangle Rocket. I can almost see the place where the Trials took place. Making 500, bold gamble ‘we will have them all’. Hornby...’ you’re not being fair’. You can’t have them all. But l know we can sell them, Hornby won’t sell them to us. Commercially, Hornby have produced a product and sold them all. Happy shareholders. Unhappy, all the rest of the Hornby stockists . 

 

A bit bit far fetched, yes, but no?  Hornby are in the business of selling to make a profit , they could have sold them all and saved on sending multiple parcels all over the country. Thankfully for all retailers they haven’t operated like that. Instead they have an allocation process.

 

l am fairly sure when Hornby decide on numbers for a production run, the most important consideration is that run will sell out. Stock in warehouses is a financial liability.

 

Fast forward to the start of this topic. 

 

When Hornby decided on numbers, there was no pandemic and no one had heard of Fairlough, Covid and Lockdown would have been the latest film on Sky Cinema.

 

The last twelve months and some more has seen unprecedented gardening, decorating etc. More importantly model railways are being turned into layouts instead of having to find the time to do it, we had plenty of time.

 

So Hornby decided to make 500 of a model, 600 were sold on various websites, customers in the shop etc. Only solution is to cut back on allocation and try and do it fairly. Disappointed retailers, customers and very disappointed Hornby no doubt. 

 

Hornby could of course return to the ‘bad old days’ and we could return to the Fire Sales. Results? Very angry retailers, even angrier customers who had bought at full price and now see it at half the price on Hornby’s website. Retailers having to slash their prices just to get something back. Outcome? Another model shop decides it’s no longer worth staying open. 

 

Conclusion? Can only give my thoughts. We would love to have more Hornby products that are guaranteed to sell. We would all want to satisfy customers and not have to let anyone down. For that matter we would all love customers who don’t let retailers down. Reading about placing multiple orders to make sure that you get your order from anywhere could just be artificially making the problem worse. We sell out to pre order and then we have the order cancelled by customers who have placed orders with multiple retailers. We will have turned down pre orders as we had sold our allocation.

 

Apologies for the long post. As can be seen this is just my thoughts. Our overriding wish is for Hornby to survive. Indeed my late mother may well have been involved in the building of that old loco in Binns Road, Liverpool. 

 

P.s. If you are wondering why l am writing this on a busy Saturday afternoon.? Currently nursing a bad back! 

Edited by Widnes Model Centre
Making clear scenario re Rocket.
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10 minutes ago, Widnes Model Centre said:

Currently nursing a bad back! 

Me too, you have my sympathies! Hope it gets better soon. My model money is being spent on a physio :cry:

 

Ironically the HM6000 I bought spontaneously last weekend from John Dutfields after a chat with Ken helps as it means more flexibility to operate my layout.

Edited by ruggedpeak
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9 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

That doesn't necessarily sit very easily with Hornby's own words - to their shareholders, and the world at large through RNS - that supplies are 'resilient'.  If you are a retailer whose order is summarily cancelled, without explanation  (or a customer who has pre-ordered an item from their regular retailer and won't receive it),  that doesn't strike me as being in the least 'resilient'.

I totally agree, but silence is stronger than a negative message... and is hard to argue against, especially if stock is “in stock” on the website.

Problem, what problem ?


its got to be a brave retailer to “go public”, given the risks.

 

I still think the truth is somewhere in the middle.. 2020 was the most exciting range in years, and think demand has got the better of some of us, some have definitely taken advantage of a heightened demand. 
similarly covid world is supplying the worst of us...rebalancing is painful, pre-orders are being canceled now.  
 I suspect it might be customers cancelling later, if it becomes apparent future supply might not be constrained resulting in demand drops.

 

I think it will balance out, but i’m not wholly convinced the current issue is simply a Victim & a Perpertrator, theres two sides.

 

 

 

 

Edited by adb968008
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