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  • RMweb Gold

It would seem reading between the lines there is conflict between traders and Hornby and I really don’t understand why either would want this although I am aware Hornby can sell directly there is a symbiotic relationship between the 2. They should be mutually beneficial to each other!

Confused of Lancashire.

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To be quite honest the preordering of an item seems a bit wrong anyway. I don't preorder my next dewalt drill. The way Hornby works seems a bit weird, they produce a catalogue in January of things they might make this year or next depending on how it goes. It seems if they don't get enough preorders they don't make it. To me the catalogue seems a bit like a "wishlist" that may or may not come true. Most people ordered their unrebuilt Blue Merchant Navy loco two to three years ago. Then you get the issue of upfront payment of deposit or the full amount. So what happens if the Model Shop goes bust in the mean time. I mean when you buy from Argos, you don't wait two years for the TV in the catalogue to be delivered.

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14 minutes ago, Trains4U said:


Respectfully, I disagree, particularly if it is your livelihood, or if you are one of the 60 staff employed by Hattons...

I agree, however it could be argued that hattons themselves cost lots of jobs and livelihoods in the past by undercutting drastically the local model shops that then went to the wall. Maybe it is time to give the local guys a shot again. Hattons was my local shop then they got so big and moved away, now I don’t think I owe them anything. They live on a trading estate that you can only get to by car.

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Having had my 'pre-order' cancelled, what is the procedure in future for buying Hornby models?  With no guarantee of any UK retailer being able to fulfill any order from Hornby I am now totally at a loss as to how to obtain their products.

 

Terry

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3 minutes ago, col.stephens said:

Having had my 'pre-order' cancelled, what is the procedure in future for buying Hornby models?  With no guarantee of any UK retailer being able to fulfill any order from Hornby I am now totally at a loss as to how to obtain their products.

 

Terry

 

Direct from Hornby seems to be the only guarantee at the mo.....

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43 minutes ago, Trofimow said:

Thankyou for putting your head above the parapet...

 

Against my better judgement, I'll respond.

 

Obviously, as a mere consumer and end user of Hornby's products I don't know what's going on, and don't expect I ever will.

 

I merely ordered a lot of product in good faith from a retailer who took those orders in good faith and then found their supply denied to them.

 

Some of that product I have managed to source elsewhere, some I have not.

 

It IS only toy trains and not the end of the world, but it has caused me hassle, inconvenience and expense that I do not need.

 

The bottom line is that I don't like the way Hornby have treated their end users or their retailers, it leaves a bad taste and it does not make me think kindly of them. It will mean that I will be likely to purchase fewer of their offerings in future.

 

I totally agree with you and feel the same way about Hornby now with the current situation.

 

I have to say I feel very sorry for anyone who relies on dealing Hornby for a living.

 

I'm sure the last thing any retailers want to do is let their customers down.

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Given that many have had their pre-orders cancelled will they be so willing to commit to pre-ordering the 2022 production come early January next year?   Will a potential downturn in pre-orders lead to a reduction in production numbers and lack of availability of specific items.  Low production numbers would ensure limited or negligible discounting.   The current cancellation of pre-orders is not limited to just a few items which may have been a result of limited production runs,  but it seems that the cancellations are across the spectrum of Hornby production.  This indicates a specific targeted market strategy.  

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  • RMweb Gold
On 11/05/2021 at 12:17, ruggedpeak said:

Just going to dig out my tinfoil hat, fire up the rumour mill and go full monty X files on this one!!!!

 

1a611f10175bdf803d9b1570a346c5a1.jpg

See, I was right, there is something going on that no one wants to talk about. I'm going to need a bigger tinfoil hat.

 

You think its a coincidence that this is going on whilst Obama is saying there's UFO's?

 

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/media/2021/05/19/barack-obama-talks-ufos-late-late-show-int-orig-bdk.cnn

 

It's a conspiracy....don't say I didn't warn you.

 

PS where's the alien face emoji? :rolleyes:

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8 minutes ago, GWR-fan said:

Given that many have had their pre-orders cancelled will they be so willing to commit to pre-ordering the 2022 production come early January next year?   Will a potential downturn in pre-orders lead to a reduction in production numbers and lack of availability of specific items.  Low production numbers would ensure limited or negligible discounting.   The current cancellation of pre-orders is not limited to just a few items which may have been a result of limited production runs,  but it seems that the cancellations are across the spectrum of Hornby production.  This indicates a specific targeted market strategy.  

 

I very much doubt I will pre-order anything from Hornby next year unless things improve 

 

On the bright side at least I will save myself £10 not buying the catalogue

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  • RMweb Gold
57 minutes ago, cbrooks122000 said:

To be quite honest the preordering of an item seems a bit wrong anyway. I don't preorder my next dewalt drill. The way Hornby works seems a bit weird, they produce a catalogue in January of things they might make this year or next depending on how it goes. It seems if they don't get enough preorders they don't make it. To me the catalogue seems a bit like a "wishlist" that may or may not come true. Most people ordered their unrebuilt Blue Merchant Navy loco two to three years ago. Then you get the issue of upfront payment of deposit or the full amount. So what happens if the Model Shop goes bust in the mean time. I mean when you buy from Argos, you don't wait two years for the TV in the catalogue to be delivered.


This mode of showing to trade, taking preorders and then applying knowledge(from previous sales of similar items) is quite common in hobby industries (and motor trade etc), but social media and demand to know everything, has driven the launches from trade shows into the public spotlight far far faster, leading to fastest retailers getting preorders in.

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  • RMweb Gold
7 hours ago, ruggedpeak said:

 

FTFY. Farcical? Hardly, the only farce is Hornby's inability to faciltiate customers buying its products or communicate with them.

 

Unfounded? Hardly, plenty of anecdotal evidence of things go awry not just at Hattons and silence from Hornby.

 

Unwarranted? Not really, complete lack of comms to customers seeing orders cancelled at various retailers without explanation or assistance as to how to get the items they are after.

 

Cryptic remarks and fanboi comments are about as much uswe as conspiracy theories and Hornby's website stockist list.

But we don't really know that do we?  First of all. we do not know how the tier system works and what its purpose is,  nor do we know when it was created.  And we will only know any of that important information if either a retailer or Hornby goes public and tells us what the system is for and how tiers are allocated to retailers - and i'd be amazed if that happens..

 

The crux of the problem is not the tier system - which for all we know could be an answer to a problem rather than the actual problem - but why it has been created.  On the face of it the answer to that question appears fairly obvious - Hornby have either taken more orders from retailers than they have ordered from the factories or they have diverted models from retailer allocations to direct sales (or Amazon sales?) or a combination of those factors.  The only reason retailer allocations have been cancelled or severely reduced is because the models aren't there to meet those orders.

 

So we come back to what appears to be a management failure within Hornby where - let us not forget - the present regime promised fairly early on to support the retail trade; that 'promise' or 'undertaking' (call it what you will) has been reneged on by Hornby.  So we again come back to another wording of the same question - why has Hornby been unable to honour what it previously said?  And we are again going to come back to the same reason because they would surely be supplying stock to retailers if they had it to supply?

 

They recently told their shareholders that their supply chain is resilient and if that was correct (why should we doubt something they said to shareholders?) then the obvious alternative is that either they took more orders from retailers than the quantities they had ordered from factories or they have diverted stock meant for retailers elsewhere, or both

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2 hours ago, Jonboy said:


This mode of showing to trade, taking preorders and then applying knowledge(from previous sales of similar items) is quite common in hobby industries (and motor trade etc), but social media and demand to know everything, has driven the launches from trade shows into the public spotlight far far faster, leading to fastest retailers getting preorders in.

It always surprises me when people used to preorder the new model of car. When we use to release a new design of car there was a thing called job 1 + 90, which was when the launch faults got fixed, job 1 being the release date. So I always bought my new car after this date. I think it is all changed now but still not a great idea to be the first to own the new model. 

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7 hours ago, cbrooks122000 said:

 Then you get the issue of upfront payment of deposit or the full amount. So what happens if the Model Shop goes bust in the mean time.

 

Pre-orders don't work like that, payment is only taken when the item is in stock.

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8 hours ago, Markwj said:

It would seem reading between the lines there is conflict between traders and Hornby and I really don’t understand why either would want this although I am aware Hornby can sell directly there is a symbiotic relationship between the 2. They should be mutually beneficial to each other!

Confused of Lancashire.


I would think the reason is margin. Hornby got on top of the debt by issuing equity in the year to 31/3/20. Sales went up during Covid (up by one third in the first six months of the financial year). But their net profit on that upturn in sales was basically zero - £55k, of which £38k was a tax benefit and £14k was (presumably) the 49% of net profit from Oxford. 
 

so with supply still limited, why not sell where you get higher margin - the shareholder will be looking for returns in this upturn given the amount of cash put in. 
 

to your point about the symbiotic relationship though - those retailers are likely to be needed when there is a downturn in sales...

 

but there is a line in the half year statements that shows the strategy... and this thread shows how it is playing through...

 

Quote (with my bolds):

The Routes To Market
Physical retailers are an important part of our supply chain. They promote our products, provide personalised advice to customers, and offer comprehensive after sales support. The work they do is important to customers and we want to ensure that those of our retail stockists who invest in this side of the business can survive and we have striven to provide a fair playing field for all.


Vast upfront investment is required to create the products that our customers value and cherish. My focus going forward, now we have ‘fixed the engine’, is to ensure that both maintaining the integrity of our brands and creating an excellent experience for our end customer remains paramount. This should hold true no matter where our products are sold.


No-one could have foreseen the acceleration in online shopping that took place this year. We want to engage more with our existing customers and to recruit new ones, and we all know that retail will never be the same again. We need to create 'Community' and have more direct engagement, where customers come to us to learn about our products. This is now more important than ever, but unfortunately the pandemic delayed the release of our new website. We expect completion over the coming months; in its early days it will have to be functional, but over time each of the brands will develop their own identity and will move in the direction that best suits their needs. As we move forward our website will feature rich content with images and videos generated by ourselves and our customers, a place where we can interact.

 

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So every thing is rosy between the company and its retailers and we can place our pre-orders once again in the confidence that our selected products will be available because (quote)  "........we want to ensure that those of our retail stockists who invest in this side of the business can survive and we have striven to provide a fair playing field for all."     Alas,  will those stockists that are currently investing in the business still be in good graces in January, 2022?   Those stockists who fall by the wayside and fail to meet Hornby's dedication and devotion to the consumer community will no doubt be unable to take pre-orders next year,  however,  will the all important consumer be made aware of those "favoured" stockists and those who to avoid long before pre-ordering time?  

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  • RMweb Gold
7 hours ago, oleander said:

Would not like to be a staff member working on the Hornby stand at the Next show they attend. 
I bet they will get some flack .

Especially if they place them between the Hattons and Rails stands!

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  • RMweb Gold
6 hours ago, mvwilson said:

Band 3 retailers <Snip> manufacturing competing products 

(my emphasis)

 

There, buried in mvwilson's dense stream of consciousness post, is what this is really all about, IMHO.

 

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  • RMweb Gold
6 hours ago, mvwilson said:

From AJM Railways 

 

... Now 4 months later they have finally given explanation to why and how each account is banded. In this announcement, they describe Band 3 retailers such as AJM as "retailers who dont have a shop or if they do it may be of such a standard no one would want to visit it". Other criteria would include bad credit history, manufacturing competing products and not stocking the full range of Hornby Brands (eg Airfix etc). ..

Now this explains a lot. Hattons do have a shop, in a partitioned off part of their warehouse, in an industrial estate effectively accessible only by car, so presumably they are Band 3'd on the basis that hardly anyone will want visit it. Kernow, who have been mentioned several times as still able to supply to preorder, have not one but two shops, both very presentable and in streets with other shops nearby.

Looks like Hornby's version of Bachmann's long standing "no bricks and mortar shop, no account" policy.

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4 hours ago, Andy W said:

Now this explains a lot. Hattons do have a shop, in a partitioned off part of their warehouse, in an industrial estate effectively accessible only by car, so presumably they are Band 3'd on the basis that hardly anyone will want visit it.

 

Hattons have a physical shop (currently closed due to Covid)  - you could walk in off the street and visit. With free parking outside, I have seen people turn up and do just that. For all the cries that it's not accessible by public transport, most journeys are made by car and free parking counts for a lot more than a handy bus route I'm sorry to say.

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