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Hornby model shop Tiers system


Phil Parker
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Only just seen this news and picking up on this thread so don't know if this has been mentioned before.

 

Where does this leave smaller commissioners/manufacturimg model shops, thinking Kernow and TMC for example? Will they be tier 3 as well?

 

It's evident Hattons and Rails fall into T3 as they are in direct competition with the likes of eg. Terrier and Class 66 respectively 

 

However I have alway viewed Kernow and TMC as producing left field models or regional specific, Kernow doing lots of LSWR models for example, so they fall outside of Tier 3 because they aren't on direct competition? And at what point is the line crossed?

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, GWR-fan said:

Now little Johnny wants a trainset,  so where do we go to find Johnny his new toy train?  Do we go to a store selling homeware and beauty products,  or do we go to the local Aldi or Tesco to pick up a cheap trainset on special with no backup support,  or do we go to a model railway specialist who is able to advise and meet further hobby needs in the future?   A trainset purchase from a beauty or homeware store is a one off purchase and most likely to finish up with the trainset in the attic or the basement ignored once the initial enthusiasm has subsided.  Would an aspiring model railway enthusiast actually think to go to a beauty store for his first trainset?  If so then the purchase would have been along the lines of  "Oh,  look over there a toy trainset on sale.  I never would have thought to see toy trains on sale in John Lewis".   Such a purchase would be a spur of the moment decision with little Johnny over excited as to receiving a new toy.  Did he really want a toy trainset or was it just another toy?   Hornby got a sale of a trainset but did they convince a budding enthusiast into the hobby?  My opinion is hardly likely.

 

As others have said John Lewis is a well-known brand and my local one also has a toy section. This has included Brio railway lines, including Thomas, though to be fair I haven't been in a for a while, so it's possible there may be a better connect than might be at first apparent.

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6 hours ago, AY Mod said:

 

It's Day 5,915 in the Armchair Consultants Room in the RMweb House and still no-one has precisely worked out the best way to get inebriated in a brewery.

 

visit it?

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Hmmm !!!

My personal thoughts,

Hornby have "blown" it for me.

Pure corporate greed is evident.

Will I buy Hornby products again ?

Yes, if the price is right, and the item is in stock (Their products are good)

Otherwise, sod it.

Full stop.

 

Brit15

 

 

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Three of my last half-dozen Hornby items have been disappointing-

 

The good ones are the 0-6-0 Peckett and the generic coaches, though I'll have a couple of Hattons ones of the latter to mix the rake a bit.  The Peckett may go down in my estimation once I try to get it sound fitted.

 

Disappointing have been the J50, too track sensitive by half,  the Terrier which I sold on after buying a Rails/Dapol one for comparison, and a factory sound (not TTS) 08 which admittedly was second-hand but doesn't actually sound much like an 08- yes it is probably a better model than my Bachmann 08 but the Digitrains sound in the Bachmann one beats it hollow..  

 

If my local model shops (three within 20 miles) have problems getting Hornby my attitude is simple- buy another brand.  Hornby's loss rather than the retailer's.

 

Les

 

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1 hour ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

I don't know about sprouts. But I do have good knowledge about other crops and the situation is quite robust. Whole plane loads of workers have been quietly flown in.

 

Is this entirely in accord with "controlling our borders" post - B****t? Is it entirely consistent with what our Govt tells us? I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Quietly?

There was a lot of noise being made some months back about trying to get more to come here in the first place as it seemed then the likely totals were going to be too low to pick all the crops, It was hardly being done what I would call quietly.

 

It has nothing to do with controlling our borders.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, SteamingWales said:

Only just seen this news and picking up on this thread so don't know if this has been mentioned before.

 

Where does this leave smaller commissioners/manufacturimg model shops, thinking Kernow and TMC for example? Will they be tier 3 as well?

 

It's evident Hattons and Rails fall into T3 as they are in direct competition with the likes of eg. Terrier and Class 66 respectively 

 

However I have alway viewed Kernow and TMC as producing left field models or regional specific, Kernow doing lots of LSWR models for example, so they fall outside of Tier 3 because they aren't on direct competition? And at what point is the line crossed?

 

 

 

 

 

You cant really compare Kernows to Hattons as they have proper shops.. Hattons (now) is rather like walking in to toolstation or screwfix.. I miss the old Hattons store.

 

Rails however does have a decent shop with nice displays and seem to be being punished solely for being competition which seems just dumb unless Im misssing something

 

EDIT then again wasnt Rails the other way around and they cut ties with Hornby

Edited by Ighten
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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Les1952 said:

 

If my local model shops (three within 20 miles) have problems getting Hornby my attitude is simple- buy another brand.  Hornby's loss rather than the retailer's.

 

 

 

And what do you do if you are in the market for a H tank, an APT or perhaps a rake of detailed Collett coaches.

 

Unlike Tins of baked beans duplication is not viable in the RTR sector so there aren't that many situations where the same model is available from two manufacturers.

 

Yes there is e-bay / 2nd hand market to get hold of Hornby stuff without buying from them direct - but if you really do decide to boycott Hornby then that is going to have implications on what you model.

 

Yes you could change what you want to model - but lets think about that for a minute.

 

Railway modelling is supposed to be an enjoyable pastime and ultimately about providing personal satisfaction, denying yourself the ability to model what you really want just so you can boycott Hornby seems a pretty stupid idea which will do absolutely nothing to Hornby while preventing you from getting full enjoyment from the hobby.

 

 

 

Edited by phil-b259
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2 minutes ago, Widnes Model Centre said:

 

 

 

Final word, who saw their first model railway in a Department store? I did.

 

Lewis's in Birmingham

The whole of the 5th floor in one block was toys and they had at one time three different layouts (Triang, Hornby Dublo & was the third one Trix?)

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8 minutes ago, Widnes Model Centre said:

 

 

Final word, who saw their first model railway in a Department store? I did.

 

Yep - Top floor of Hammonds in Hull. But these days myself and many younger enthusiasts are transfixed by the ‘roundy’ in the window of Monk Bar Model Shop. 

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Think of the luxury consumer goods retail market. An expensive leather handbag for £3500, not much of a difference between a £100 bag and the luxury item for £3500 except the style of the retail outlet and the perceptions of the purchaser,  Perfumes,, just scented alcohol, the same, the perceptions of the purchaser and the style of the retail outlet,  both examples are simply where the producer controls the sales environment "the shop".

Are Hornby  a  introducing special control strategy for  who and how they sell their luxury products  with the aim of raising prices and profits, ....moving away from the ratrace of discounting and boxshifting?

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4 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

 

Or maybe to quote from the original press release:

 

"These retailers invariably have an effective website and mail order service"

 

 

Less "the absurdity of the Tier system which is surely breaking down in front of our eyes" and more that the grading is more complex than you think. I'd expect any discussion over the status of a shop to be in private between the owner and Hornby and based on more than a single photo on the web. Even if it is a single photo that makes me want to visit the shop very much!

As a matter of interest how do Hornby know - unless their rep asks the shop owner - if a shop has 'an effective mail order service'?     And did not Hornby advise retailers which Tier they had been put into or did the reps discuss the tier to be allocated with the shop owner.?

 

I know a shop which has very effective mail order service but he does not sell online although it has an online presence and its stock range is as impressive, plus books and magazines, as the example we have just seen above.  Surely the only way you can find out if a mail order service is 'effective' is to call the shop and purchase things over the 'phone (or to be pedantic write to them with your order) to be posted or sent by courier to you and then, in any event,  the 'effectiveness' also depends on the ability of the PO/carrier they use.

 

Looks like somebody somewhere in Margate might have confused 'online sales' with 'mail order' - they are two very different things.

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12 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

 

Looks like somebody somewhere in Margate might have confused 'online sales' with 'mail order' - they are two very different things.

 

 

To be fair lots of younger people probably have no idea what mail order is! To them it and online sales are one and the same.

 

As with many other things in life, the internet has transformed retail - and just as it has seen off Fax machines and caused a massive decline in physical post its only a matter of time before traditional 'mail order' vanishes from general use.

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2 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Well lots of people have!

 

And some of its customers actually like paying more for the personal service John Lewes cites as a distinctive feature of the business, pile it high sell it cheap is not a feature of their operation.

 

Its customers (and its food shop division - Waitrose) do not generally overlap with those who frequent the likes of Asda or Tesco (though they do occasionally shop at Aldi as some of its wines have been rated as best buys by Which)

 

As such I can easily see that for a certain section of society purchasing some Hornby products as a gift for a relative while in a John Lewes store is an entirely feasible proposition.

But although their stance is changing don't forget Phil that John Lewis traded for many years as 'never knowingly undersold' and if, after buying from John Lewis, you could find the identical item at a lower price elsewhere you went back with the details and they refunded the difference although i believe they have now discontinued all that.

 

interestingly what is now John Lewis in Reading (used to be Heelas) used to have a very large Triang layout somewhere right in the top of the building every Christmas when they sold trainsets and a few single items such as locos.  They gave it up years ago but back then there were three model railway retailers in the town.  In recent years there's been Hornby display/outlet in WHS -  it didn't last - and Hobbycraft also sold a reasonable range of model railway items - that didn't last either despite a huge footfall especially pre-Christmas (and you'd have had a job to miss the model railway shelves although they were upstairs).   Seemingly model railway sales haven't worked in Reading however they've been presented since the specialised shops closed following retirements and end of leases.  Yet they do work in smaller towns not that far away which have specialist retailers selling models with a strong emphasis on model railways in several of them.

 

So perhaps a moral of that experience from just one large town with a considerable shopper hinterland is that specialist retailers are more successful that placement in non-specialist shops even if they have a high footfall?

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Since the subject of the Hornby "stand" in Edinburgh's John Lewis has came up...

 

It barely even counts as a stand, its literally a display case with the Flying Scotsman set running on an oval of train with some scenery (and it wasn't even working last weekend).

The only Hornby items for sale are 3 trainsets, Hogwarts Express, Scotsman and I think Eurostar.

 

It literally seems like a complete waste of space.

 

 

On the tier stuff, it really does look like Rails saw which way the wind was blowing last year after the first issues with preorders and decided to bail on their own accord.

 

 

Part of me would actually like it if the tier 3 retailers could take some legal action over the whole "The Tier 3 store, if there is one may also be poorly laid out, untidy and consequently uninviting." line as being a bit close to defamation/libel but alas I'm sure there isn't any actual legal grounds for a complaint.

 

 

Still, I bet there's lots of manufacturers out there that would love to be as secure as Hornby that they feel they can get away with cutting off one of their biggest retailers....what could possibly go wrong.

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I just opened this thread now and read the first couple of pages and saw a fair bit of Hornby management-bashing but zero thanks to Andy Y and Phil for obtaining this statement from Hornby,   so thankyou Andy and Phil and any others involved.

 

Some criticism appears oblivious to manufacturing and supply constraints during Covid.  But as I say I only read two pages, or about 40 posts....

 

 

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5 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

 

So perhaps a moral of that experience from just one large town with a considerable shopper hinterland is that specialist retailers are more successful that placement in non-specialist shops even if they have a high footfall?

 

However I understand the concession is in Edinburgh - a Capital City and that might make a difference. I also don't know whether its a trial (which again would make sense) rather than part of a larger programme.

 

As you say though retail can be a funny old business - Waitrose went and shut four stores last year (Caldicot, Monmouthshire, Ipswich and Shrewsbury) yet given the demographics of the areas concerned I would have thought there would have ben enough custom to retain the latter two.

 

John Lewes also shut their Birmingham store - again a bit odd that it didn't work out in the UKs 2nd largest City (IIRC) but does work for them in smaller places like Reading.

 

Ikea also shut their Coventry store - yet generally speaking it seems to have a large fan base and is extremely popular with certain demographics quite a lot of which live reasonably close to Coventry.

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I haven't read the whole thread, nor the whole of Hornby's manifesto, BUT I will keep it short and sweet.
I would have thought Hornby would get their own house in order first, including their quality control BEFORE trying to tell other businesses how they should run their business.
If a business doesn't have mail order or internet sales, this DOES NOT mean they are not a quality business.

Certainly if they are still operating in the current climate they are obviously doing something right!
I am not in the UK but none the less am staggered at the amount of issues modellers have with Hornby product. That is not to say other manufacturers don't have issues as well, but it seems Hornby is normally top of the complaints for quality control or rather lack of!
I would be surprised if this lasted to long, quite frankly.
And me being me just would not be bothered with them!

Khris

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1 hour ago, kandc_au said:

I am not in the UK but none the less am staggered at the amount of issues modellers have with Hornby product. That is not to say other manufacturers don't have issues as well, but it seems Hornby is normally top of the complaints for quality control or rather lack of!

 

Like in so many other areas, the volume of complaints on RMWeb can only be used as a way of measuring quality if you can relate it to the volume sold. As Hornby is still the market leader in UK model railways and sells in large quantities, there are plenty of complaints. But there are also plenty of complaints about some of the smaller "manufacturers". Just look in the Dapol section of RMWeb for wagon wheelsets not to gauge, couplings that don't couple, railcars that run better if you disconnect the drive from one bogie and so on. I'm not singling out Dapol here, you will find other examples, just suggesting that unless a business is small enough to be able to actually inspect product itself before it is shipped to customers instead of just passing it on as received from the far distant contracted actual manufacturer, problems are inevitable, and the more you sell, the more problems.

Some of them could be reduced by better inspection procedures in China, but these cost money. If you've beaten down the factory on price and play one factory off against another (which Hornby are known to do), you won't get much pre-delivery inspection.

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9 hours ago, jonnyuk said:

 They are supporting well run shops that offer  a rich customer experience, ensuring they get a fair slice of the pie, tier 1 and tier 2 shops by the sounds of get first dibs on pre-order stuff.


 

 

So, Hatton's (tier 3), is not a "well run shop that offer a rich customer experience"? I have only seen the pics, not having been to Merseyside for a good many years. Looks pretty good to me.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

 

Although it doesn't explain your one-man campaign against Hornby in two other threads over the weekend before you saw this press release. I doubt anyone else as been as prolific with their posting on the topic. 

Phil,

As I already posted previously, I was (and indeed am) not anti-Hornby. I buy (or bought) their products.

I am though pro-retailer, which is normal enough for somebody who has been one.

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7 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

I know a shop which has very effective mail order service but he does not sell online ...

 

Maybe the business sense in that will become apparent to me when I've had my second coffee, but meanwhile, well spotted re mail order and online sales.

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