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Hornby model shop Tiers system


Phil Parker
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2 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

 

Except it isn't the same. The brands you quoted do not offer a complete range. Whether it's important that anyone offers a complete range is a different discussion, the fact is that those manufacturers operate a different business model to Hornby, despite what you said.


While not "complete range", Rapido have made: track, scenic elements, paint, locos (steam, Diesel & Electric), passenger stock (including DMU's), freight stock,  DCC decoders- basically, more than say was ever offered in TT.  The only thing Rapido has not made is a control system, and that's because they are quite happy with NCE's products...

I wouldn't consider Rapido a "small" manufacturer any more...

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1 hour ago, cbrooks122000 said:

You still didn't get it, the Coronation, Princess and Scot use exactly the same tender bottom that is what I am saying, but when you buy it as spares it comes in at least 4 different part numbers. That means you have to source 4 part numbers, allocate 4 different storage locations, but it is further complicated by sometimes it comes with screws, sometimes with pickups. That will only occur with the spare parts, in production it will be bins of everything. Fundamentally it is the same part. We already know many of them use the same motor. I would imagine most of the parts are sourced by another supplier, I gather that is how it worked at Margate. When Hornby design a new loco they will try and carry over as many existing parts as they can, it cuts costs. We used to do the same in car design.

 

Spare parts are supplied by striping returns / the few locos Hornby keep back for warranty purposes purpose or by the factory adding them on to the order for a particular model. In general Hornby to not make / commission spares as a stand alone order.

 

Given each loco is regarded as a single project and different locos are made in different factories the fact two tender bases are the same is irreverent. Two separate models made in two separate factories = two part numbers.

 

 

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1 minute ago, peach james said:

While not "complete range",

 

So, as I said, not a complete range. 

 

1 minute ago, peach james said:

I Wouldn't consider Rapido a "small" manufacturer any more...

 

No one said they were. 

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8 minutes ago, peach james said:


While not "complete range", Rapido have made: track, scenic elements, paint, locos (steam, Diesel & Electric), passenger stock (including DMU's), freight stock,  DCC decoders- basically, more than say was ever offered in TT.  The only thing Rapido has not made is a control system, and that's because they are quite happy with NCE's products...

I wouldn't consider Rapido a "small" manufacturer any more...

 

Yes but how much of that is suitable for a UK layout?

 

While there is some crossover in the scenic side, a set of Canadian carriages isn't going to be a lot of use to someone modelling 1950s British Railways is it?

 

Thus I would say that at this stage Rapido UK still counts as a small manufacturer - though as with other recent entrants they are expanding of course.

 

 

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Something that I don't think has been highlighted is the situation if those retailers who do not have a physical shop.

 

Previously, they were able to source Hornby stock from AB Gee, a toy wholesaler. Last year a Hornby Rep told me that their relationship was due to change, and people would have to order direct. I took that with a pinch of salt (well, he would say that wouldn't he?)

 

Well, it seems to have happened. AB Gee no longer show stocks of Hornby, (although they do of Airfix, Humbrol and Corgi) and Tier/Band 3 retailers seem to include those without a physical shop.

 

So presumably Hornby has changed its policy about supplying non-physical retailers - and supplying Amazon falls into that category. 

 

The big questions for me are what is the practical difference between Bands 1 and 2, and if you are not fussed about making pre-orders is there any point in having physical premises if you can purchase from Hornby on the same terms (margins etc)  as Band 2 or 1?

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1 hour ago, Oldddudders said:

Hotel star ratings are based upon facilities offered - night porterage, room service, that sort of thing, not size of rooms or cleanliness of linen etc. 

So you're saying a 5* hotel can get away with using dirty sheets - I don't think so

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57 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

Nobody has mentioned QC issues yet.

 

What happens if you order 2000 locos to match the 2000 that have been pre-ordered. But when they get here, 100 turn out not to be of saleable quality?

According to most sources a failure rate of 10% is deemed acceptable by the Chinese, so the figure is probably nearer 200. If as people say Hornby keep changing manufacturers, then the failure rate is going to be even higher.

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Perhaps being long enough ex-pat, and having moved here when I was 4, my expectation was different when I walked into John's Photo & Hobby, or Georges Trains, or Southern, or Hobbytime, or BC Shaver, or mail ordered from Model Railway Imports, The British Connection, Britannia, or the guys in the North Shore (who had Bachmann for a while).  I never expected that ONE supplier would have everything I wanted, and that things like grass flock would come from Woodland Scenics, my controller from MRC (Tech 2, 2400), my electrical from Atlas, track from Atlas (or other suppliers if money was tight...), cab control switches bought from Radio Shack, Peco rail joiners & tacks, (& eventually track, ~1989 or so), and trains from Hornby, Bachmann, Dapol, Lima, Airfix (GMR), Parkside-Dundas, Comet & a wide range of other suppliers.

I understand that by UK standards, it's a bit of a shock that Rapido don't make a power pack- but by North American standards, it's normal.  Prior to DCC being the answer, the answer for more serious modeling power supply was either homebrewed (for O gauge/ect), or MRC Tech 2 of some sort.  The North American market had a much larger division between "toy trains" (sold by Sears, Eatons, Consumer Distributing, ect... and hobby stores), and "Model Trains", sold by specific hobby stores, I think in a large part because O gauge had been the scale of choice into the 60's (with 0-27 being most common...).     Lionel is NOT a scale model .  You're not buying a brass loco at Sears... they were two completely different worlds.  





"Thus I would say that at this stage Rapido UK still counts as a small manufacturer"

Should I call Hornby a small manufacturer because perhaps my local store has 1 red box, and 2 Bachmann Branchlines boxes?    That the nearest retailer with on the shelf stock is 5.5 hrs away from me ?  The answer is no - you'd not think that either Bachmann Branchlines or Hornby are "small" manufacturers, even though their availability or appropriateness might be limited.  I don't think you're going to run The Canadian (7 coach styles modeled, in 3 liveries...) with either of it's 2 loco designs (F40PH and FP7A's) on a UK N gauge layout tomorrow either...

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1 minute ago, Graham108 said:

So you're saying a 5* hotel can get away with using dirty sheets - I don't think so


No he’s not saying that.Simply that hotel grading is based on facilities on offer but not on quality of such.Simply that.

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2 hours ago, Chris M said:

Just wondering if anyone knows of any other changes of Hornby policy? For instance. Will they still have a loose collaboration with the magazine that shares their name? Will they still have a nice stand at a number of exhibitions? Are they going to concentrate their business on toys rather than models in future? 

Looking at the recent Mk3 DVT I’d say that bird has already flown.

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You have to wonder what will happen when the Exhibition circuit starts up again fully . All these trade stands with very little Hornby.
 

I dare say they could do click and collect.

 

Regards Arran 

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3 minutes ago, Kim Durose said:

Looking at the recent Mk3 DVT I’d say that bird has already flown.

So what is wrong with it, rather than it being a bit expensive. I mean it is basically a carriage without any seating.

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19 minutes ago, peach james said:

Should I call Hornby a small manufacturer because perhaps my local store has 1 red box, and 2 Bachmann Branchlines boxes?    That the nearest retailer with on the shelf stock is 5.5 hrs away from me ?  The answer is no - you'd not think that either Bachmann Branchlines or Hornby are "small" manufacturers, even though their availability or appropriateness might be limited.  I don't think you're going to run The Canadian (7 coach styles modeled, in 3 liveries...) with either of it's 2 loco designs (F40PH and FP7A's) on a UK N gauge layout tomorrow either...

 

No... because the Hornby group doesn't produce anything for the US modeller and thus doesn't count as a manufacturer at all for the purposes of the American modelling scene.

 

Equally from Hornbys perspective they couldn't care less about Rapidos US / Canadian operation - what interests Hornby is the newly formed UK offshoot and beating the big H to the Titfield rights will have not gone down well at Margate.

 

Similarly Markin doesn't count as a large manufacture with respect to the British Railway scene as they do not cater for British modellers.

 

Where you happen to live makes no difference - if you model British outline then Hornby is a large manufacturer full stop.

 

Rapido has long been a large manufacturer of Canadian / American outline stuff and that is unaffected whether you live in the UK or the US.

 

Rapidos UK offerings so far have been relative small - extremely good products of course so no criticism implied. In time, as their range and number of UK outline products increase then their position on the size rankings with respect to UK RTR will go up.

 

It can admittedly get a bit confusing when you talk about mainland Europe though as the Hornby Group own Jeouf for example. So although Hornby (as we know it in the UK) doesn't count as a manufacturer with respect to the French scene, the parent group as it were is, through Jeouf, is a large manufacturer as regards French RTR.

 

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On 25/05/2021 at 12:32, APOLLO said:

Tier One - Visit and buy from your local model shop (if your lucky enough to have one nearby)


I’ve tried this and either they don’t have what I want in stock, or completely ignore because I’m not male so I’ve given up.

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41 minutes ago, arran said:

You have to wonder what will happen when the Exhibition circuit starts up again fully . All these trade stands with very little Hornby.
 

I dare say they could do click and collect.

 

Regards Arran 

I know at least one trade exhibitor is very keen for exhibitions to start. The same guy also says how hard it is to get stock just for his shop and online orders. There is a danger that some trade stands will be a bit thin on stock when exhibitions restart.

 

having said that,  I’m so looking forward to going to an exhibition again. I just hope the new variant doesn’t put the kibosh on it.

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42 minutes ago, cbrooks122000 said:

So what is wrong with it, rather than it being a bit expensive. I mean it is basically a carriage without any seating.


Excessive light bleed . Really you can see through the plastic on both Inter City and Network Rail versions . Have a look on YouTube , you will quickly see the issue . People say it can be resolved by painting the interior black, but at £79 this looks more like a toy than a model 

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1 hour ago, arran said:

You have to wonder what will happen when the Exhibition circuit starts up again fully . All these trade stands with very little Hornby.
 

I dare say they could do click and collect.

 

Regards Arran 


From memory aren’t most of the trade stands shops eg Cheltenham Model Centre , quite big on the Scottish Circuit .  Of course it probably means they won’t have any of the latest releases 

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3 minutes ago, Legend said:


Excessive light bleed . Really you can see through the plastic on both Inter City and Network Rail versions . Have a look on YouTube , you will quickly see the issue . People say it can be resolved by painting the interior black, but at £79 this looks more like a toy than a model 

There is some light bleed which can be easily addressed. It's certainly not a toy. I got mine from model shop with high street premises for £64 with no preordering. Saw it was in stock. Went in. Bought it.

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1 hour ago, Ian Hargrave said:


No he’s not saying that.Simply that hotel grading is based on facilities on offer but not on quality of such.Simply that.

Unless you want an ETB rating as I posted a few back

Quality is assessed as part of your rating.

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7 minutes ago, Legend said:

but at £79 this looks more like a toy than a model 


At £79 it is more expensive than the Bachmann DBSO which is a lovely model, with better DCC control and no light bleed.

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1 hour ago, JohnR said:

 

The big questions for me are what is the practical difference between Bands 1 and 2, and if you are not fussed about making pre-orders is there any point in having physical premises if you can purchase from Hornby on the same terms (margins etc)  as Band 2 or 1?

 

From about 35 years ago the company I worked for used a very similar customer categorisation system (no fancy words like tiers back then).  We had, A, B and C customers.  This was an entirely different business and nothing to do with retail.  From Phil's earlier post however it would seem to have been similarly structured with the majority of customers in the middle band.

 

What is the difference between A and B customers?  Most of the time you would hope almost none.  I say almost only because the reps were supposed to spend more time with the A customers and in our industry this was as much about getting information about what was happening in their markets, what new innovations were on the horizon etc as it was about selling the next lorry load of product.  

 

However if for some reason the brown and smelly hit the fan, then you had an instant action plan about who would and who would not get supplied.  It is a good business practice to do this since believe me it takes months to categorise your customers.  The reps will have clear views on which customers they think are key and strategic and that may not always gel with the financials, level of market feedback etc..  By having the categorisation in advance you are prepared for almost any disaster.

 

The A customers would be the technological leaders (for that today you might read internet active and savvy) would provide useful market feedback and were reliable steady purchasers and payers.  

The B customers - the bread and butter customers - were the backbone of the business.  They were not second class citizens but if push came to push you might have to restrict supply.  While not technological leaders they were still well up in the game.

C customers you could step in and out of as required - sales price might often be the lever to get a sale.

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10 minutes ago, melmerby said:

Are Hornby supplying Amazon?

Or are Amazon providing a shop front for Hornby?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/Hornby/page/42AC0C70-1D10-41C5-99F4-64CEA8B4928A?ref_=ast_bln

FWIW I clicked the link to the Hornby Store on Amazon, clicked on “Flying Scotsman”, and the selling page said “dispatched from and sold by Amazon”. To my simple mind that’s Hornby supplying Amazon, not using them as a shop front.

 

RT

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