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Hornby Hobbies Announces Warehouse Move


Andy Y

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Hornby Hobbies Announces Warehouse Move

 

Hornby Hobbies Ltd is to move its warehouse and distribution facilities to Lakeside Business Park in Hersden, North East of Canterbury. The site will be managed by DS Logistics. The move has been brought about by the need to continue to modernise and grow the business and as a result of tired warehouse conditions at their Margate site. Hornby’s office staff will continue to work from the Margate based offices. The Hornby Visitor Centre will continue to welcome visitors as usual.

 

Richard Ames, CEO said “We are committed to maintaining our connection in East Kent and are extremely pleased to be able to confirm that all permanent Hornby staff employed as part of the distribution warehouse team will be transferred to the new site. We have felt the need to find new premises for a while as our warehouse facilities are no longer suitable for a large scale, modern logistics operation. The new facilities will give Hornby a solid platform from which to develop a strong business and provide excellent customer service and on time deliveries for our customers well into the future.”

 

“We are agile and specialised in creating customised logistics business models – and are delighted to announce that Hornby Hobbies has chosen to expand their logistics operation with us” said Peter Dubbeld, CEO of DS Logistics. “Our international experience in warehouse development within the segment enables us to perform out of a high quality building in cost and time efficient manner.”

 

This agreement is for a number of years and means that with DS Logistics responsible for storage, handling and distribution, Hornby gain increased possibilities for growth-enhancing and cost saving solutions in their logistics.”

 

“We have started to improve our communication level to our customers, and the enthusiasts for our products,” said Nathaniel Southworth, Sales & Brand Director. “We have been repeatedly told by our customers that our turnaround time between order placement and despatch to store is too long. The team have been trialling improvements over the last 12 months and whilst some progress has been made we feel the warehouse move will give us further capabilities to provide products on time. The purpose built facilities are state of the art, and are part of our wider Group activities to improve our all-round business performance.”

 

The Margate warehouse has been open since 1954 when it was built for Triang Railways who were subsequently merged with Hornby in 1965. In 1970 Hornby built a second warehouse to meet the demand for space but these days much of the production takes place overseas and since 2000 the factory space has been used as a warehousing and packing facility. During this time the acquisition of additional brands Corgi and Airfix saw staffing levels steadily increase at the site.

 

Peter Oliver who has worked at Hornby for 40 years says “It’s a really exciting time for Hornby, we’re all pleased about the move and looking forward to being in new, spacious, modern surroundings.”

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I hope the existing staff will have their jobs protected - all too easy at the time of changes such as this to forget that peoples' livelihoods are involved.

 

Overall it sounds like a potentially good move and if it improves the efficiency of the trade ordering and supply system then - from what I've been told in the past - it's very good idea, as long as the smaller shops don't suffer of course.  I do however wonder quite what the difference might be between a 'new facelift' and - presumably - an 'old'(?) facelift?

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Hornby’s office staff will continue to work from the Margate based offices. The Hornby Visitor Centre will continue to welcome visitors as usual.

 

 

This seems to be at odds with comment in The Guardian's narrative here - http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jun/27/horby-close-warehouse-kent

 

Hornby is understood to be considering moving the rest of its operations and 150 employees from Margate, including sales and administration and the company's visitor centre, which plays host to thousands of enthusiasts every year.

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Have to agree with Ian, here's Hornby trying to improve things and what sort of response do we get..........!

 

 

Here's the local papers report

http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/Hornby-shut-Margate-warehouse/story-21299285-detail/story.html

 

The site is big and there's been plenty of local talk for some while about them giving up part of it for redevelopment, favourite currently is for an airport (local Manston in-joke by the way)

 

Can't seem to find much about DS Logistics though.

 

Stu

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The sad thing is that we are now preconditioned to react in cynical manner at any announcement from Hornby,even though it could,in some way,herald.......whisper it softly......an actual IMPROVEMENT in their performance.

True but it many respects I still think their change of tack on logistics to a more modern site is probably a sound move - and it's only a handful of miles up the road (and right next to a main road).  And don't forget it's for Hornby group - not just our toys.

 

Even more appositely (maybe) DS Logistics appears to operate all over the world witha  presence in China and teh US and Australia and they are international forwarding agents as well as a delivery company.  This suggests their appointment might well also represent an effort not just to modernise warehousing and distribution (from what appears to be a smaller premises or is Google Maps out of date?) but also to do something about transportation from China as well - and that can only be a good thing I think.d

 

Interestingly the Business section of today's 'Daily Telegraph' doesn't even mention it but concentrates heavily on financial matters including an extension of their bank lending and the repayment date (so yes, there seems to have been some truth in the information I heard some months ago about their concerns over money) and it seems the new boss has managed to get them into a better position financially with the chair hardly having time to warm under him.

 

More interesting tho' is the fact that the 'Investor Relations' part of their website seem to be having something of a wobbly day although before its latest disappearance it was showing a slight drop in the share price; the Annual Report is still not showing.  Could all be due to glitches with the new website of course - no reason the problems they've gradually resolved elsewhere on the site didn't extend to this part, and today will be its first real test.

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More interesting tho' is the fact that the 'Investor Relations' part of their website seem to be having something of a wobbly day although before its latest disappearance it was showing a slight drop in the share price; the Annual Report is still not showing.  Could all be due to glitches with the new website of course - no reason the problems they've gradually resolved elsewhere on the site didn't extend to this part, and today will be its first real test.

I think the problem on that page is the feed from their investor relations agency, Hemscott IR. Their direct pages were unresponsive earlier.

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Hope springs eternal: at the back of the old warehouse they discover a large heap of their product which had fallen off the inventory system, whichcontains quantities of nearly all the products for which customers have fistfulls of wonga just going begging.

I have no expertise in the world of corporate finance, but this reminds me of the Woolworths path to zero.

...

The weather-vane is backing to the East, and winter is a-coming. Trading at a loss is not good.

It has been clear that the present business has been having to tread carefully on relatively thin ice for some time, for the reasons mentioned in this and other posts. But actually that's business as usual on a fairly frequent basis for a great many household name businesses.

 

What isn't remotely like Woolworths is that great brand name. Even if the present management totally fouled up, someone will want it and what goes with it.

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I wouldn't be surprised if this is driven by liquidating the land assets Hornby have at Margate.

I have however just gone to Google Maps Bachmann's HQ at Barwell with Hornby's at margate. Bachmann appear to have a very small warehouse on site assuming that a proportion of the building is offices including R&D. Can we presume that Bachmann similarly outsource their warehousing and don't keep all their stock at HQ?

 

EDIT: the press release makes comments on difficulty of large lorries accessing the present warehouse - Google street view shows no shortage of UKMail artics with space to spare at the rear of the Margate facility.

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More interesting tho' is the fact that the 'Investor Relations' part of their website seem to be having something of a wobbly day although before its latest disappearance it was showing a slight drop in the share price; the Annual Report is still not showing.  Could all be due to glitches with the new website of course - no reason the problems they've gradually resolved elsewhere on the site didn't extend to this part, and today will be its first real test.

Mike,

 

the share prices recovered. They closed without incident and actually closed up 0.16% on the day.

 

The financial community should not be surprised by these results.

 

I think the problem on that page is the feed from their investor relations agency, Hemscott IR. Their direct pages were unresponsive earlier.

The RNS feed is working now, but nothing new has been posted.
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Mike,

 

the share prices recovered. They closed without incident and actually closed up 16% on the day.

 

The financial community should not be surprised by these results.

 

The RNS feed is working now, but nothing new has been posted.

 

flat at 0.16% (16% would have been somewhat unlikely given the news today!)

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EDIT: the press release makes comments on difficulty of large lorries accessing the present warehouse - Google street view shows no shortage of UKMail artics with space to spare at the rear of the Margate facility.

You wouldn't think that if you parked your car down that road.

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I thought the key thing was to have something to deliver. You can have the cleverest logistics in the world and the smartest marketing, but unless you have something to sell you are just incurring costs! I fear for this company. Unless they get product out there soon they are going to fail

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Just thinking - Hornby have in recent years moved Humbrol and some Airfix production back to the UK and are in the process of terminating the contract with their supplier in China. Now they're creating empty space in their former factory building. Hmmm...interesting....

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Just thinking - Hornby have in recent years moved Humbrol and some Airfix production back to the UK and are in the process of terminating the contract with their supplier in China. Now they're creating empty space in their former factory building. Hmmm...interesting....

From the CEO's statement in annual report...

"The facility in Margate that has housed the Company's UK stock since manufacturing started to move to China in the late 1990's, has been an area of concern for some time. A lack of outside space to allow transport access, a lack of I.T. infrastructure upon which to run modern warehousing systems and a building with significant repair and maintenance issues has led to a review of the site. This has concluded with a decision to move to a new, third party warehouse, run by an independent logistics specialist DS Logistics."

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Unless there is an appetite for massively higher prices (unlikely when we see so many complaints about existing prices) then I see no prospect of the return of complex model production to the UK in the near future. Longer term prices in China are rising and shipping costs are likely to increase however there are other emerging markets to move into to take advantage of low costs and even with rising Chinese prices they've got a long way to rise before UK prices become competitive.

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