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Julien

Models in WH Smiths

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Not sure if it has anything to do with the demise of Modelzone but our local WH Smiths in Ipswich has a small selection of Airfix & Revell kits. Also some Humbrol & Revell paints as well.

When I went in today the models & paints were on buy one, get the second half price. It would have been rude to ignore that!

Good to see models, even in a limited way back on the high street.

Julien

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That is good news Julian and all the more so if it is a nation-wide move by W H Smiths. Were they the starter kits or standard boxes?

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That is good news Julian and all the more so if it is a nation-wide move by W H Smiths. Were they the starter kits or standard boxes?

A little of both. Not much choice now but hopefully it will improve. Maybe more sales in the run up to xmas?

They also had a small selection of Hornby railway stuff, so looks like they have done some kind of deal.

Julien

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I don't know if it's significant but the local wholesaler won't be able to get Airfix after January as Airfix have changed the way they do business. With Smith's distribution operation (now run independently from the retailers) they could supply trade and retail direct through a single supply chain.

I suppose we shall see. Nothing in my local WHS this morning though although we have an excellent LHS just around the corner.

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They've had that offer running in Manchester city centre for at least six weeks now, as reported a few weeks back.

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The Farnborough branch of WH Smith has had a very small selection of Airfix starter packs for over a year.

At the moment, they are down to just two kits - literally - both the old kit of HMS Victory. They have been sitting forlornly on the shelf for weeks now.

It doesn't it looks like they have re-stocked for ages. Initially they had the usual good sellers - Spitfires, Red Arrows Hawks and Gnats etc.

I wonder have they given up already. The signs don't look very encouraging - at least here in Farnborough.

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Given that W H Smith is not primarily as a model shop, I see little prospect of anything other than perhaps a very limited range of the usual "best sellers. Perhaps it is too early to start getting excited.

Allan

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I think it depends if they seek out previous Modelzone employees to develop the concept.

And if they are looking for bread and butter models or to develop a real modelling department.

We don't know at the moment, we'll just have to wait patiently and see.

Paul

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Not strictly on topic, but I noticed that Wilko's were stocking some Airfix starter kits in the local branch (Tomahawk, Spitfire, Mustang) a while back. They were there for a good few months and gradually reduced in price to £4. At that point, I bought one. However, there didn't seem like much interest in them until they were uber-cheap. There has been no sign of a re-stock and, given how long they hung around, I can't say I blame them.

I wonder if this says anything about the popularity of models in the High Street?

regards,

Martin

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slightly different but not off topic but when l was a young lad several centuries ago l remember seeing models in grocery stores,drug stores etc at least on this side of the pond. Could we be returning to that trend?

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It seemed every newsagent sold them when I was kid.

Models will only return to the high street if they say, so time will tell.

Julien

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I wonder what the set up is with the major players as regards sourcing new outlets,I worked in the furniture trade from 1976 till 2010 and by the

early 90,s the reps that used to call weekly were all gone I know the same must apply to the model companies I very much doubt they are still out there

"on the street" knocking on retailers doors,in the very small town i grew up in there was a hardware store selling a good choice of airfix,the newsagents

where I was a paper boy stocked revell and a second newsagents sold Matchbox when they appeared.when I moved to the village I live in 1983 there

were three outlets with small choices of airfix kits these are the places to grab the kids attention and get them into models.

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Before everyone gets too excited ...

This may have been posted before, if so apologies. However, here it is in case:

http://www.scotsman.com/business/retail/wh-smith-unveils-50m-windfall-and-overseas-push-1-3134852

The key phrase I notice is: " ... plans to sell Modelzone-branded items ..." - presumably this means things like the r/c helicopters, but not Airfix et al? We will no doubt see.

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My guess is that you'll see a lot of cheap tat masquerading as modelling items.....think of the knife sets and brush sets you see in pound shops, along with maybe some Humbrol paints and a small selection of Airfix and Revell kits. I think anyone expecting to be seeing Hasegawa, Dragon and Trumpeter in WH Smith is living in cloud cuckoo land.....

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The WH Smith's in Argyle Street, Glasgow has had kits for a long time, well before Modelzone collapsed. Only a small selection, mainly Airfix planes and military, plus (IIRC) some Tamiya motorbikes. Plus a selection of Humbrol enamels.

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Went into WH SMITHS Nuneaton today,blank look off the 12 year old gum chewer,found the kit section..................... 1 spitfire starter set £7.99 and just to rub salt into the wound "buy 2 and get the second 1/2price" they'd only got one in the whole bloody shop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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WH Smiths modelzone section isn't to open until November so it will be interesting popping in from now until then to see how their shaping up.

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There's been Airfix starter kits in WH Smiths for ages, I've seen them in various branches I've been to for the past few years (which is as long as I'd have been looking). Regular kits and separate paints, etc., would be a change, though.

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I wonder what the set up is with the major players as regards sourcing new outlets,I worked in the furniture trade from 1976 till 2010 and by the

early 90,s the reps that used to call weekly were all gone I know the same must apply to the model companies I very much doubt they are still out there

"on the street" knocking on retailers doors,in the very small town i grew up in there was a hardware store selling a good choice of airfix,the newsagents

where I was a paper boy stocked revell and a second newsagents sold Matchbox when they appeared.when I moved to the village I live in 1983 there

were three outlets with small choices of airfix kits these are the places to grab the kids attention and get them into models.

That's an interesting point and I'd beg a question of my own if I may.... I also used to work in the furniture trade and did have employed reps from specific companies (Bevan Funnell springs immediately to mind) calling regularly, but we also had quite a few agency reps as well (ie those working on a self employed commission only basis and representing several companies independently). Does the latter happen much in the modelling trade or is that something that some companies may now go towards?

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Nothing in the Liverpool One store this pm

Trevor

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Manchester Arndale Centre had some Airfix, a few Tamiya tanks / WW2 planes, and some Revell planes in starter sets.

They're downstairs, on the far wall, near computer stuff.

Prices seemed 1 or 2 £ less than ModelZone was. They were also advertising some other deal, but I can't remember the details.

Regards,

Gerard

Edited by Gerard

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WH Smiths at Fosse Park, near Leicester, has a small stack of 1:48 and 1:72 kits, mostly planes, for £16.99 each or buy one get one half price. Nothing to tempt me unfortunately. They also had the starter kits in a different location. No paints, etc as far as I could see.

Cheers,

Stix

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WHS are starting to redo the stores that will be fitted out with a model section over the next coming couple of weeks

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