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As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

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Julien

Models in WH Smiths

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Had a quick chat with the manager at W H Smith, Farnborough this afternoon. The Farnborough store will NOT be featuring a Modelzone section. The nearest one to me will be the W H Smith in Guildford.

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was in the central cardiff wh smith today and on the wall was a poster saying model zone coming soon

Glenn.

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I think there will be two criteria used by W H Smith as to which shops will feature a Modelzone -

the size of the store (obviously)

and whether the town had a Modelzone store previously

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I hope they advertise MZ well, ie, I hope it's clear for people passing by that there is one inside. MZ posters and Airfix, Revell, posters needed.

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I think there will be two criteria used by W H Smith as to which shops will feature a Modelzone -

the size of the store (obviously)

and whether the town had a Modelzone store previously

As many of the MZ stores under-performed I wouldn't take the second as a given. WHS will be doing their own market research I think, a lot of their stores still need work (according to them) and they're not out of the woods yet, but they seem to be heading in the right direction. Older heads there will be thinking of what Airfix and Woolies did back in the 60s when Airfix were an up-and coming ambitious brand and Woolies were in the doldrums.

As a parallel Maccy Dee the burger people spend a huge amount on research ahead of a store opening. KFC have a different approach, most of the time they simply stay within a mile or so of MD!

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I wasn't taking it as a given. However, I doubt that they will open a Modelzone section is a location where there WASN'T a Modelzone shop previously.

Basingstoke will be an interesting location to see what happens there.

Edited by Eric Mc

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Interesting to see what happens in Aberdeen then, might make a visit a little more passable, come to think they also have a Whetherspoons or two as well.

Cheers

Chris

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The Chester WHS is carrying kits in the basement, mostly Airfix and Revell with a few Tamiya bikes and cars....also Revell paints....no sign of Humbrol

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Basingstoke will be an interesting location to see what happens there.

That could be very interesting as the Basingstoke branch of WH Smiths is not that big and is quite full already.

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I'm near Bluewater and as much as I dislike the place, if WHS start stocking kits, I might venture there. On a shopping trip (for duck breasts!) in Dartford last Friday I walked past a new shop that had trains in the window. Being adventurous, I went for another look today and was pleased to see a new model shop selling plenty of Airfix, the Humbrol acrylics and Warhammer figures. Speaking to the owner, he's a pro photographer (half the shop does large format printing) and modeller so the combination of the two was a good idea. I came away with a pot of Humbrol acrylic to try and another bottle of their enamel wash.

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I enquired in WHS in Eastbourne as to wether they would be stocking any kits, I was told they did not know and it was entirely dependent on Head office.

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At this time of year model shops do appear in otherwise vacant premises. In the past few years we've had quite a few 'pop-up' model shops around the Christmas period... all gone by February.

The problem with Modelzone was that they couldn't compete on price or range with the online specialists. Also the staff - in my experience - treated it very much as a McJob and an alternative to assembling Happy Meals. No knowledge or interest in the products or customers whatsoever.

I won't be buying from WH Smith - if I'm going to pay full RRP for an Airfix kit then I'll go to a museum shop where hopefully they keep part of the proceeds, otherwise I'll support the specialist traders who will be keeping the hobby going and, with lower overheads, pricing their goods at a more realistic level.

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At this time of year model shops do appear in otherwise vacant premises. In the past few years we've had quite a few 'pop-up' model shops around the Christmas period... all gone by February.

The problem with Modelzone was that they couldn't compete on price or range with the online specialists. Also the staff - in my experience - treated it very much as a McJob and an alternative to assembling Happy Meals. No knowledge or interest in the products or customers whatsoever.

I won't be buying from WH Smith - if I'm going to pay full RRP for an Airfix kit then I'll go to a museum shop where hopefully they keep part of the proceeds, otherwise I'll support the specialist traders who will be keeping the hobby going and, with lower overheads, pricing their goods at a more realistic level.

That's a bit harsh. As a kid, I bought nearly all of my models from local newsagents and Woolworths. I am pretty sure I knew far more about the subject matter than the newsagent or the shop assistants. However, even as a ten year old I didn't base my decision to buy on the perceived knowledge level of the person I handed my money to.

I am all for models being sold outside of what are now very specialist venues - such as dedicated model shops or (as you suggest) museum shops. We need to get model building back into the mainstream and not treat it as a rather nerdy little hobby carried on by nerdy 40 plus year old blokes.

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Went into Kingston upon Thames this morning and visited WH Smiths in the Bentalls Centre it's a two floor store with the LG floor larger than the one above it already has a Costa coffee and although no kits in evidence does have a large poster in one window stating that Modelzone will be there soon.

Caught the bus home which passes the old Modelzone which is still empty with a to let sign for the shop and the offices above.

Glen.

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WH Smiths in Meadowhall, Sheffield has a poster in the window......

20131102_132929_zps65bb756e.jpg

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I am all for models being sold outside of what are now very specialist venues - such as dedicated model shops or (as you suggest) museum shops. We need to get model building back into the mainstream and not treat it as a rather nerdy little hobby carried on by nerdy 40 plus year old blokes.

:clap:

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Hmmm... seems a bit heavy on the diecast front. Or is it me.....

Analysts who have looked at the MZ demise noted the drop of in sales as the diecast bubble popped but the shops remained full of them. If, as posted above it is going to be controlled centrally then they'll need all the luck they can get.

The last quarter figures will be interesting reading.

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Metrocentres WHMZ will be opening in 2 or 3 weeks and will occupy the top floor at the back so should be an aisle or 2. Let's hope they have good custom and decide to expand the modelling section. I suppose if there is great success Modelzone might have more of a presence than just in WHSmith. Regards

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I smell xmas gimmickry. :confused:

Not really, if they have gone to the trouble of buying the name & branding part of the store its more than a temp fix for xmas but more of a long term investment I think.

Julien

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I am all for models being sold outside of what are now very specialist venues - such as dedicated model shops or (as you suggest) museum shops. We need to get model building back into the mainstream and not treat it as a rather nerdy little hobby carried on by nerdy 40 plus year old blokes.

Up to a point, I agree with you Eric. Yes, models need to be sold outside of what are now specialist venues but not at the expense of these stores (thus, their gradual disappearance). Of course this is an action to draw attention to a certain age (as it was 30 and 40 years ago) as well as, to remind to older age groups how they started this lovely hobby (even though some of them have builded just a few) but, WE DO NEED specialist stores with employees that know a few things about scale modelling.

Think about it this way. It's like going to an automobile store, and the car-sales employee doesn't know anything about cars. Would you buy a car from this store?

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