Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Julien

Models in WH Smiths

Recommended Posts

I don't recognise the rosy picture a lot of people have here of the small independent model shop whose staff are knowlegeable about the hobby and are only too keen to help the customer.

Whilst I am sure these places exist, they are in the minority....it seems that the majority of independents that I have visited (and I've been in a LOT of model shops up and down the UK) tend towards the business model of 'If you can't see it on the shelf then we can't get it or it doesn't exist', 'Stop wasting my time if you're not going to buy something' or the most common 'I can't be civil or pass the time of day with you...can't you see I've got an empty shop to run'....

By contrast, the staff in the two Modelzones that I used to frequent...Chester and Liverpool....were always friendly, tried to be helpful even if you were asking for stuff they didn't sell, and several of them had a genuine interest in the hobby.

I'm cautiously optomistic about the WHS experiment...more so than I was when I first heard about it...I doubt you will see anything more than the 'hobby' market in there (Airfix, Revell, Tamiya) as opposed to the 'serious' market (Dragon,Trumpeter, Hobbyboss, Meng, Hasegawa) but, when you consider the alternative....nowhere handy to buy paint/cement and nowhere to browse while the missus shops for frocks in Debenhams...then I'm happy it's happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

I cannot imagine that WHS would have any effect on specialist model shops by their carrying a handful of Airfix and Revell starter kits plus maybe a couple of higher end products. Such a range would barely scratch the surface of that which is available to the real enthusiast, but it would have the immense benefit of carrying the hobby to those who don't realise it still exists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WH Smith have purchased the name Model Zone, they will have departments in the larger branches - Croydon will be one - not in Sutton though. Unfortunately it seems it will be more like a Revell/Airfix outlet. Possibly collectable die casts and Scalextric and Hornby...it will not be a place to get information or discerning advice. Like Modelzone staffing will be down to retail staff.

Modelzone used to advertise in grocery magazines to get retail managers...models were products that could be sold in just the same way as a can of baked beans...this is not so. Models are not like they were in the good old days - I like most of you bought my Airfix kits from newsagents and corner stores. Those kits have gone as have those days.

When model zone was operating you could ask the staff to point you to the aircraft section but ask them about the colour for an FW 190 Dora...blah blah...and they would know nothing. (Sweeping statement as there were some knowledgeable staff around) but on the whole the Modelzone staff were retail staff and interchangeable with - well pretty much you name it.

A modelshop requires some one knowledgeable on the subject (be it armour, aircraft and all in between).

WH Smith are advertising for staff and offering minimum wage at 20 hours a week. I don't think that the new Modelzone will be a place to buy models from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WH Smith have purchased the name Model Zone, they will have departments in the larger branches - Croydon will be one - not in Sutton though. Unfortunately it seems it will be more like a Revell/Airfix outlet. Possibly collectable die casts and Scalextric and Hornby...it will not be a place to get information or discerning advice. Like Modelzone staffing will be down to retail staff.

Modelzone used to advertise in grocery magazines to get retail managers...models were products that could be sold in just the same way as a can of baked beans...this is not so. Models are not like they were in the good old days - I like most of you bought my Airfix kits from newsagents and corner stores. Those kits have gone as have those days.

When model zone was operating you could ask the staff to point you to the aircraft section but ask them about the colour for an FW 190 Dora...blah blah...and they would know nothing. (Sweeping statement as there were some knowledgeable staff around) but on the whole the Modelzone staff were retail staff and interchangeable with - well pretty much you name it.

A modelshop requires some one knowledgeable on the subject (be it armour, aircraft and all in between).

WH Smith are advertising for staff and offering minimum wage at 20 hours a week. I don't think that the new Modelzone will be a place to buy models from.

I disagree that the new Modelzone will not be a place to buy models from. It may not be for you, me or others on this site, but for people looking to purchase a gift for someone, there is definitely a market for this. As long as the staff can advise on what glue to use and where the paints and brushes are, there is little else the average person will need. Colour schemes are in the instructions and paint details are on the box.

For us it is different. We scour the net and use our favourite online suppliers. We buy aftermarket, scratch build and research our subjects. This is probably one of the reasons why Modelzone went under. For someone looking to buy Christmas presents for a nephew, a couple of books and a model kit - be it Revell or Airfix, there is definately a market. It is just that we are not the target consumer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Toys R Us is a place to buy an Airfix or Revell present for a Christmas Present and as you say WH Smith will be the same...however will the average person think to go to WH Smith to buy a model? I doubt it. Models are obtained from toy shops...I would expect to be able to buy the latest release of say Dragon, Hobbycraft, Tamiya, Hasegawa etc from any good model shop. This will not be the case at WH Smth and on minimum wage at 20 hours a week the staff will not be interested enough in the product to tell you that Tamiya paints are good for this job and Humbrol paints for that etc.

Model zone went under purely because of bad management and it has to be said they lasted longer than expected. The scratchbuilding after market crowd are not a flea on the back of the model making fraternity. Us fanatics on BM here are the minority. The majority out there build the new hokey kokey 2000 out of the box and this is the crowd that Beatties then Modelzone catered for. Unfortunately Beatties then Modelzone did not learn that after market is where the profit is - take the Eduard kits with all the bells and whistles...buy it in one lot and get a deal. Also Beatties and Modelzone did not learn that Airfix and Revell are not the be all and end all...Airfix relied hugely on it's back catalogue - which would stay on the shelves of the model shops because better manufacturers were producing better kits generations far advanced of Airfix. Modellers are a loyal bunch and still like to feel the quality...while the new Modelzone will fill a gap in the "toy" side of the market, the way they are approaching it - the new Modelzone will be much like hobbycraft - a retail outlet for a few manufacturers and not for serious modellers - and that is the bunch who should be catered for, it was the serious modellers who shored up Model Zone those who purchased the new releases as soon as they were released.

Model Zone died because the management did not keep up with modelling trends and instead became Toy zone with indoor radio control models, Thomas the Tank Engine items et al. And of course Collector Zone with over stocked collectable die casts. Ending up with dead money on the shelves and being forced into sell off sales. Take the Airfix DH 110 Sea Vixen in 1/48 - I got two at £14 each when Model Zone started selling them off cheap...a result for me...but a loss for Model Zone. Canberras at £10 each? Dragon Shermans at £14....this was at least a year before they became insolvent.

I wil say watch this space though...I think there will be some surprises in the model market and retail trade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's an awful lot of snobbery rearing it's head on here with comments about staff on minimum wage etc. I happen to know several people who work in retail who, despite their relatively low wages, will go the extra mile to help customers.

Also don't get it in your head about the so-called 'serious modellers' somehow being disadvantaged by retailers only offering Airfix/Revell...retailers are only interested in what sells purely because of operating costs and if there is a demand for it. In an average sized town how many people on any given day are looking to buy an 'Eduard kit with all the bells and whistles'? If kits of that quality and price were in such high demand then there'd be a model shop on every high street. A retail outlet would be insane to hold stock like that unless it had a mail order service too.

Modelzone may well have been scuppered by overstocking on RC and diecasts but they would have been in deeper trouble had they stocked shelves full of high end resin and brass...the reason these items make money is because they are largely stocked by online retailers who aren't paying thousands of pounds out simply for shelf space. MZ did well on kit sales but I'm willing to bet that most of those sales were Airfix/Revell/Tamiya....I think the management at WHS may have checked out unit sales of each brand before deciding what to stock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's an awful lot of snobbery rearing it's head on here with comments about staff on minimum wage etc. I happen to know several people who work in retail who, despite their relatively low wages, will go the extra mile to help customers.

Also don't get it in your head about the so-called 'serious modellers' somehow being disadvantaged by retailers only offering Airfix/Revell...retailers are only interested in what sells purely because of operating costs and if there is a demand for it. In an average sized town how many people on any given day are looking to buy an 'Eduard kit with all the bells and whistles'? If kits of that quality and price were in such high demand then there'd be a model shop on every high street. A retail outlet would be insane to hold stock like that unless it had a mail order service too.

Modelzone may well have been scuppered by overstocking on RC and diecasts but they would have been in deeper trouble had they stocked shelves full of high end resin and brass...the reason these items make money is because they are largely stocked by online retailers who aren't paying thousands of pounds out simply for shelf space. MZ did well on kit sales but I'm willing to bet that most of those sales were Airfix/Revell/Tamiya....I think the management at WHS may have checked out unit sales of each brand before deciding what to stock.

Agreed. We are a specialist consumer and are well catered for online. WH Smith will cater for the casual and gift market. I have no doubt that they know what they are doing, and who they are aiming at.

Also, I disagree with the previous poster regarding Toys R Us. They got out of models years ago for the very reasons you specified.

I must be clear though, I have not mentioned anything about the minimum wage or anything resembling snobbery. In have just pointed out the obvious differences in the marketplace.

Cheers,

Tom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is some rubbish spouted on here about shops.

Back in the seventies in Colchester, I used to buy Matchbox around the corner at a Sweetshop or a sweetshop on the way to my mums workplace, Esci from a garage with a small toy section, Woolworths & Smiths knocked out Airfix and a department store called Williams & Griffins sold a bit of everything from down in the basement. They got me into the hobby, I was more interested in being able to afford the kit, and why I could never find a Spitfire than being given specialist advice.

I even remember finding Hannants for the first time @1977...that was upstairs in a Toyshop in the centre of Lowestoft. nothing particular specialist about that.

Other than Hobbycraft, nowadays kids will not see models in shops, with the demise of Hobbyzone, Smiths may just be giving the hobby the exposure that will attract the people who will be keeping the hobby going in a few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While Hobbycraft is being mentioned Note to W.H.Smiths. Put the B****y price on each item and not on the shelving which is nowhere near where the

kit ends up and put them where the staff can see that every box does,nt get ripped open by silly B****rs showing little johnny what,s inside!Other than

that good luck with your new venture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so glad I work nearby Antics in Bristol. There are still some traditional LHS's in the world, but not many.

I am just wondering how many contributors to this thread have any experience of working in a model shop, instead of just being a customer?

Me? Oh, well, since you asked, Assistant Manager of the Bristol branch of Beatties, 1977 to 1981. Things were different then......

Tim Perry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked for ten years for a specialist retailer, not model shops but a similarly niche market. The main things I learned were to always make the customer feel welcome and to make them feel that their custom was valued regardless of how much they spent or how much they knew or didn't know about a product.

This is why I am persistently frustrated by the attitudes of the owners of many of the model shops I have visited up and down the country. It appears that customers are, at best, a distraction to be tolerated, but more often than not an inconvenience who get in the way of their primary goal which is to spend their days surrounded by unbuilt, and largely unsold, kits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear All Bmers

Sorry...I do not wish to appear snobbish...merely indulging in conversation on a subject that effects us all.

My main point is the WH Smith will be just like Model Zone with a pay peanuts get monkeys situation...I know we have all experienced it.

Most serious modellers now do not buy the item and make it out of the box...Beatties failed because that was where the trend was going and did not keep up and also had competition with Games Workshop and electronic games. It would have been a tough decision and 20/20 Hindsight is a marvelous thing but had Beatties scaled their shops back and stock down and catered to the mass trade of present buyers and hobbyists and then the higher trade of being able to offer a full on deal of all the bells and whistles i.e. say a Tamiya Lanc with all the brass from Eduard and resin etc. for a bulk price, they would have kept going. Beatties employed model makers who knew their stuff and could sell.

This would mean that they keep a set or two available but mainly to order...so if the new Gloster Javelin is to have an upgrade set available from Eduard then as a business Beatties/Model Zone would need to approach the importers of Eduard and make a deal...most businesses would jump at the opportunity.

When Model Zone emerged from the ashes of Beatties there was a change in it's life span that had employees from all walks of retail...many did not know the difference between a Hasegawa Spitfire or an Airfix one. It takes experience to make a good model shop manager, employee.

Toys R Us - at least my local is still an outlet for Revell/Airfix...yes limited ranges but still there. WH Smith will be similar...possibly expand the range a little but WH Smith will not be catering to modellers but to parents and grand parents...it will not be a place to get serious models.

And I am sure there are many of you readers on here that like me still like to feel the quality. I like to open a box and gaze in critical wonder and judge before I buy...if I relied fully on the net I would be disappointed from time to time. I go to a model shop to have the owner/manager discuss the good or bad points...I now rely heavily on model shows. Jason at LSA keeps me hugely informed and gives me honest breakdowns on kits...sometimes at his detriment as he will recommend waiting for so and so's release of the same kit it promises to have more, so he may not make a sale. This is what I appreciate in a retail situation...honesty and if I can't get honesty then my own judgement. My local Model Zone had one employee toward the end whom I would rely on recommendations...I know I will not get this at WH Smith and then in the broader scheme of things Aunty Flo who buys her nephew a Revell 1/48 Corsair because it is a good price for Christmas, which gets opened on Christmas Day and then rejected because it is not a good experience because it is primitive molding and doesn't go together well and puts her nphew off of model making so that puts off another potential model maker...Ok I know this is all a bit extreme and I am not denying that WH Smith should not bring models into their stores...it is just disappointing that there is such a potential out there for a national chain (another reason Model Zone went belly up...too many stores across the UK - one in every town is not needed - every major town would have worked and then possibly do as Games Workshop do with associate sellers for smaller towns).

My two local model shops now are Dorking (half hour drive away if I am lucky) and Croydon Metro Centre (Old Allders basement with bankrupt stock and fingers crossed that they will get bigger and better - another half hour drive in the other direction) and yet from January to June of this year 1400 new model releases were put out - that includes cottage industry to mainstream.

Back in the day and yes I was there when a garage would have a few models on a shelf, or every local newsagent would have a wall of models or when I had ELS Model Supplies in Sutton, Gamely's in Sutton, BMW Models in Wimbledon, Toffee King (a newsagent who sold Tamiya kits and he had a wall of them) in Merton High Street and Model Time in St. Georges Walk in Croydon - In fact my first job was at ELS Model Supplies. If I wanted to get a kit off the helf I had my choice of shops...If I wanted a Historex special or later a Verlinden figure I had to go to Model Time...If I wanted Games Workshop it was Gamely's...If I wanted railway it was ELS - Brian the manger and then owner knew how to set up a railway and radio control, if I wanted the latest kit it was BMW.

Slowly they all disappeared because of Beatties - who started to import and gained the monopoly. Thee is nothing wrong with business and staying the top dog...but Beatties lost the focus of their customers...yes they had the latest kits and first releases but they did not have all the bits and pieces that the likes of Mil Slides in Croydon then Streatham had or Model Time...and they didn't have the customer attitude...the masses are the bread and butter but your regulars who will visit and buy something even if they don't need it be it a paint or glue or plasticard...just because they appreciate the fact that customer service is high on the list and when that new 1/32 Corsair comes in that customer will buy two of them because you know he loves the aircraft so much.

Hannants survive on customer loyalty - the shop that is. As does LSA and Dorking and others. And t repay that customer loyalty they are the first to get your business by getting what you want. We can all go on the net and get the cheapest...we are all guilty of it...look at the new Javelin found on here by someone for around £30...the price it really is worth not the over inflated £50 that Airfix are recommending. However if your local model shop had got it first and because you are a loyal customer gave you a price break you would have bought it as soon as they had opened the packing box (Okay another sweeping statement).

Where am I going with this?

Well my main point is I suppose I am lamenting the demise of the model shop...only one model shop carries virtually all the Eduard update sets and if he hasn't got them he'll soon get it. I would never ask that of any model shop to carry the lot...but I would expect every model shop to know about the update sets and the figures that would compliment them or the engine detail sets (again a sweeping statement as you can't expect anyone to know all the sets etc.) but if I come to an employee in a model shop I would expect that employee to know something about the product and not when asked "Have you got the Tamiya Sherman Israeli version?" to have the answer "If it isn't on the shelf then we don't have it" Hobbycraft, Toys R Us and all the other retail outlets like WH Smith.

As I say I am not being snobbish - certainly that was not my intention, I think we will all miss Model Zone as was...at least we could get our supplies there, Model Zone mucked up big time and it was obvious it was going to happen...it is easy for me behind my computer to spout off about what they should have done and what they could have done...what they needed to do was to listen to their customers and then tell the manufacturers "if you don't do x, y and z with the new release you have we will not be able to sell it at the price you are recommending" (The Javelin is a point in case...£50 is in my opinion too high...unless there was a brass etch in there which has been recommended to Airfix from a few suppliers - consequently Airfix sold Model Zone a whole bunch of models (Nimrods, Canberras, Sea Vixens et al.) that were left on the shelf and became dead money unless put out as as sale item (look at the last days of Model Zone and witness all those Merlins left on the shelf).

In many cases the customer is always right...we have and are losing our model shops and the internet can be blamed, high rates on the high street (Hannants are in a little industrial unit - god idea), poor judgement from manufacturers (Airfix 1/48 armor)...I could go on

But I have gone on too long....sorry if I have bored you. I'll try to keep an future posts much shorter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You seem to be missing the point completely , WH Smith will have no intention of catering to the "serious modeller" and if they did they probably wouldn't be in the model business for very long. They will cater to the saturday afternoon shopper who will enter their stores to buy a magazine or a book and come away with a model because they fancied it. They are interested in volume sales not the specialist niche markets and will leave this to specialist shops / online retailers, so if you expect WHS to stock Eduard or resin or aftermarket decals then you will be very dissappointed.

Airfix , Revell, Tamiya and basic paint ranges will be their bread and butter sales , they will only be in the model business to make a profit, so stocks will be fast moving "everyday" items only.

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If new modellers are put off by old kits from tired moulds, this is not the fault of the retailer. It is the fault of the manufacturers who do not accept - if they even consider the idea - that pushing out poor quality kits reflects badly upon themselves. Yes they bring in the money but (as suggested above) run the risk of turning away potential future modellers, and spoils the companies' reputations amongst other buyers. Anything that widens the market should be beneficial: these old kits are found on dedicated model shop shelves too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi wunwinglow

Hope you're continuing a good recovery!

JBOHMSS has done a pretty good job of explaining why MZ and Beatties failed. It applies to other companies as well. There are informed buyers (us) and uninformed buyers (Joe Public making a present purchase). WHS are aimed at the latter, and while there is some cross-over, most of the time each type of buyer acts differently.

Graham, a good parallel is car insurance, my dad has been with the same insurer for decades. Despite other firms quoting a LOT less online he won't switch. However I do and dealt with one outfit named for the location where a king was killed by an arrow in the eye and will never use them again. So Johnny gets an Airfix kit for Christmas, enjoys the experience and uses some present money to buy another, he gets the Comet Racer. He has problems with it, even Dad can't help, so it gets abandoned and he never buys another...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The point is I am not missing the point...the point I was trying to make is that I feel we will not be able to obtain Dragon, Meng, Hobbyboss, Hobbycraft, Hasegawa and all the other up market model manufacturers - I don't expect to be able to obtain Eduard or Aires etc. I would like to be able to still get the Dragon, AFV, etc. off the high street.

I don't think we will even be able to buy Tamiya Uber Models from WH Smiths either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is becoming a very well-considered thread and part of me really hopes that the likes of WHS are in fact giving it some careful consideration.

FWIW, I personally wouldn't go to, nor expect, a high street model shop to carry specialised items. I cannot imagine the size of the place not the risk that the owner would be taking. I went round Hannants in Lowestoft and came out without some items I would have bought, not least because even Hannants cannot carry everything all at once!

If WHS can carry a reasonable range of kits and keep rotating them so that the display always looks fresh to the newcomer to the hobby then they'll be doing a tremendous service to the hobby, and I for one will keep dropping in from time to time because I wouldn't claim to know every kit in every range in every scale in every possible discipline of this hobby of ours. I welcome the sense of being surprised from time to time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modelmaking is a hobby, plain and simple....much as it might upset people on here, so called 'serious modellers' (and I include myself in that description) are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to kit sales in the UK or, for that matter, the rest of the world. By far the biggest market share goes to buyers who are happy to buy a kit, some glue and a few paints and put the thing together....these modellers will buy kit after kit and assemble them straight from the box and are happy to do so. They might buy the odd magazine or look on the web but by and large are happy to just build kits as they come. It's these people that WHS and Hobbycraft cater for and will do good business from, just the same as it's these same people that Airfix and Revell do good business from.

I'd love a shop where I could buy any kit or modelling product that was available but those shops don't exist anywhere outside of Japan because the demand just doesn't exist.

Also, the idea that a first time modeller would be put off by a kit's supposed shortcomings is total nonsense....kids building kits from fifty year old moulds just see a Spitfire or a Sherman tank, they don't see raised panel lines or seams or even that they left a couple of smaller bits in the box. That's why Airfix and Revell keep selling them....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been following this thread with some interest, as now I live in a country, (Kenya), that has 2, (thats right, two), toy shops that sell a very limited range of Airfix, none more recent than a year ago, and three Revell models. Paints, glue, aftermarket....none, nien, niet, nada,...

As far as I have been able to elucidate the nearest hobby shops to me are in South Africa and Israel, opposite ends of, (and in Israel's case just out), of Africa.

For those who will think, great internet and mail order, think again. Revenue and customs charge what they think is the value, which usually works out at 100% of the value of the contents or more...

Not forgetting the 'security' search that packages have to undergo. A more euphemistic description would be what looks bright, shiney, useful, interesting, will fit in my pocket?, etc. In the first world it would be called theft.

I would not like to get into all the pros and cons: It was sad to see Modelzone close and I think it is great that there is the promise of a revival, of sorts, under the aegis of WH Smiths. Ok, it will not be in all shops, but it will be around and visible, and hopefully attract some with a vague interest that might grow. For the more specialist requirements, (i.e. most of us), there are the few remaining professional model shops and internet/mail order with the likes of Hannants etc.

The days of model shops on the high street of most towns and cities are, for now at least, fading. If WH Smiths can keep a viable footprint in some town and city centers then that has to be a good thing.

Well, at least it seems to me, being stuck in the modelling third, (if not fourth), world.

Now lets get back to some plastic fondling!

Christian the Married and exiled to africa and dreaming of any model shop closer than a four week drive (one way) ... :weep::raincloud::crying::pray:

Edited by wyverns4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever anyone might hope, or like to think, you only need to look at the trend of town centres over the past 10-15 years.

They are dying out.

Hobby shops (and all the other shops) are disappearing and they aren't (in general) ever going to come back.

The web is taking over and that isn't going to change, however much we enjoy noodling around a 'real' shop and looking in the kit boxes.

The younger generation is growing into a culture who find 'shopping' a tedious, old-fashioned chore, when they can get anything on the planet with a few clicks of a mouse, then get on with whatever they prefer doing.

It wont be too many years away when the only proper shops are those that exist in large complexes such as Lakeside or the Bull Ring.

Maybe a hobby shop might survive in places like that......

WH Smiths isn't interested in being a hobby outlet, even if they have bought the MZ name.

The only reason they want the name is because its already recognised and saves them the bother of trying to promote what is to them, just another money making line of goods in the shop.

Roy.

Roy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point, Model Zone is a recognized name...As I said in an earlier post - I am certain I will not be able to get AFV, Hasegawa, Hobbyboss, Trumpeter, Dragon et al at WHS - from what I can see it will be Revelle and Airfix only possibly Tamiya - that is what I will miss. I do not expect to see Eduard or the hokey kokey 2000 on every model shop shelf - the after market sets are for the shows and the internet for convenience - a good model shop should have the option to obtain the specialised stuff - not carry the whole range.

As for kids being put off - I helped at my son's school with a model club for a term - the kids were put off by primative Airfix kits that didn't fit...children do not have the patience of us old timers...but disappointment as well was obvious with great gaps in seams etc. I can only go by my experience.

As for hobby shops surviving I maintain that you will get out of it what you put into it...if we all rely on the internet we will not be able to go and drool over the latest releases anywhere - thus relying on shows or having items posted to us. Then if the kit doesn't stand up we get disappointment and not necessarily a refund.

But the point beingmade about the high street dying is very apt. The model shop as we know it is changing - from the shop to the unit on a trading estate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not saying its right or saying wrong but the rise of internet shopping has brought about at least in part the demise of the local model shop as it has the High St in general, its a bit ironic that as a result of our own addiction to the internet shopping experience we have contributed to the loss of one of the experiences most of us looked forward to ,, the rumage around the shelves. Speak about shooting yourself in the foot. I dont think however it would have been practical to expect the majority of local model shops to carry all the extras as its just not practcal, the cottage industries and the bigger specialists producers quite simly would not be able to supply the volume. As a retailer myself its clear that what the customer expects and what is possible ( due to sheer logistical/cost considerations) is sometimes not achievable in a store by store situation. For eg as a Jeweller I am often told that I should keep all sizes of rings.........mmmmmm......sounds simple but out of a range of 300+ rings that would require me to hold a conservative 3000 individual pieces of stock 90% of which would be dead stock not turning over....result ...bankrupt. The best we can do and expect any retailer to do is firstly give excellent customer service backed with knowledge and secondly have a cando attitude with the ability to source stock quickly when required for orders. Finally at the end of the day no point bemoaning the loss of the local stores if we continue not to support them with our business. I for one will be happy for WH Smiths to stock kits as its another option for me and a visible prompt for youngsters to get started. Just saying :):poppy:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Store list

Glasgow suchiehall street

Birmingham
Kingston
Meadowhall
Croydon
Cardiff
Gateshead metro
Reading
White city
Manchester Arndale

Glasgow opens on the 22/11

Edited by AMD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...