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Another local shop bites the dust.

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Thomas Barwick25/12/2012 23:52:18
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Unfortunatly my local model shop Tony's models and hobbies (or RCEFUK) has shut down after 6 years.Its a massive shame to see these model shops go. makes lifew so much harder just getting thoses small items when they are needed. sad

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator26/12/2012 00:16:51
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Well, we know the solution to the problem,...

BEB

Greybeard26/12/2012 07:57:38
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It's always sad to read about this sort of event, perhaps they were trying to be too specialised.

I do agree about the difficulty of getting small items; I've tried four shops around the Northampton area in an effort to find one wih a reasonable spread of stock to whom I could give all my custom but unfortunatly no success yet. So I remain a mail order customer of many.

cymaz26/12/2012 08:20:50
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9194 forum posts
1186 photos

Not only could it be our fault for not being loyal to the LMS but also that the wholesalers and importers demand too much money for a minimum order.

I guess that value could be in the thousands??? That may be too much for a little one man shop on a tight cash flow.....so he doesn't order.....so he has no stock range.....so he has no trade.....and another shop is gone locally.

Peter Miller26/12/2012 08:59:03
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While it may be mail order, Pegasus Models in Norwich carry a good range of accessories

I think that you will find the distributors do not have minimum order values. They will send a single item if it is ordered.

Of course ordering one item will cost more in postage and so make that uneconomical

Dean26/12/2012 09:20:57
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305 forum posts
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Tony's was my local model shop to. I bought all my gear from there when I got back into the hobby a couple of years ago and carried on buying bits and pieces from him.

I had great service from them above and beyond what I would expect.

Dean

Ted26/12/2012 09:29:42
48 forum posts
2 photos

It's no wonder that it is happening. where are all the hobbyists? Sat in front of the tele. If you look at your take home pay and just think how many tubes of glue are you going to have to sell to take that much PROFIT!!! I used to travel 90 k's to the nearest hobby shop but they've closed down. The nearest one is now about 5-6 hrs drive away in Melbourne. So I use the internet mainly to the model shops but for a lot of things, Hobby King here I come? It is very sadsad. Ted

Garry Pollard26/12/2012 09:34:37
1091 forum posts

This unfortunatly is the way buisnesses are going.. In the food market, your local supermarket will eventually close down all the small shopkeepers round him, and in the same way this is what is happening to the LMS. They just cant/wont compete with the big on line model suppliers. We ultimatly are to blame.

Garry

IAN EDGE26/12/2012 17:20:06
20 forum posts

A few years ago i was looking into opening a shop i knew what i was going to sell( not model related) and found a shop in the right location which was for rent the owner wanted £250 a week and the council tax was another £250 a week then there was insurances electricity etc needless to say it didnt get off the ground i would need to be open and selling 48 hrs a day just to stand still, the shop has been openend and closed a number of times over the years has have many others in the local town which is really no good to anyone because when they are empty neither the landlord or the council are earning and shoppers just go on line or to out of town shoping centres

Robin Kearney26/12/2012 20:41:55
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1080 forum posts
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The note on their homepage suggests they hav'nt ceased trading because of financial reasons. To run a business in this small hobby of ours and to suffer such comments must be horrible, I can imagine why it might have been cause for them to want to give up.

Erfolg26/12/2012 20:44:05
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The closure of the LMS is not the fault of modellers!

If blame is to be allocated to any one, blame the council for the rates, waste removal, the water company for water and sewage charges for business, the electric company, the insurance industry, and the rental business.

The other aspect, is that the wholesaler/distribution model, is not well matched to todays challenges. I would expect a number of these to, to fail, in the coming times

The only blame that could possibly be directed at modellers, is the lack of numbers.

The rise of the Internet trading and the bigger model outlets, are just symptoms of his era. This retail sales outlet, is perfect for a small dispersed market.

Codename-John26/12/2012 21:01:11
1087 forum posts
18 photos

I bought my Top flite Mustang along with a few other bits and pieces from there, when it arrived missing the plan they were extremely helpfull and sorted it without fuss, shame to see them go,

My local shop, Hobby Corner, is up for sale too, Not entirely sure of the reasons but lack of trade and ever increasing costs probably has something to do with it, same as other local shops, small busines, pubs etc etc etc, when will the idiotic government open their eyes and see that rising tax, rates, cutting jobs and peoples money only ever leads to less and less for everybody, including the country, paying out more in benefits and getting nothing in return

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator26/12/2012 21:10:18
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rPosted by Robin Kearney on 26/12/2012 20:41:55:

The note on their homepage suggests they hav'nt ceased trading because of financial reasons. To run a business in this small hobby of ours and to suffer such comments must be horrible, I can imagine why it might have been cause for them to want to give up.

I think the last sentence implies that it was partially financial - at least as far as the internet is concerned.

Erfolg people with views similar to my own are not blaming modellers. That's is to look at it from completely the wrong angle I believe. What I do say is "don't be surprised or dissapointed when this sort of thing happens if you make all, or most, of your major purchases on-line, driven by one criteria alone - ie cost". These sort of closures, and the total take over of model retail by a small number of giant, very aggresive, internet relaters is the natural consequence of that choice. I understand that for many fellow modellers cost is important. To them I would say, think longer term - if diversity and local source is lost then so is competition. In the long run the total domination of two or three giant suppliers could well work out much more expensive!

All I'm saying is, fine by all means buy everything from the modelling equivalent of Lidl, that is your right, but don't then weep when when the local deli closes down! Surely the "smart money" is on benefiting from the discounters but keeping them "hungry" by also supporting a range of alternative outlets.

If we want to have diversity of supply, small specialist traders and local model shops, we have to support them with more than £1.50 for a bag of screws once in while! Its our choice. True having that diversity will cost us - certainly in the short too medium term. But it will also mean we will not end up at the total mercy of the "Lidl's" which, once they have sucessfully killed off all opposition (because make no mistake mate that is their objective) will be free to limit the supply to us to what they want to sell and charge us whatever they want!

You're dead right Erfolg, its not the fault of modellers - but it is our choice!

BEB

Tim bennett26/12/2012 21:16:16
8 forum posts

I will miss that shop, had more than 8 aircraft off of them plus radio, engines and all sorts of bits in the couple of years that I knew of them, very nice people to deal with if I have the choice I will always buy from a shop even if I have to drive 100 miles to pick up what I want, hate the internet for any shopping faceless.

I have just paid £40 over what I could have paid on the internet for a DX8 but do not care as I know the local shop and if I have a problem they will sort it without any hassle.

Very sad day.

Erfolg27/12/2012 12:45:56
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I think it is intriguing i that most of us like the LMS, the main issue seems to be how we perceive the situation. The view it is not the hobbyists fault, seems to be received in a manner that was not intended.

However much we like our LMS, there can be no resisting the trading forces of the present retail scene. I am not trained in retail, or have any experience of retail trading, such as Timbo has. However as with many others, I have in common with other modellers and engineers, undertaken post graduation studies in the economics of trading and the supply chain. Perhaps more importantly I have observed the high street of the UK during my live and how it has changed.

The LMS had its zenith in the era, where retailing essentially was the small shop, wholesalers. For modelling there being some retailers who did trade via magazine adverts, the postal service, with some Hire Purchase being provided at a price.

This model worked well for the trade. From the modellers perspective, prices were high.

During the last 10 or so years a lot has changed.

Firstly magazines are not the sole principal means of communicating with the public. The Internet has become very important and effective means of communication.

The Internet is not just a communication means, it is also a "market place". A new market, where small and large traders can ply their wears. The cost structure for many of the traders is very much lower than those on the high street. Being a market, there are many traders, where if the product is not available it one trader, the next trader will probably have it. As at the local market, some traders have better deals than others. They can often be spotted by yhe crowds that flock to them. Not all of the traders will be geographically be located in the country of the purchasers. Although virtually all apparently the same.

Slightly different to most markets, the computer can be used to hunt down, exactly what you want and can be used to compare prices and potentially value. The values being speed of delivery, after sales service. Which contrasts with your LMS, it has what it has and at the marked price.

The other service that has developed that aids the Internet trading are services such as Visa, or Paypal. Which can be very convenient to many modellers. Transferring funds in the case of Debit Cards or with potential interest with Credit Cards. Probably at lower costs for most than Higher Purchase. Above all the process is instant.

Is it any wonder that the Internet is so attractive, keen prices, exactly what you want, delivered to the door.

You do not need a Phd in marketing to see that with a limited purchasing market, that the Internet is an additional sales point, which is not going away. Given the limited nature of the modelling market, the established retailers, can only loose share as a group. If some maintain, or improve their share, it can only be at the expense of the other LMS's.

I just see it is inevitable that the LMS as we know it, has to change or close. As with the Supermarkets, the corner shop has had to change, many making a come back in recent years, such as Nisa, Spar. The big difference is that shoppers can now afford to purchase what they would like, with a wider choice, lower cost and greater choice. The local shop, being keener priced that of old, but still more expensive and lower choice than ASDA et al, the attraction being convenience than going to the Supermarket. There is another group of supermarkets, where product range is low, but sale price at rock bottom. I think there will still be many changes to come. Perhaps a USA Hobby Lobby type of sales outlet?

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator27/12/2012 13:22:50
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Perhaps the differences in our perspectives Erflog can best be summed up as you seem to accept that "retail forces" are some unstoppable external natural phenominum - were as some of us believe that we are the "retail forces" when we act in consort. Don't believe me? Ask Starbucks about their reaction to their consumers' views on their tax affairs! True that got a lot of national publicity - and Starbuck clientile is measured in millions - but the relatively small size of our market actually works in our favour. This forum and others reaches the vast majority of the model-buying UK public - if we decide the LMS is to stay then it's perfectly within our power, as consumers acting in cohort, to bring that about!

This isn't some nameless natural force - its just the result of group decisions - change the group dynamic and you change the decision. The whole of consummer action is based on that premiss - and very powerful it can be to. For example, if the super-large retailers get wind of the fact that we don't like what they are doing to the small retailers and that we are prepared to "vote with our plastic" about it, they'll soon change their tune as well! He who has the "buck" has the power!

BEB

Erfolg27/12/2012 14:59:46
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Consumer power can work, to a limited extent. To be honest, I am not convinced that Starbucks did anything wrong. It is the tax regime that is wrong, change the regulations.

Many, many others, have  not shown inclination to pay more than they (legally) need to. Amazon being one, along with many UK companies relocating head quarters to Eire, Luxembourg  from the UK. Others it has been reported will not be initiating planned investment in the UK, at least part to the mood music.

What is really nauseating, one of the MP's criticising businesses, had her nose in the trough, seems it is different for MP's.

Anyway back to campaigns, the Thatcher "we are buying British" failed, at least in the longer term. This type of campaign rarely lasts, other than with extremist groups, where facts, logic or science is less important or informed than the message

The problem for LMS, at present there trading model does not work. To stand a chance they will need a NISA, Spar type of model. Or possibly the Co-op, ethical model, which only works to limited extent, it is probably the buying model, having transformed from the local society model, to a central bulk purchase keeps them at the corner of the street or shopping parade.

I can see we differ, I am convinced in the need for change, if the LMS is to survive.

I can see that others such as Perkins, Ripmax and others, will be staunchly opposed to the necessary changes. After all "Turkeys, do not vote for Christmas". Yet I suspect the last ones standing, will see the need for change by themselves, and adapt.

Not having any real retail knowledge beyond being a shopper. What the change should be, is not formed by an informed opinion, More of an overview, where the issues can be seen, but not a real set of solutions, which a business plan could be confidently built about.

I also want a LMS, again. In my opinion, it will have to be different to the one that closed. Run by a passionate modeller, following the time honoured model, not for the want of trying..

Edited By Erfolg on 27/12/2012 15:01:48

avtur27/12/2012 16:33:16
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883 forum posts
20 photos

This is a very emotive subject for me been there and got the (very expensive) T shirt - years on I'm still counting the cost and have expressed my experiences here before; it's great to be reminded about it at this time of year.

The only contribution I will make to this particular thread is to thank BEB for the realistic and (in my opinion) informed comments he has already made.

Mark a27/12/2012 17:21:17
321 forum posts
3 photos

We must try and support our local modelshops i fear once there gone there gone, sure the inter web is good but my local. Kits and Bits in Coventry is very good. I bought some servo's from them last month and their price's were spot on with the inter web price's and i had the servo's there and then not having to wait days for delivery.

Mark.

Bearair27/12/2012 18:31:00
386 forum posts
22 photos

I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that LMS on which I rely are becoming very undervalued. If someone turns up at my local slope or flying site with a model, radio gear, motor and all accesories and then requires or expects my assistance because they do not understand the operation of the kit they have then i will ask where they bought it from. If it was from the internet I will politely suggest they seek advice from the supplier. If its from a LMS I am delighted to assist them. The reason is simple, I have a vested interest in my LMS, ie he has given advice and help to me for years and I want him to be there to assist me for years to come. I do not mind paying a resonable amount extra for the assistance I have and continue to recieve. I am aware of some clubs whos members are increasingly taking this attitude. And towards free training aswell.

I understand the business model of the international cheap wharehouses but it seems to rely on the good nature of the local modeler. Sorry I will not subsidise their business model. If only more experienced modelers took this attitude maybe people would see the benefit of the LMS.

Harsh it may be, but I am just subscribing to there cost is everything attitude. Of course if the internet buyer wants to pay me for my services then fair enough. But often they then find that the money they "saved" was a false economy.

Roger

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