Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Chit-Chat => Topic started by: miarkaf on February 09, 2012, 12:04:03 PM

Title: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: miarkaf on February 09, 2012, 12:04:03 PM
I went into Bath today to buy some bits and peices from the Bath Model Centre, only to find that it had closed down with large signs everywhere saying "Shop to let"....

A very sad day for those who remember the shop as "The Modllers Den" in it's hayday. The shop was first opened in 1946 and my first memories are of buying pocket money Airfix kits in the 50's as a small child...

I don't know the reasons for the shop closure but we can all speculate, about the downturn in High street shopping and inability of this type of shop to compete on prices with online retailers..

The shop never really specialised in Model Boats, but carried a lot of Tamiya, etc kits , Die cast cars and Model rail items, but it did have a useful R/C section and of course general items like balsa, glues, plastistrut etc...

I for one will miss this shop and I'm grateful for the fond memories that I will always have.

Regards

Alan
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: triumphjon on February 09, 2012, 08:17:56 PM
did this shop not get swollowed up into what has become antics ?  i know that the old shopof the same name in fairfax street bristol has become antics . i must admit to only visiting the bath store once or twice but then as i lived in bristol we had a greater range of model shops !
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: dodgy geezer on February 09, 2012, 09:32:20 PM
As of 9:30 this evening they hadn't told their web site, which still indicates that they're open on its pages...   {:-{
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: miarkaf on February 09, 2012, 11:14:27 PM
Quote
As of 9:30 this evening they hadn't told their web site, which still indicates that they're open on its pages

Stock was being cleared out of the shop today, following what appears to have been several days of "all stock must go".

This is a quotation from one of the staff that worked in the shop, as repoduced from Brit Modeller :-

"Hi all I have sad news that as from Saturday 4th of February bath model shop will be closed for good on behave of the owners they would like to thank all those who have visited there shop over that past few years and would like to thank everyone who brought from them the model has been opened from 1946 "
 Not the best grammer in the world but it gets the message over.

I know nothing of the website or it's future and it may well be it carries on as an online operation . My thread was about the shop closing. Perhaps with hindsight I should have taken a photograph of the empty shop windows complete with the "Shop to Let" signs !...
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: dodgy geezer on February 10, 2012, 01:18:15 AM

 My thread was about the shop closing. Perhaps with hindsight I should have taken a photograph of the empty shop windows complete with the "Shop to Let" signs !...


Not doubting you. My post just remarked that their web site doesn't say "Sorry shop closing - we will keep selling from this website". Instead it welcomes people to their 'friendly, old-established business in the heart of Bath', and has vacancies advertised for shop assistants. They don't seem to have thought of changing it....
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: grasshopper on February 10, 2012, 10:57:10 AM
It's all a sign of the times I'm afraid - We opened our model shop  last July and there's no doubting it is a struggle to keep one's head above water. Hobby shops and similar outlets rely on 'disposable income' - the bit left over after all the essentials are paid for - and that disposable income in most peoples cases is being severely reduced.

Many people comment on how much stuff 'flies out of the door and you must be making a fortune' and we really wish it was true. The reality is that when most people come in and say 'can we do a bit of discount' - they're actually eating into the meagre 'profit' that we require to keep the doors open and pay the rent, heat, light and wages.
I'm helping out in the shop when I can and am honestly working for nothing - there's not enough turnover to repay the investment yet, let alone pay me for my time.
 
Our worst thing is when people bring stuff in that they bought via the internet, often from abroad -  sometimes cheaper than we can buy it, let alone supply it and they want us to sort out any issues free of charge, by tomorrow and clean and polish it to boot!

One last comment, not to be taken offence at please.....the most price critical modellers we've come across? ...........................model boaters! I'm surprised we don't all squeak when we walk!
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: DickyD on February 10, 2012, 11:06:05 AM

One last comment, not to be taken offence at please.....the most price critical modellers we've come across? ...........................model boaters! I'm surprised we don't all squeak when we walk!
[ts what I have been saying for ages, you see enough of them on here.

They spend hours and hours building their boats and then spend a fortnight trying to find the cheapest 'rubbish' they can find to lubricate the prop shafts.

Pretty sure I didnt say rubbish >>:-(
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on February 10, 2012, 11:24:38 AM
[ts what I have been saying for ages, you see enough of them on here.

They spend hours and hours building their boats and then spend a fortnight trying to find the cheapest 'rubbish' they can find to lubricate the prop shafts.

Pretty sure I didnt say rubbish >>:-(

I agree wholeheartedly, cheers China and all your cheap tat. Bear in mind thought, that almost all the good stuff we use comes from there also. Except Mtroniks and Electronize and Action and....
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: Stan on February 10, 2012, 11:51:10 AM
I think most members of this forum will hope that Action, Electronize and M.Troniks will be about for many years to come. One must not forget our local model shops that have given loyal service over the years.  They still do today but they need our support to keep them open. I do get things from the internet and I am sure many forum members also use the internet to buy goods, but there is something about going to your local model shop, having a good look round, meeting fellow modellers and the banter that goes with it. My local model shop in Leeds now offers a good internet service this may be the way forward for model shops to help bring in new business. :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-))
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: triumphjon on February 11, 2012, 08:01:43 AM
very well said stan, in fact WE ALL NEED TO SUPPORT OUR LOCAL MODEL SHOP  as often as possible , why not order those required items locally instead of buying from xyz on the net ? after all whichever store closes its doors its those local modellers and new blood that doesnt come into this hobby ! jon
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: irishcarguy on February 11, 2012, 07:31:06 PM
I could not agree more on supporting your local suppliers. However on many occasions on this & other forums when members ask the the question , "where & what to buy", I see members very often recommending made in China stuff on ebay & elsewhere when we have sponsors of our forum supplying far better products that do the same job in most cases much better than the flebay stuff, they give far superior service & back up support also. Shopping by price alone is generally a race to the bottom, a race you will lose every time. When you do get poor service locally talk to the owner/manager & give them a chance to correct it. It should be obvious by now that it is hard to make a decent living in the model shop business, just look @ the number of closings over the last few years. A word here too to the suppliers,when I take the time to come to your store, take the time to look after me. I was once told by the president of an international company that "every person that comes through your door brings part of your pay cheque in their pocket, if you get it or not depends on how you threat them". Think of the money you spent on advertising & stock to get them in your store in the first place. Mick B.
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: bikerdude666 on February 11, 2012, 07:51:38 PM
I could not agree more on supporting your local suppliers. However on many occasions on this & other forums when members ask the the question , "where & what to buy", I see members very often recommending made in China stuff on ebay & elsewhere when we have sponsors of our forum supplying far better products that do the same job in most cases much better than the flebay stuff, they give far superior service & back up support also. Shopping by price alone is generally a race to the bottom, a race you will lose every time. When you do get poor service locally talk to the owner/manager & give them a chance to correct it. It should be obvious by now that it is hard to make a decent living in the model shop business, just look @ the number of closings over the last few years. A word here too to the suppliers,when I take the time to come to your store, take the time to look after me. I was once told by the president of an international company that "every person that comes through your door brings part of your pay cheque in their pocket, if you get it or not depends on how you threat them". Think of the money you spent on advertising & stock to get them in your store in the first place. Mick B.

Really?  ok2
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: Shipmate60 on February 11, 2012, 08:12:31 PM
It is if you live in Portsmouth, you get a far better class of insult in our local model shop.
All in good fun though to those a certain unbuiltnautilus knows well enough to.
Times must be getting hard though as you no longer get offered a coffee!!!
You don't get that of the net.
Or the massive knowledge and free advice from a fellow modeller.
(White with two next time).

Bob
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: triumphjon on February 11, 2012, 08:26:14 PM
i too can remember another shop which was more like a meeting point for local modellers on a saturday than a business , unfortunatly its been closed for quite a few years now , bevs models , in west street , bedminster . jon
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: Jerry C on February 11, 2012, 09:23:09 PM
I totally agree and sympathise with grasshopper, it's been about 12 months since we closed our hobbyshop for all the reasons he mentioned. The constant flood of internet garbage that people wanted repaired for nothing was crazy, stuff you simply wouldnt waste any more money on, quite often you wold spend a couple of hours explaining why your products were superior and how they were better backed up by suppliers for parts and warranty etc and still they would turn up a few weeks later lookng for parts or help with some no brand thing you couldnt getparts for. Then there was the shoplifting, it's all very well spending thousands on a camera system and catchhing them in the act but its quite another when you have to confront them and try to get the stock back of them, sometimes it got quite scary, one time we wouldnt take our young son to the shop for about a month because we had a customer that was going through a marriage breakdown and was taking it out on everybody, he owned a nitro car and they can be tricky to tune at the best of times.
On the upside the social aspect was great, we always made a fuss of our customers and if they were there for any length of time my dad would offer cups of tea and coffee, in the end quite a few would just turn up for that but it was fun.
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: Jerry C on February 11, 2012, 09:52:47 PM
and like grasshopper said, boat people were very money conscious, aero guys were elitist and train guys, well lets just say that a model train enthusiast friend of mine said that if anyone was going to have something on their hard drive that the federal police might be interested in that it would be a train guy.
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: rshermanking on February 11, 2012, 10:49:44 PM
over the years i have spent a fair bit in my local model shop in portsmouth from small amounts to some very expensive amounts . but when i ask them to find the price of some tamiya electrics and bits for a tank conversion from the well known importers i was roughly quoted 600 with a possible two-three week turn around . i got the same electrics and bits for 300 and with a week turn around from hong-kong , so it`s not always the shops fault for the prices we get charge .
  the thing i find about peapole who buy of the net like  helicopters  is the back up , you may think it`s nice and cheep but when you can`t find the spaire parts you need that you broke while flying you`ve just waisted what ever you paid for it.
 the last expensive model i bought of them was a tamiya panther which i could have got alot cheaper from hong-kong even with the import duty , but when i had to get some replacement track which was broken i got it free of charge because i bought it from the shop.
 i know i bought things of the net and every one`s  got to earn a living and money is tight but think a Little bit it dosn`t always pay , so if you can support your local model  shop it may be cheaper in the long run.



                      rshermanking
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: hopeitfloats on February 12, 2012, 12:51:29 AM
i wonder why a few model shops dont band together and buy in bulk from china or where ever and make savings that way. it would possibly mean a better profit margin and maybe even reduced prices to its customers.  its done successfully here with stationery suppliers who sell under the name of paper plus but shops are owned privately.
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: Jerry C on February 12, 2012, 08:14:59 AM
Here in Australia and NZ the major wholesalers have the most well known brands sown up in such a way that anything decent can only be bought through them and most carry several different lines.
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: irishcarguy on February 13, 2012, 04:48:58 PM
Hi Biker, I am not sure if you are being sarcastic or not, but to clarify a few points in the statement. It was not something I said, it was in fact the president of Volkswagen Canada that said it at a sales meeting. However figures from surveys show that the customer is wrong 71% of the time. ( 1980/1 figures, I do not have very recent figures). That said, try proving a customer wrong or being rude to them & see how long your business survives. The whole matter of customer relations is very complex with few easy answers. I believe based on a lot of experience that some people can't be satisfied & you are better off not do business with them. Generally it has been my experience people that want the lowest price possible also demand the very best service & are very easy to upset, again just my experience, but what do I know after only 49 years of serving all kinds of customers. Mick B.   
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: Netleyned on February 13, 2012, 05:04:00 PM
Think he was referring to the typo 'threat' instead of 'treat' in your earlier post  :embarrassed:

Ned
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: bikerdude666 on February 13, 2012, 07:24:38 PM
Think he was referring to the typo 'threat' instead of 'treat' in your earlier post  :embarrassed:

Ned

Yea I was...
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: irishcarguy on February 14, 2012, 09:00:36 AM
 I generally do O/K with my English , for being an Irishman. Believe it or not we spent half our school time learning Gaelic, the worst part was trying to learn math. I can honestly say that I have never spoke a word of Gaelic since the day I left school, learning it was a complete waste of time, never mind the cost to the school system. I am sure that some will disagree with me & thats O/K too. Mick B. 
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: dougal99 on February 14, 2012, 09:55:11 AM
We all make typos in any language (me especially in my German homework). This one was amusing, given the content of the post. No offence intended I think.  :-))
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: bikerdude666 on February 14, 2012, 10:22:37 AM
nah didn't mean any offence, just had a brilliant monty python type scene in my head, threatening modellers lol.... sorry back to topic...

Never stumbled upon that shop, shame its closed as I'll not get the chance now.

Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: tigertiger on February 14, 2012, 12:04:12 PM
...My local model shop in Leeds now offers a good internet service this may be the way forward for model shops to help bring in new business....

It is IMHO the best way forward. There are some model shops with an online presence, these are easy to trade with online, and easy to find the address when I want to visit the bricks and mortar shop (on my rare trips to UK).

Sadly, many small traders don't understand the importance of internet sales and ignore the management of their own websites, ignore emails etc. and then complain that business is bad. I have even turned up at one traders, after trying to contact by email for a week, to find he was closed for the morning. I had to be somewhere and left with my money. There are other model shops that don't do online.

The internet is a boon to small businesses. It means that a store in Cornwall (not the most populous of places) can have customers from all over the UK/World. I do a lot of online shopping now. Perhaps at 50 years old I am one of the newer people to the hobby, but I find some of the older practices are a barrier to me spending my money.

Examples of good etraders.
ACTion - Dave really knows how to handle eCommerce, websites, and customer enquiries from novices. I think he is a good example of what can be done.
Sailsetc.com - The same
Not just models. - One of our local butchers started selling sausages and pies online. His business became well known and he now supplies big high street names with his fare.

BTW I do buy most of my modelling stuff online, but not from Ebay, I support the dedicated traders where I can.
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: irishcarguy on February 14, 2012, 04:29:55 PM
My local hobby shop is very large & has a massive stock. However they do not carry a large stock of boat bits & have nobody on staff that is really interested in boats. It is a different story if you are into Planes, Heli's & Model Cars. Because of its size I think they have to hire warm bodies just to fill the space. If you ask for an item the best they do most times is point you to the revellant section & then walk away leaving you standing there with little idea how to find what you are looking for. You can look up the store on the web it is "PM Hobbycraft  in Calgary", Canada. Tiger is correct, Dave is quite brilliant & deals with you in a very fast & efficient manner, the main part of that is he knows the hobby well & has a vast knowledge which he is willing to share. I now do 95% of my buying on the net & do not see that changing. Thanks Biker, for a minute there I thought you were trying to shoot me down, though usually my skin is a little thicker than that. This is a first class forum & I really enjoy being a member. Mick B.
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: Timmer on February 14, 2012, 05:06:33 PM
   i used to work in a guitar shop and the owner was also the head of a buying group that incorparated small music shops all other the country. it was a great idea that worked very very well. it ment the small independant shops could offer cut price deals and price match the big chain stores without losing out on profit. cant see why somthing like that couldnt work in the hobby industry. (but im no expert) :-))
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: Rex Hunt on February 14, 2012, 05:38:57 PM
Sometimes some of us have no option but to go Postal!

Here in Norwich we have2 main suburban model shops.
One specializes in aircraft and helicopters and has little time for anything else, the other is better described as a 'Toy shop'

You want something other than Lego . Balsa or Carbon Fibre......you gotta go elsewhere!
Rex
Title: Re: Bath Model Centre (The Modleller's Den) is closed.
Post by: tobyker on February 14, 2012, 10:24:57 PM
I do try to support my LMS but the problem is that a small shop cannot afford to carry a vast stock and since every modeller wants a different sort of bit he cannot have everything. However I feel that the importers/distributors let the shops down as I always have to wait at least a fortnight for any ordered bit to come in. If I ordered on the net I'd have the bit in 48 hours - or 24 If I rang Dave! I suspect the distributors don't much care if they sell through LMSs or one of the big half dozen or so internet suppliers, and it must cost them to send reps out to the LMSs. I think this is short-sighted, as the LMS does represent modelling to the community, and if the only place you can find model stuff is on the net, modelling will lose its visbility and shrink still further.