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Author Topic: The sad decline of the model shop  (Read 59184 times)

sheerline

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Re: One less Model Shop
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2007, 11:00:16 AM »

I am afraid the younger generation are dissapearing from the model scene at a rapid rate of knots and apart from a few, encouraged by interested and enthusiastic parents, the model scene is full of grey haired old blokes who still retain that magic ingredient 'fascination'. There is a distinct lack of fascination by youngsters since they appear to have everything given to them on a plate like ready to run stuff straight out of boxes from the far east. This instant gratification leads to a lack of inquisitiveness and consequent understanding of what makes things tick and how they are made. They just get it out of the box , play with it and chuck it away when it goes wrong( they can't get the spares anyway).

I went to the model engineer exhibition a couple of years ago and found NO youngsters there.. it was all middle aged blokes and upwards and as we are a dying breed, the sales of real models and their associated bits and pieces will dwindle and hence the lack of sales and inevitable traditional model shop closures. The knock on effect of this of course is that the engineering companies who supply the shops will also eventually die because the demand has gone, coupled with the competition from far eastern prices. Sad to say, but it's a changing world and our future generation of youngsters are the ones who will suffer.
From my own standpoint, if any youngster expresses an interest in my sub, I will make a point of taking it out of the water, removing the top and explain it all to him/her in the most simple but interesting terms which I feel they would understand. They even get to have a go if I think it appropriate.
We all have a responsibility here and if we want to encourage future modellers, we really have got to get the youngsters going.
The important thing to remember here is how YOU felt as a kid and how someone somewhere got you interested in something.. try to do the same for these kids as they are disadvantaged by the dumbed down society we live in these days... they ARE the future of our hobby.

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surabaya

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Another shop closing
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2008, 12:02:28 AM »

Hi, I drive lgv`s for a living which means I can get about and visit model shops all around.
Today I was in Harlow and took the chance to call in at Essex models. One of the few left in Essex that caters for boats.
I just love to look around and pick up the odd bits, and hope to buy a new boat.
I don`t think you can beat the hands on type of shop, beats on-line any day.
Today`s visit was good until the owner, a very nice guy and helpful, told me that he was closing up in march due to lack of customers and the internet.
I feel it is a shame and a loss to our hobby, because we lose not only a shop, but also the joy of looking at what we are buying, and the free library of info from the owner. Not to mention the advertising of our hobby to everyone who passes.
I often see young lads looking and saying, "wow, look at that one". They are the future of boat models.
Maybe we should think twice before hitting the computer, before they all close, then the only newcomers will be those who notice the couple of mags or see one of the meetings(mostly attended by those already into boats).
No offense intended to those who sell by computer,I sometimes buy on-line too, but add the postage and the price is not so cheap and no newbies means no new sales, on-line or other.
Just my thoughts. I felt bad for the owner and for us. He say`s he has been in business more than 15 years.
Maybe you all think differently, just needed to get it out of my system.
Now you can hit back :(
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Bee

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2008, 01:05:04 AM »

Since you mention LGV the obvious thing is a mobile shop. Would it be viable. A model shop must do most trade on a Saturday except for the few working near enough to get to it on a weekday in their lunch break, and does any one town have enough modelers to support a specialist.
But a mobile shop could do different places morning and afternoon if customers knew the schedule, and with Sunday shopping that's 4 towns instead of one.
To further save costs if the shop is in an artic trailer it could be parked in a 5th town in the week and only use the expensive tractor bit at weekends when most lorries are off - hence discounted hire cost.
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tigertiger

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2008, 02:59:17 AM »

The sad thing is that with every change there are winners and losers.

The winners are those who adapt and survive.

In the model boat business I think the winners are those who sell online as well as having the 'bricks and mortar' outlet. There are barriers to trading on line. The biggest one is the people lacking the courage to take the jump.
Yes you do need internet 'savvy', but there is lots of advice and guidance out there. 'Savoir' can be learnt.
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2772e

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2008, 08:36:52 AM »

I have been visiting Brian the boat in Harlow now for a couple of years. He was desperately trying to sell the business last year! :'(

I think the main reason is rents just keep going up and the competitiveness of the internet gets stronger.

He does not have a website but does advertise quite heavily.

The old school model shops are moving away from boat bits and concentrating on all the RTR cars and like. Plastic rubbish.

There are a few though that are starting to specialise in boat bits.

There is an excellent model shop in Hornchurch with great owners, tea and coffee and donaughts on Saturday. Well worth a visit :D
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barryfoote

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2008, 09:23:11 AM »

Hi, I drive lgv`s for a living which means I can get about and visit model shops all around.
Today I was in Harlow and took the chance to call in at Essex models. One of the few left in Essex that caters for boats.
I just love to look around and pick up the odd bits, and hope to buy a new boat.
I don`t think you can beat the hands on type of shop, beats on-line any day.
Today`s visit was good until the owner, a very nice guy and helpful, told me that he was closing up in march due to lack of customers and the internet.
I feel it is a shame and a loss to our hobby, because we lose not only a shop, but also the joy of looking at what we are buying, and the free library of info from the owner. Not to mention the advertising of our hobby to everyone who passes.
I often see young lads looking and saying, "wow, look at that one". They are the future of boat models.
Maybe we should think twice before hitting the computer, before they all close, then the only newcomers will be those who notice the couple of mags or see one of the meetings(mostly attended by those already into boats).
No offense intended to those who sell by computer,I sometimes buy on-line too, but add the postage and the price is not so cheap and no newbies means no new sales, on-line or other.
Just my thoughts. I felt bad for the owner and for us. He say`s he has been in business more than 15 years.
Maybe you all think differently, just needed to get it out of my system.
Now you can hit back :(

You are absolutely right. The diminishing number of shops has to lead to less people taking up the hobby. Gone will be the days when the mother walks past the Essex model shop with little Jonny and in the pop to buy him his birthday or Christmas present.  She will never even look for model boats on the Internet. I am afraid that the long term future does look bleak.
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2008, 09:24:42 AM »

Unfortunately in our modern society everyone buys the cheapest option rather than supporting a local business. We can't even get people in the UK to buy British products and consequently more and more of our traditional manufacturing industries have gone to the wall.

I have been convinced for a while now that the High Street is doomed as more and more of us prefer to order more and more of our purchases through our computers because it is cheaper.  It is very sad to me but simply an indication of the very selfish society we have now created.  I consider myself to be lucky to have a very good model shop in my home town and I always buy my materials from them but they are slowly loosing trade to the people who want the cheapest pot of paint without having to get off thier rear to go and get it.


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surabaya

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2008, 11:58:37 AM »

Tigertiger "The sad thing is that with every change there are winners and losers"

Sorry, I don`t agree. As all the shops dissappear, so do the new customers, especialy those that see it in the window and think "I`d like to try that". The only ones who look at internet boat model shops are boat modelers, and less modelers means less trade,including internet, then they close too.
The less support for the hobby, the less modelers.
Everyone loses.
For a hobby to grow, it needs to create interest with newcomers.
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djrobbo

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2008, 12:17:29 PM »

This is echoing my post from a month or so ago.... i know brian the boat is closing down and a bloody shame it is too , he had a wealth of goodies in his shop including weaponry , winches , fittings of all discriptions etc...etc .As i said before when you use the internet you can't see or feel what you are buying , therefore you don't know how good the quality is , is it really the right size for your needs , etc,,etc . I have not tried the shop in hornchurch yet as it is not exactly just round the corner and time has prevented me from paying a visit.
          I am indeed fully aware of the reasons some shops close down rent...rates...lack of customers , etc  , but it is still a bitter pill to swallow , watching the demise of our hobby and indeed the demise of a way of life (i.e the local model shop) that i have enjoyed since the 50's.

         It seems at the moment that the only way to be able to use a local model shop ( of which there are quite a few in my locality ) is to change to cars or planes or helicopters and forget about boats , and i'll be dammed if i am going o do that.

         My advice is to support your local model shop and only buy online the items you cant get from the shop .

     CONFUCIOUS HE SAY;  USE IT OR LOSE IT.
     
         regards all......bob.
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DickyD

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2008, 12:20:07 PM »

Its a pity more model shops don't follow the lead of companies such as Westbournes and sell on the internet and through their shop.
Being disabled I do most of my model shopping on the internet, but I do occasionally trek down to Westbournes for a nose and a chat, just wish they were nearer home.
Southampton being renown for its docks does not have one model shop that deals in boats and the one that we do have doesn't even sell paint. 
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elmo

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2008, 12:43:30 PM »

On the other hand, I'm in the process of writing a huge 'A4' length email to a model railway forum complaining about my teatment by a local model retailer (in Stockton-on-Tees!) who have supplied my radio control bits and pieces in the past too, but who in my view have completely overstepped the mark with the non-supply of a pre-ordered limited edition item (for which I received their automated email confirming it was in stock in store awaiting my collection!)  >>:-(

Sad to say, but I have subsequently cancelled my other pre-orders I had with them and I won't use them again regardless of what I require.... Once the trust is broken in such a way, regardless of past service (sorry Simon - it was not your fault mate!  :-\ ) I will just order the stuff I need on-line now. Fortunately, but only because I acted extremely quickly, I was able to obtain the item I required from Hattons of Liverpool (albeit for 5.00 more than I was originally intending to pay) but a couple of hours later, they were gone even from that huge store and now, a couple of weeks later they are going on FleaBay for twice the price already....!! I really hate to think what the price will be in a month, or maybe a year from now!!  >:(
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Jonty

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2008, 08:05:17 PM »

  Bee's idea might just work. Anyone who has lived in rural France will be familiar with the mobile tool shops that visit many areas. La Poste distributes their brochures a week or so in advance, and then they park up for half a day in small towns and even villages.

  A real service and, I imagine, a profitable business. The key is the publicity, letting people know what you have, and where you will be and when.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2008, 08:45:57 PM »

The basic problem is that as a proportion of the overall population, Boat Modellers don't even register these days. The only way you can develop a decent customer base is via the Internet as Dicky D rightly implies. Yes it's a shame, but modelling just isn't popular enough to attract sufficient passing trade to sustain a decent retail outlet. Mail order and/or Internet sales are essential.

And yes, I accept that the lack of high street (or more likely side street) presence means less exposure to new potential modellers and in particular the younger generation. The only real way to at least partially plug that particular gap is through the commercial model shows and from people seeing models in action through club events. Although boat modelling may be very much a minority interest it is still far from extinct and may even experience a small renaissance as the 60 somethings retire and have more time to devote to the hobby (at least until they fall off the perch anyway!)
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grasshopper

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2008, 10:43:51 PM »

I like to feel that I have a close rapport with our local model shop owner and his staff - 95% of my modelling bits are bought from him. The other 5% being from other model shops that I might come across on my travels - and buy just because it's there and I happen to be able to afford it at that time ( I don't use credit for modelling - I always save up and pay cash.)

There are many that come to his shop, touch, feel and discuss a particular item then go home and order it on-line to save a few pennies!

Our local chap is reasonable in that he gives all local registered club modellers a 10% discount on products bought, yet one of the most common things I hear from my fellow local modellers is how cheaply they can get whatever from fleabay, the internet in general or other mailorder stores and they get it next day - admittedly sometimes you might have to wait a week for something ordered but I still am patient enough to wait, after all it's a hobby and not that urgent. It would be a shame if our local shop closes due to lack of support - but eventually I'm sure it will - so many are more concerned about saving money - I wonder where they'll go then to chat and play with stuff before they buy it?

 
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2008, 10:46:27 PM »

Quote
I wonder where they'll go then to chat and play with stuff before they buy it.

Look no further....
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Roger in France

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2008, 06:57:23 AM »

Re: a mobile shop.

JONTY, sorry to disillusion you but all is not well with the French itinerant hardware lorry. In my part of France that service has ceased. As you say, it was an amazing convenience. The catalogue arrived via the postman (the delivery of vast amounts of "publicite" once each week via the postman is another feature of French life) , you could then take the chance that what you wanted was on the lorry when it arrived or you could order by telephone or post and the goods would be on the lorry a week or 14 days later.

However, to compete with the hypermarkets they started offering ever cheaper and shoddier goods and even then could no longer compete.

Yes, it is true that most of the public want to buy cheaply and many of them have neither an appreciation of good quality or any sense of long term loyalty which allows a small trader to survive. However, the fat cats who own vast supermarket chains happily pander to the worst instincts of the public, using their vast purchasing power to demand low cost products from manufacturers and (between them) they allow quality to be depressed. Hypermarkets also have very sophisticated stock control systems which cease to order items which do not sell in large quantities.

Fortunately, their is still a very high level of service in many smaller businesses in France but how long that will continue is anyones guess. For example I recently bought a heavy dresser (a "buffet" in French), it was delivered 2 days after the purchase, the delivery men set it in place (well, several places until SWMBO was satisfied) then they produced tiny plastic wedges to ensure it was level; they then adjusted the doors on their hinges; then it was polished. They would not accept a tip but a cup of coffee was shared and a few minutes of pleasent conversation ensued.

Roger in France.
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Jonty

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2008, 01:48:00 PM »

  Sorry to hear that, Roger. It's four years since I was living in France. Can't wait to get back - lorries or no lorries.
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steve*mac

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Re: Another shop closing
« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2008, 05:11:22 PM »

The nearest shop to me is the Dockyard Model Shop in Chatham, Kent. I do this for a few reasons, I know the owner very well and appreciate he's there six days a week running it on his own, if its not in stock he does his best to get it.

What he's seeing at the moment is members of the local clubs, including the one thats sails at the Dockyard itself a few hundred yards away, is people trying to save a few quid on a kit by buying it on the net and then coming to the shop for the odd fitting, a tin of paint or some advice on their new kit..

Ok so everyone wants to spend wisely but I find it hard to believe that if your spending 195 on a kit from the net then 199 would have broken the bank by buying from the shop.

as already said Use it or Lose it!!
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radiojoe

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The decline of the model shop
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2014, 05:20:11 PM »

I heard shop owners complaining about online shopping ruining their business, and I as a modeller try to use model shops when I can, lets face it there aren't many left, there's one in Gosport that's OK if you are into planes or trains but not much else, well I need some 1/4"x 1/4" balsa and ramin and 6 tiller arms for 3mm stocks, so as I was in Portsmouth attending a SWA exhibition I thought I would visit the Fratton Model Centre to buy said items, they must have them right,, wrong,, they had just 3 tiller arms 4mm. that was their entire stock, so I checked the wood rack, you guessed it no 1/4" balsa and no 1/4" ramin in fact the guy didn't even know what ramin was when I told him hardwood he just said we're having trouble getting those items, what part of "if you don't stock it you wont sell it" don't they understand, and to say he could not have cared less would be somewhat of an understatement, no wonder they are in decline, I for one will be shopping on line from now on. <*<  well that's my rant for the day I feel better now and I'll make my own tiller arms,  Joe.   
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Colin Bishop

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Re: The decline of the model shop
« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2014, 05:28:01 PM »

The reason they are in decline is that there simply are not enough customers to justify keeping comprehensive stock levels. They are businesses and probably rely on high ticket items and mail order to get by. You can't make a living anymore out of stocking balsa and ramin in the hope that somebody will come in and buy it on a regular basis. Scratch building is approaching extinction and most boat modellers either buy kits or simply ready made models on Ebay. No demand, no stock. The only way to make a profit on these sort of items is via inline selling.

Model shops used to depend on there being enough kids in the vicinity who were into modelling to guarantee a good turnover of stock. That simply doesn't happen anymore.

Colin
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unbuiltnautilus

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Re: The decline of the model shop
« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2014, 06:00:34 PM »

Well I make it a rule not to get involved in this sort of character assassination these days but I feel I need to respond.

yes, we are having a hard time of it at the moment, like a large number of retailers I know, but we are doing the best in a difficult economic climate. Portsmouth is not a wealthy city and money is tight with alot of our customers. This is reflected in weekly takings and, yes, stock levels.
As for tiller arms, I have just checked the stock level which is as follows;
10 off 3/16" Single Steering Arm F-LA300/316 Logic RC
8 off 4mm Double Steering Arm F-LA310/008 Logic RC
5 off 3/16" Double Tiller Arm 5511700 J Perkins Distribution.
You requested 3mm Tiller Arms, which as far as I am aware are only available from Graupner as a Tee Tiller. Graupner is currently very difficult to obtain as any model shop will tell you.

I questioned the Ramin comment, as this is usually only available from the big warehouse DIY stores, not model shops. We prefer better quality wood to this.

I take offence at the statement that I couldn't care less. I certainly do care, and will continue to do so until you lot grind me down to nothing.  long way to go yet though.
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triumphjon

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Re: The decline of the model shop
« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2014, 06:54:59 PM »

local shops can only try to stock what we require , i use my local shop whenever i can , very often im there when a customer will visit with a problem due to something they have purchased " cheaper online "  who often want the local shop to sort out for them ! there are four very reasonable shops within the portsmouth / fareham / gosport areas , think yourself lucky

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html

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Re: The decline of the model shop
« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2014, 08:01:51 PM »

I would love a model shop near where I live, I hate paying the crooks at the Post Office for postage, and poor service when I purchase items online. I can honestly say I do not know of a model shop in NE London.
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Bob K

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Re: The decline of the model shop
« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2014, 08:22:19 PM »

I am lucky, having a model shop less than a mile from where I live in Windsor.  I try to support them as much as possible, and very handy for all those materials and bits when I run out.  They are also an online retailer and I suspect that their online business is a major factor for them, which is good for me whenever I need to pop in there whilst building.

I cannot help but notice that the average age in model boat clubs seems to advance by 12 months each year.
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Stavros

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Re: The decline of the model shop
« Reply #49 on: June 14, 2014, 08:23:08 PM »

Same Here html....if I want a model shop I haev to travel 50odd miles to one so sorry BE THANKFUL you have one close to you
 
Dave
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