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Hobby-Town, Hobby-Lobby et, al,

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: new Braunfels, Texas
Hobby-Town, Hobby-Lobby et, al,
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 9:13 AM

Hi;

     You know I never thought I would say this. I hate the way the Franchise world works. I have had two franchise Business over the years and they both thrived ,with little problems with Warehouses etc.

     Now ,that said,I don't think the corporate entities that sell these franchises have any idea what the customer wants. I believe the marketing folks are about twelve light years out from where they should be .

     Good for instance, Got to speak with the distribution Center for Hobby - Lobby once. They told me that they try to send what they know sells to their locations. If so where are they getting their information? Surely Not from the modelers of Plastic or Rail around here.

   They sell more home decoration chotskies than real stuff. This because of the many Folks ( mostly women I think) who like decorating the house with " Stuff". They do have a good arts and crafts area though. Now Hobby - Town.

     Here's a well known Hobby Franchise operation. I would be screaming at the top of my lungs because of the lax attitude of their suppliers ( Or Warehouses ). Why? Well ya can't make no coin with empty shelves, no matter how expensive some of the stuff is!

   As a franchisee, you are expected to make at least the targeted income, Or they may think You as the Franchisee aren't following the business plan they set you up with! Are they going to blame Corporate ? NOPE! 

    Many a dream is shattered when the marketing plan is wrong for the area. Why? well, here's a fer instance. Say I bought a franchise from "UNCLE PETES MODEL HOUSE "  ( A Fictitious Company). Well first they pick the location, supposedly after much study of foot and car traffic, parking and so forth.

    Well, you have to carry the suggested merchandise to cover this market. OOPS!! The wigs got it wrong! So you struggle with deliveries of stuff you knew really didn't do well in your store. Meanwhile the stuff bringing customers in, you watch get stale or non existant. Why? delayed shipment or " Well,we don't carry that stock anymore" .

    I don't know how many times I told corporate in the Restaurant Franchise, We have Blue laws in Arkansas. We Cannot sell alcholic products on Sunday,PERIOD ! But they still Complained about low beer sales on the weekend!

       Hobby - Town carries ( or did carry ) lots of R.C. stuff. High Dollar stuff that. R.C.Boats though ? Only what they could sell as R.T.R. Could I get a Smit Rotterdam Tug with Fibreglas hull from them ? NOPE. But I could get dozens of Searay wannabes that ran to fast for my source of water. Or the Smaller R.T.Rs that you turned them on and then as they hit the water they were activated. What The Heck? How can you bench test this kind of thing?

   I won't go into planes. I still have my Cox .049 Flying Circus, Still looks great and it is full functioning R.C. now instead of Control-Line. Many are amazed that she still flies. Well, gotta be truthful here. She's had a nassive overhaul some years back. Never try to land on a Pickup hood while the truck is moving toward you.

    Wasn't on purpose though, The control Line broke! Now Armor and Gundam and Plane,and Ship modelers have the same complaint . Hill Country Hobbies has the stuff,( Well,Most of it) But he can't have 40% off like H.L.  Sometimes that's the only way I can even get paint. Shoot, five bottles at H.T the last time was $29.56 !! 

  One more thing then I will go away. Aftermarket is getting harder too. When's the last time you saw Generic rails and ladders for 1/96 scale civilian ships,Much less any of the other scales?

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10:31 AM

Hobby Lobby has a clearance aisle of models that don't sell. I am always finding kits there at 50% to 75% off of their normally high retail price. There are many great deals. They had Tamiya Gama Goats for $7.50 (original price was $49.99 in store).

Another good deal I got was the Revell Spaceship Two & White Knight Two.

https://modelingmadness.com/scott/misc/realspace/revell/04842.htm

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10:55 AM
The reality of 2019 is there are going to be few or no brick and mortar hobby shops that have the resources to waste on stocking items with marginal sales potential. I’ve seen too many hobby shops fail outright from poor decisions on what to stock. Dead inventory leads to the ‘circle of doom’ - old stock gets older, no money comes on for new stock, old stock gets older, store fails. The end. I can tell you one thing - if I was opening a store (not a chance), there wouldn’t be 1/96 civilian ship photo etch in it, waiting years for that magic customer to drop by. There are thousands of items I could turn around way faster and make a better profit off of. And stay open. You can rant about it on the internet, or adapt and continue hobbying. Because internet rants aren’t going to change the business model for hobby shops to survive to one you like.
  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 11:59 AM

Here in Central Oregon, we have a Hobby Lobby and a Michael's for 'crafters' and some (very limited selection) plastic kits, and a small 'LHS' that specializes in R/C. They are mostly four-wheelers but some aircraft, and as for water craft, only speed boats. I can get my Evergreen stock there and a few other things, but outside of that opportunities for kit builders are extremely limited. Around these parts, the availability of kits is pretty much long gone. Internet sales is about the only realistic source, especially for anything special.

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 6:32 PM

Rob Gronovius

Hobby Lobby has a clearance aisle of models that don't sell. I am always finding kits there at 50% to 75% off of their normally high retail price. There are many great deals. They had Tamiya Gama Goats for $7.50 (original price was $49.99 in store).

Another good deal I got was the Revell Spaceship Two & White Knight Two.

https://modelingmadness.com/scott/misc/realspace/revell/04842.htm

 

My Hobby Lobby rearely has clearance kits.

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:18 AM
Mine recently had all those Star Wars kits from the older movies like Last Jedi, Rogue One and Solo (basically everything other than the new Bandai kits) for as little as $6.49. I got one of the gorilla looking AT-AT walkers that Luke faces down for that much. Thought it looked cool.
  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Thursday, October 10, 2019 4:28 AM

Rob Gronovius
Mine recently had all those Star Wars kits from the older movies like Last Jedi, Rogue One and Solo (basically everything other than the new Bandai kits) for as little as $6.49. I got one of the gorilla looking AT-AT walkers that Luke faces down for that much. Thought it looked cool.
 

 

It's a small kit, but a good one. Beware the tiny side guns on the head, though!

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, October 10, 2019 9:59 AM

I think a lot of these kinds of stores let their computers handle what and how much to reorder.  This would work well if their original stock was well selected.  However, if not it doesn't help the hobbyist.

I will say my nearest HL is increasingly carrying new brands.  A lot of Academy and even some Tamiya stuff is appearing.  Maybe this started with the crash of Revell, and made them start looking at other brands.  I now see new Revell kits, but still see the newer Asian stuff there too.  Happy with the situation at HL.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Boise ID area
Posted by modelcrazy on Thursday, October 10, 2019 11:04 AM

I don't have any problem with our HL or HT. The wife wants to go to HL for something, then she can find me in the model isle. I don't expect much and am often suprized with what they have or what's on sale. I'll usually snag some glue, paint or something for my water bases and on ocassion, a kit, with the %40 and walk out happy. Our HT caters mostly to the RC/train croud and I don't have a beef with that. The plastic kit shelf is a little sparce but supplies what they designed it for, the occasional kid who wants to build a model, either traditional or Gundam. If I want some paint or tool I'll take a look to see what they have, otherwise I enjoy talking to the owners or the occasional build-in.

I have been getting my serious fix's from the internet for years and yes, it was me, I take the hit, it's my fault the brick and mortar hobby shops are going out of busnisses.

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Friday, October 11, 2019 6:04 AM
I've only been here in SWFLA for about a year. But I've found two hobby shops, a HL, and Hobbytown USA. The closest if the two shops is good not great. Its family owned has a fairly decent selection but the prices are all over the place. I picked up a 1/72 Hasegawa SAAB Draken dual kit for $30 which I thought was a good price. But then she has a F-16 kit for close to $50. The other shop is a little farther but has everything. Awesome shop when I have the time to get there. The HL is ok. Car selection is great. Plane is so so. USA shop is a joke

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: new Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, October 11, 2019 10:09 AM

MJames70;

    Hi, thanks for the reply. I don't think you got the gist of the remark about P.E. for 1/96. I stated clearly that is was hard to find ANY Generic SHIP P.E. In rails and Ladders in that scale. On the Aftermarket.

    I jave never tried to find P.E. in that scale in a brick and mortar shop.That is where I do get my Automobile P.E.Though.  T.B.

  • Member since
    March 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, October 14, 2019 6:17 PM

Why doesn't HL have a UPC code on anything? The cashier needs to key in a code  number that is on every item in the store. Last week I asked a cashier why they do not have a scanning system. She said that the white shirts think that the current system improves interaction between customer and cashier. HUH???

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