Hurrah for local model shops

Well, almost.
Much is made of internet retailers undercutting local shops but I
visited/phoned a number over the recent holiday and was pleasantly
surprised that all were offering better or very competitive prices
compared to Hattons for Peco code 55 track. Even the more expensive
ones were only slightly more so, meaning that the chance of a browse
was well worth the extra and the effort of getting there.
One who has a shop and a web site did get a bit grumpy when I asked if
his shop prices were the same as the web site. No, was the answer, due
to shop customers getting "personal service" but he still offered to
beat Hattons prices if I came to the shop.
In the end, however, I bought online. Why? Quite simply none of them
seemed to know how to manage stock levels. They were all out of stock
or had insufficient stock of many of the items I wanted.
"Oooh, it's been really busy, it's Christmas, you know" Well, FFS,
they've had 12 months notice of the busiest period of the year so do
they not think to order extra stock?
"Will you have more in a couple of weeks?" asks I. "Oooh, probably a
bit longer, he only comes once a month". Who only comes once a month?
How do Peco supply the retail trade?
IMHO, It's not the internet that's killing local retailers.
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
Loading thread data ...
" snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com" wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@s34g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:
...
OTOH I do prefer to buy from local shops, but quite frankly I'm usually to busy at work to speare the time to drop in so I do end up buying a fair bit via mail order. Yup folks like (say) mainly Trains are the dogs doo-dahs for bits of exotic kit and Rails of Sheffield are the bees knees for a spot of impulse buying of the odd bargin or two (+very good service) but when I can I do buy from the "local corner shop" type affire even if it isn't necessarily my nearest and my policy pays dividends - both to me and the retailer.
For instance I recently bought a shed load of 009 gauge track, pointwork, points moters etc, excepting Hattons no one held stock of the type I wanted in the quantities I required, I approached a "local dealer" who agreed to get the stuff in as a special order, not only did the order get delivered quicker then expected but it was supplied at a price lower than Hattons could offer. Net result, the retailer got the best part of £500 through his till that he wouldn't normally have got and I still made a saving - everyone's happy.
Bottom line, shop around, support the small trader and be prepared to be astonished at (1) the quality of service and (2) prices.
Reply to
Chris Wilson
No, your right, it the customers - those who seem to expect everything to be in stock all the time, won't / can't wait (they never seem to plan ahead either the - I'll be wanting 'X' item(s) in a months time to carry on with project 'Y', best I get it now - sort of thing), they then buy on-line were it's promised as a stock item but delivery will take a week (go figure...), the worst aspect is that customers always think they are right even when it's obvious to all that they are not!
Reply to
Jerry
On 03/01/2007 16:15, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said,
Don't forget that Hattons is a local model shop, if you happen to be in Liverpool. They've just decided to expand their marketplace to grow their business, rather than burying their heads in the sand and complaining about being undercut.
Is a month here or there really a problem? This is a hobby, y'know! You can't expect a local shop for local people (hang on!!) to stock everything you could possibly want in the larger quantities you apparently want. If you know you will need this stuff, order it from your shop and wait! Just today I placed an order for a model railway kit, and was told it would likely to be the end of the month before I got it. Fine.
I agree that some shops' attitudes could be better. If a shop really wants your business, then they do need to be a bit less vague about ordering stuff in for you if they also want to complain about being undercut by internet retailers. A lot of them need to realise that these days people's expectations are higher, and they need to adjust their business practises accordingly if they want to survive.
Reply to
Paul Boyd
Exactly. Hattons website design, live inventory system and online buying experience have seen great improvements over the past few years, thanks in part to Development Manager Richard Davies. Some posters may remember back in 2002 when Richard, working as an IT consultant for Hattons, made quite a few posts to this group generating feedback on his ideas for the website.
Hattons are very efficient at filling overseas orders; I'm certain there are equally good dealers who concentrate mainly on the UK market.
formatting link
formatting link
Reply to
MartinS
wrote
Many items sell only in very small quantities, and yet occasionally short-term demand for a specific item can exceed sales for the past ten years. Under those circumstances it can be difficult to maintain stock levels.
Also bear in mind that seasonal demands [1] can upset the best of stock control methods, and with some manufacturers having extended breaks over the Christmas & New Year period, restocking can sometimes be impossible for some time.
[1] Items which sell in copious quantities one Christmas may not sell at all the following year, and believe me keeping everything in stock all the time would require the assistance of an efficiently working crystal ball, or an unlimited bank balance.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
only in very small quantities, and yet occasionally
Yes I understand all that and contrary to what Jerry thinks, I do not consider myself to be always right. I realise things can go out of stock, sometimes unexpectedly (the Delia Smith effect), but surely track is something that everyone needs and could be stocked in reasonable amount with little financial risk. I realise not everyone uses code 55 but it's not like trying to judge future demand for the new class XX in XYZ livery.
Passing trade and impulse buys are just as important as specific orders. In this case I knew exactly what I wanted and couldn't be tempted into buying something else. Often I'll just go to browse and buy something I hadn't even considered having a need for.
I estimate that not one of the three shops I visited in person had more than =A3100 of code 55 (excluding flexitrack) in stock. I wasn't after large amounts, just a full box of flexi-track and a selection of turnouts, crossings and slips to try out a few track formations. When the real layout starts it will be a much larger quantity and I'll consider a special order but if it means waiting a month or more until they have the stock then it will probably be an on-line purchase.
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
wrote
Code 55 is not a good seller, but my stock levels must be a minimum of 10 times what the three shops you visited carry, and Peco can generally fulfill any order from one of their accounts in under a week.
If you're looking for a large amount then give us a shout.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
wrote
Great if you have a popular shop all year around and can pay the bills come the deadlines, if the cash flow has just not come in, then you can't buy any new stock... Think this may be a catch 22 situation.
I would guess they are refering to the "Company Rep" as I used to deal with when I was a customer to Peco... (Although we did supply orders as normal etc) If it was like another model company we were supplied with, you could pay "cash in hand" for the stock in the car/van when the rep comes, rather than having to pay upfront with a minimum quantity order IF your finances were not that great (See point above)
Peco are plain silly of late. A newish shop opened up in my local town recently, he had the money to spend around £10,000 with them from the off, but they said they would not supply him as they already had an account on the same street !!! (Who it appears the paying public do not want to go to because of an "Attitude" I understand) which I find really laughable, as just over 6 years ago, I worked in a model shop on the same street (now closed due to retirement -not mine I hasten to add) in the same town opposite this new shop, and guess what, !!! They used to supply 3 of us then ! No questions asked... Your correct, it is not the internet all the time !!!
Reply to
Andy Sollis CVMRD
Model railways are are only a sideline for the average model shop. Most of their business comes from selling radio control toys and the like.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
Customers can have "attitude" too, and suppliers. In fact, if it wasn't for customers and suppliers, retailing would be a pleasant job :o)
(kim)
Reply to
kim
"kim" wrote
LOL - I can endorse that, but can also add that 95% of customers are a pleasure to deal with.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
This situation has come up before.
Is it legal for PECO to refuse to supply a fully legit business?
I can understand a company not wishing to supply a new shop on credit terms, but if there's cash up front, that's not an issue.
PECO aren't running a franchise business, where there is a protected area.
I remember one online retailer not being able to sell PECO stuff because he didn't have retail premises, and I think continental specialists WINCO also had a situation with PECO over the metre gauge trackwork they wished to sell. IIRC they asked customers to contact PECO to ask for a change of heart.
It all seems a bit iffy to me. Has any shop taken this sort of situation to the lawyers before?
Reply to
usenet
ewsreaderm2.core.theplanet.net...
These weren't average model shops. OK, one was a toy shop with a good MR range, not just train sets but the other two that I visited and the one I 'phoned are specialist MR retailers.
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
"usenet" wrote
I believe that any manufacturer can supply whoever they choose.
Peco have the philosophy that it is better to have just one account in any area and that this encourages that account to carry a wider range of their products.
On the other hand Hornmby will put stock into virtually any retail shop willing to carry it, and this (in my opinion) devalues the product range and helps create a situation of over-supply, and neglible profit for the stockists.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I would have thought that this would have come against the anti-competition rules?
Well that's obviously good for them, but not so good for the customer if their local dealer favoured by PECO is not good to deal with for whatever reason.
And that's a very valid point John. No profit, no dealer.
As a customer I would rather spend money with a local model shop who is pleasant and able to help/advise me than a box shifter. However, as we already know, not everyone has a model shop near them (my one is 64 miles away!). Luckily that shop can often match the online dealers for prices, and if there is anything wrong I can take it back at some stage.
Reply to
usenet
meThis situation has come up before.
Yes. Just as it's legal for a retail business to refuse to sell to you or I.
There is EU legislation on restraint of trade. There are other exemptions besides franchise, such as exclusive distribution agreements.
The five basic elements are:
- Resale price maintenance: A supplier is not allowed to fix the price at which distributors can resell his products. - Restrictions concerning the territory into which, or the customers to whom, the buyer may sell: Distributors must remain free to decide where and to whom they sell. While the Regulation contains exceptions to this rule, passive sales, i.e. sales in response to unsolicited orders, must always remain free. - Selective distribution: Appointed distributors cannot be restricted in the end users to whom they may sell. - Selective distribution: Appointed distributors must remain free to sell to or to purchase from other appointed distributors within the network. - Spare parts: An agreement may not prevent or restrict sales by the manufacturer of the spare parts to end users, independent repairers or service providers.
So, Peco can freely choose to whom they sell, but cannot place restrictions on subsequent re-sale.
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
Thanks for that.
Is it because PECO are a manufacturer and distributor then?
If PECO sold stuff to a wholesaler like AB Gee, then anyone with a trade account could buy off the wholesaler and PECO would have to whistle?
But am I right in thinking PECO only supply shops direct?
I can understand manufacturers, especially British-based ones wanting to protect their market, but PECO seem to be a very dominant position, by not only making and selling their own stuff, but by distributing other companies's wares. And then adding to the equation by owning the biggest selling UK railway modelling magazine.
I also rarely see any variation in prices between shops on PECO produced or distributed products, other than the occasional get 5% off offers if you buy two or more Wills/Ratio kits by one or two retailers.
On the surface it does seem a bit odd to me.
Reply to
usenet

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.