LHS closing

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by cidchase, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    I hate to see it go, but the Hobbyland store in Bartlett, TN is closing
    its doors as of April 10. They still have the two stores in IN and
    the mail-order, but, according to what the man told me, the store just
    never made enough to show a profit even though business seemed
    at a good level. Apparently there was a high debt load from the
    startup. It was a good store with knowledgeable folks.
  2. Livesteam

    Livesteam Member

    Did they carry any RC too? I know since a buddy of mine owns a shop that it is very hard to make money, he has a RC track at the shop and that is what kept it going, it has been opened at least 20 years with 4 diffrent owners,
  3. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    That's a real shame Cid. Mail order is great, but nothing compares to fondling the stuff you want to buy first and talking to real live people who know their stuff.

    :cry: :cry: :cry:

  4. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    That's kind of the gap that The gauge takes care of.. You Can Mail order things, or e-bay buy them.... and talk to the other members of The gauge.... But it's not the same :( :(
    I still like "Seeing people face-to-face" and I love "windoe shopping"

    Most times you cant truly visualize how things look - from pics on the net :( :( :(

    That is a shame, soon there will hardly be any shops around. It's getting to be that all we need is convience stores, department stores, barbers and food stores... everything else we can have "mailed to us" :( :(

    ~~~~ And then they wonder why our kids (and some of us) are overweight :( :( :( "Johnny can't read, or interact with people, but his video gaming skills are fantastic!!!!! :(
  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    ........and around here, there's "peapod" which lets you order your groceries on line, and they are delivered fresh to your door!

    The biggest obtsacle to the LHS, is the "I-want-it-now-and-I-want-it-cheap".
    The service your hobby shop provides when the product malfunctions (for whatever reason) doesn't seem to be needed, until that internet purchase arrives broken! ( or "the guy on Ebay" rips you off)

    (Destination Hobby Center, Libertyville, Il )
  6. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    It's tough for these LHS to make money or if they do, then the owners get old and want to retire. I sure miss one that closed down here a couple of years ago.
  7. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    I LOVE IT!!!! That's an excellant opinion!!!! :D :D :D

    That's the greatest risk to shipping "in General" (one's as bad as another sometimes) -- But you still have to wait for the shipment to arrive... We have this "Need it Now" attitude, and if the LHS can't stock it (For whatever reason) we go on the net :( :( :( But the other problem with that is, It usually is cheaper.. and no tax either (Usually) :(
  8. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Lucky for me I have several good shops close to me, one of which is strictly a train shop (and it specializes in O/O27 and S). I buy a lot of my trains from that store, but I buy a lot of raw materials (basswood, styrene, metal, paint) from the others. I think R/C and crafts do more than anything to keep the others going. The trains are there but I don't see people buying them all that often.

    Going to the shop that specializes in trains is a nice way to unwind, even if I only end up buying a few bucks worth of stuff. I've helped a few people there when the owner was tied up helping other customers, so I hope he doesn't mind my loitering. He doesn't seem to. I hope if he decides to retire, someone steps up to the plate and buys the shop instead of it closing.

    Ebay makes it tough, but I know one way to survive. One of my best buddies worked in a camera shop for years. Toward the end, the owner made more money selling on Ebay than he did from walk-in sales. He kept a laptop on the counter and worked his Ebay sales when customers weren't around. It wasn't lack of business that did him in, it was a robbery. The crooks stole all his used merchandise and then the insurance company dragged its feet in paying and found an out, so he ended up closing due to lack of anything to sell.

    But he certainly made me think it's possible to make Ebay work for you as much as it works against you.
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    There is no business that can make it if they don't cater to their customers needs. I'm sure Pete can confirm that. After walking out of a store several times in a row, empty-handed, one has a tendency to go elsewhere. Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the USA, yet we lack decent hobby shops, so around here, if we were to lose a good one, it would be a shame.

    The closest shop to me is almost ten miles away. It's a big store with arts and crafts, RC cars and planes and one small corner for us train people. They have little interest in anything but RC cars it seems, and from my experiences, not willing to spend time with us. We have two decent train shops, the best one is almost 50 miles away from me. Unfortunately, they like cats, and let them have the run of the store. You might find one sleeping on top of something that you wanted to look at, so you walk away. One day I went in and had to leave immediately since it seems as if they hadn't changed the litter box in quite some time and I nearly lost my lunch. I would have said something, but they seem to be constantly on the phone. It's hard to say whether I'd miss either of these shops if they closed, and that's a pity on their part.
  10. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    wow, maybe I don't feel so bad about my LHS anymore. They too, are mostly an R/C shop - but they carry enough train stuff for me to get the few odds and ends I need for a scratchbuilding project. I model HOn3, so of course they do nothing to provide the "trains" themselves, but I have walked out of there with cork roadbed, scale lumber, paint, and that sort of thing. The closest store to me that caters to trains only is about an hour away. Driving there aint so bad but paying for the gas these days is more than the cost of shipping on a mail-order.

    reading ezdays post made me remember the years I lived in phoenix. there were 2-3 good train stores, one was open inconvenient hours, the others were at least a 30 minute drive away. Back then the dread was fighting traffic...

  11. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Probably still the same 2 or 3 stores. the one in Mesa is the one with the cats and is an hour drive away anyway. The one down on Indian School Rd. is small and crowded and doesn't seem to have anything new. Just try to find anything N scale there, I dare you. :rolleyes: Oh, that's right, he has two or three four-foot shelves for N, the rest of the store is HO.:oops:

    No, unfortunately, I do most of my shopping with places like Trainword, Rio Grande Hobbies and Wathers where I can still pick up a phone and talk with someone. I have yet to buy anything on eBay, and I'm not sure I ever will either. If I get desperate or need something like paint or some styrene shapes, I still know where I can get it locally.
  12. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    I am very lucky to have an excellent trains-only shop a half hour drive away. They carry an extensive selection of O, HO and N, plus all the styrene sheets, strip wood, tools, brass wire and formed shapes, track, turnouts, detail parts, books, videos, kits by Walthers, DPM, City Classics etc. etc. etc. Lots of lokies and rolling stock, a brass cabinet, DCC test track, DC test track and a staff that is very knowledgeable and friendly. :)

    There is always someone to talk to as they always have 3 or 4 staff on hand. Like I said, I am very lucky.

    There used to be a smaller hobby shop near me, that was handy for stuff you need right this minute. Again, the owner was very friendly and a great source of information. He even helped me draw up my first track plan! :) :) Unfortunately he ran into financial problems and for the last year of operation there was never any new stock.

    I had offered to create a website for the him, in exchange for being able to buy at wholesale prices. A deal for me, and a steal for him - it would have cost him nothing! He said he didn't need one - he preferred to deal with real people.

    Now, I wondered, why is this an either/or situation? Surely you can set up a website and still deal with people one to one in the store. Both successful hobby shops in this area have websites in addition to their storefront. I think this is a reality that hobby shops have to face. If you can't beat 'em -- join 'em. Isn't that how that old adage goes.

    I was really sad to see that store close. But I could see it coming. In business you have to keep up with the competition. If you don't, they'll leave you behind.

  13. nachoman

    nachoman Guest


    if you are on the west side, the shop at I-17 and bethany home is great and has plenty of n scale. The store at the mccormic park in scottsdale used to be pretty good, but the owner got forced out because management wanted a place that would be open on the weekends, when the park is busy. I think it's Roys at mccormick park now, and it's still a fun place to go in and browse. My nephews love that park, and we try and take them there for the sunday concerts in the summer.


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