My LHS has been Sold

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Chessie1973, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Well Clinchcross Model Trains in Fletcher,NC has been sold and the current owner's last day will be next Saturday.

    I went today with my mother to say our goodbyes to the owner as well as see what he had left. I picked up a 4 car set of B&O streamliners and the stores Atlas SD-35 in CSX paint that has run on the layout since I have been going there as well as my first ever resin kit (man that thing looks complicated)

    The owner still plans to be in business but the cost of overhead to operate his store is just too high compared to the profits that he is making , the fact he has to drive for over an hour to get to his store is a major factor.

    I have had many good times talking with the owner and horse trading with him as well as learning about the current state of Model Railroading and what a "Real " Model train is compared to a "Toy" Train.

    He has already sold the store layout. I will sorta miss seeing my many weathered cars I traded to the owner over the past months running on that little dogbone of track in that small shop and all the great little things he would get in that you just cant seem to find anymore.

    I had many firsts in my Model railroad thanks to Clinchcross, and I am thankful for all the help and support he gave as I no doubt contributed to his profit regularly with my purchases as they went from blus bow locos up to my current Atlas, Stewart, IHC and P2K roster over the past year or so.

    If he does as he is thinking he will do he will begin following the Train show circuit and selling via email orders as well so I have not lost him totally, but I will miss the little shop in Smiley's Flea Market even though you couldn't cuss a cat in there if more than 5 or 6 customers came in.

    He says that the new owner will be reopening the shop a short distance from it's current location. I hope that the new store will be as friendly as Clinchcross has been. The only other model train shop in the area is owned by people who could care less about the trains, they are concerned more about the RC items and the guns they sell.

    Here is to yet another "Fallen Flag" Train shop. Clicncross Model trains, a nice friendly store that always seemed to have the unique items you never thought you would need and was always friendly and willing to just sit and gab about trains.

    Wes, I wish you luck no matter what you finally decide to do with Clinchcross and I hope she will stay alive.
  2. SKMoss

    SKMoss New Member


    I feel for you. I have an emotional tie to my LHS. They are the folks that helped me get started. Sold me my first engines, and where I used to go every couple of days, just to say hello.

    In the last couple of months I've lost one LHS (Reed's Hobby Shop, Escondido CA) that was solely model trains, and have heard a second (trains and tourist gift shop) is about to do away with the trains. Or at least get rid of the layout in the front window and pair down the amount of store dedicated to trains.

    As much as I hate to see this, it makes sense that it's happening. It's also going to put a crimp on the hobby. First how many people here have gone to the LHS, figured out what they want to buy, then gone to EBay or the internet in general to save a ton of money on the purchase? This is going to drive a lot of pure brick and morter train shops out of business.

    It's bad for the hobby in that, the personal touch modellers get is going to be gone. I want to run my engine purchases before I plunk down a wad of cash. I want to chat about the hobby with live folks. What's worse is the effect on new people. We loose a lot of opportunity to pick up folks in the hobby. I know, I got into MRR as a result of walking by a layout in a LHS. My kids went wow, that's the start. How much chance of a dad and his kids, stumbling across an internet store front, and the kids going "Wow!"

    Steve Moss
  3. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Chessie - That's bad Karma all around :( :( Change may or may not be good.. But Just hope that the new owners don't get caught up in that RC & "Other Hobbies" stuff.

    We have 1 specialty store for MRRing here & I'm so glad!!!! We have 7 generic "All Hobby" stores - I only visit When my guy is out of something, I cant live without ! :( :(

    Give you an idea... My LHS sees me at least once a month.. I've been to the generics 2 times in 5 years :) You can see where my loyalties lie. :) It's the attitude & service - then price for me :) Best of luck & let us know what happens.....
  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Reminds me of the Cheer's son, "I wanna go where everybody knows my name". That's where I go, I even help the owner sell stuff for free some Saturdays. I would cry for a month if anything ever happened to him. I feel for ya. Fred
  5. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    That`s a real bummer :(
    Not many true Model rail shops can survive these days, My own rail view does well but he retired and invested in his shop .
    Hope you find a new home Chessie
  6. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Yeah, I go to this shop every week sometimes twice a week to look around and see what I can find that I may need or want for my layout.

    I usually put things like Loco's on layaway for a couple paychecks and get them within a month.

    Wes was great at customer service and was always willing to horse trade with you. I lost count of the number of times I have gone to Clinchcross with a box full of old rolling stock or unused thinsg and gone home with exactly what I was looking for plus about 10 other things I didn't know I wanted.

    I really wanted to try and get the layout in the store. but someone beat me to it. It wasn't the greatest in the world but I had at least 4 of my weathered rolling stock run on that track for months after I traded it to him because he liked my weathering so much. At least I got the Atlas Loco he ran on it all the time.

    The only other hobby shop in the area is an RC and Garden/Lionel Shop first and a gun shop second. The guys attitude is I make more money selling guns than selling toys. Which is annoying since i havent seen any new HO or N scale stuff in months there.

    Hoefully the new owner will be a true modeller and not an RC type person who carries trains to call himself a hobby shop.

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