Financial Woes Continue

Discuss Hornby Model Railway products and related topics here. This includes (Lima, Rivarossi, Jouef, Electrotren).
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luckymucklebackit
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Financial Woes Continue

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:33 pm

Still a bit of a struggle for Hornby by the looks of things

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/04/03/hornby-forced-seek-lender-reprieve-profits-sales-drop/

Hope they survive long enough to get the J36 released. :wink:

Jim
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6C
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby 6C » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:55 pm

Yes - hope they limp past the money-grabbers as things do look brighter for the future.
Pete

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Bigmet
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby Bigmet » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:41 pm

Although there is supposedly no sentiment in the City, there are clearly some people quite intent on keeping Hornby afloat, if that can be achieved. There's much that is right about the model product, and the brand is good, so justification in the hope that the management can turn this around.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby Bigglesof266 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:41 am

YMMV, but I think Hornby are in big trouble.

Why?

Palatable or not some sensitivities, our generation aka the "Baby Boomers" undeniably make up the bulk of the primary purchasing demographic for OO gauge British outline and thus Hornby, whether collectors, lifelong aficionados of the hobby, or recent nostalgia inspired returnees. By and large, we'll be increasingly absenting ourselves over the coming decade or two.

Now I am a Hornby high detail premium product buyer. Although a player rather than collector, I don't ever buy Railroad. Not interested.

A problem for Hornby is that they have exceeded my grudge buy maximum price point with their releases of recent years, and I suspect I am more generous than most with the exception of the must have at any price true zealot. I am certain I am not alone. I don't buy second hand, ever, regardless the preferred marketing euphemisms pf this era to disguise that 'provenance'. e.g. pre-loved (vomit) & its slightly less offensive synonym, pre-owned.

The tell AFAIC is that I have gone from a regular once a month combined order purchaser of Hornby/Bachmann to a haven't bought anything from Hornby now since early 2016, and even that was a one off must have (unrebuilt MN "Royal Mail"), along with the rake of K Type Pullmans I'd been lusting after but refused to buy until Hornby surprisingly remaindered them at an ameliorated price point finally amenable to me.

Until then, in the year or so immediately prior as Hornby and Bachmann prices skyrocketed, I had limited myself to a compromise of a long lusted for single coach purchase of a brake third for my "Tees-Tyne (Metro-Cammell coached) Pullman" at the whopping etail of £65 which shared 'top and tail' slots with a BR maroon Bachmann Mk1 BG.

Similarly with Airfix, part of that same group. Finally, Airfix have embraced the need for change and even made some smart marketing choices in what they have produced. But, despite some stunning successes, they have two problems I forsee an obstacle for them.

The first is that regardless the fidelity of the model now achieving parity with the current state of the art, the models they are choosing are
A. subjects which appeal to my generation .e.g Whitley, Wellington, and B. by and large they are still producing them in 1/72, a scale which no longer holds appeal to me and many of my generation that 1/48 does for a myriad of reasons ICBF elaborating upon here.

The second critical element is simply price. Airfix have stopped supplying Hattons because of the protest hue and cry from high street stores. Now, sources I can buy Airfix kits from are as expensive as releases from other contemporary manufacturers and ever more frequently even dearer, many of whom still do it much better. Unless it's a subject in the particular I really, ...really have a high desire for, when it comes to "you can't build or buy everything" crunch time pressing the buy button, Airfix more frequently than not get triaged back to the want list to miss out on my $$$ because of their poor relative value and what now seems minuscule and not a whole lot of fun for aged eyes and fingers to build, scale.

Eight times out of ten, Eduard, Hasegawa, Tamiya or Zvezda in 1/48 will get my money, along with Dragon in 1/35 when it comes to Marine or Armour which Airfix have effectively abandoned. Even Revell, which are frequently Eduard, Has, Tam, Zvez et al OEM reboxes released in a Revell box in a two decal or version only option al la Eduard's Weekend Kits scores better than mere parity with Airfix in my stash and wish list.

Bigmet
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby Bigmet » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:55 am

Bigglesof266 wrote:YMMV, but I think Hornby are in big trouble...

Without any doubt. If I am reading it right, there is going to be a restructure strictly to what they do profitably. I am expecting a much smaller Hornby group with fewer product ranges. It has never been made clear just what isn't performing within the group, this may be the year we find out, by evidence of what is sold off or discontinued.

Byegad
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby Byegad » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:29 am

Sad to see Hornby yet again in need of rescue. I suspect the post Brexit exchange rate changes have hit it pretty hard, as they have other brands.

Ex-Pat
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby Ex-Pat » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:25 pm

luckymucklebackit wrote:
Hope they survive long enough to get the J36 released. :wink:

Jim


Precisely my thoughts as well (says he with a sinking feeling) although things must be at a reasonably advanced stage by now, such that an enterprising concern could take it over if things came to that.

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PanzerJohn
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby PanzerJohn » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:35 pm

I have been wondering that bringing Lyndon Davies in from Oxford Models could be beginning of a merger/takeover.

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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby Bigmet » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:37 pm

He's the experienced independent operator from the same business sector hired in to give the investor's confidence. (Can do this stuff profitably with no need for outside investor support = competent.) It does look like he could end up owning a significant proportion of the Hornby business. His call on whether he cares to take the risk. At the moment I expect there are some hard conversations going on to identify just which aspects of the business have a profitable future, and how to navigate the necessary changes that will create a sustainable 'Hornby'.

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:03 pm

I can still envisage the business being split sometime in the future, something along the lines of the Hornby brand being retained for trainsets and a slimmed down railroad range, with that sector of the company focusing on the young enthusiast (something that they have done with reasonable success in the past). The "high end" models for serious modelers and adult collectors could then be re-branded and re-marketed, very possibly in collaboration with the major retailers.

Jim
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby GWR_fan » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:45 pm

PanzerJohn wrote:I have been wondering that bringing Lyndon Davies in from Oxford Models could be beginning of a merger/takeover.


I am sure that as a successful owner of a model company he will not want a Hornby failure to rub off on his own brand. Hornby as a trademark will survive but not as we know it. Lyndon did not take on the reins of Hornby to see it fail as the failure would reflect on his business expertise. I see his position as to salvage what he can to remain profitable and dispose of the dead wood, possibly taking on the revitalised brandname as part of his "empire".

Notanyware
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby Notanyware » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:33 pm

The problem with Hornby Is they have to many eggs in the basket, they need to dump the foreign brands and do what they do best making British models, I also think with so many new players in the OO gauge game it may be that they are struggling to compete, if they cant handle the heat it may be time to pull the plug as I and many other people are over hearing about the Hornby financial woes, with nearly all the British car manufacturers ceasing to exist why worry about a mob like Hornby.

Cheers
Dave

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dazamccoy
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby dazamccoy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:37 pm

I hope they survive and thrive. I would love them to do a full refresh of the Thomas line. Everything should be DCC ready/equipped, loco drive, TTS ready with favourite phrases for each of the characters. Most importantly fresh moulds based on the original TV series.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:02 pm

You mean like the ones that Bachmann make for the US. They even fit them with tensionlocks. They have done the exact reverse of Hornby's approach. They commissioned models for the Thomas series, then de-branded them for the junior range. Percy's alter ego Gregg was released in a DCC starter set, it's built on a delightful little outside cylinder 0-4-0 chassis, and with a few tweaks to the body makes a great little industrial.
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Paul-H
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Re: Financial Woes Continue

Postby Paul-H » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:50 am

For me their problem and I suspect this applies to Bachmann as well but they are covering it better is the huge price rises over the last decade, having just returned to the hobby after a 10 year absence I have noticed some huge price rises. With Locos you used to be able to get a Bachmann or Hornby for around £80 to £90 and a sound fitted Bachmann was about £140 and wagons were about £10 and coaches were around £20.

Now only 10 years later you can be asked to pay around £160 for a Bachmann and up-to £230 for a sound fitted model, although sound decoders have almost stayed the same price over the same 10 years, but biggest jump has been in rolling stock, which are compared to locos very simple and cheap to produce containing no electrics or moving parts, here we see wagons jumping from £10 to well over £20 and Coaches jumping from £20 to well over £40 with some hitting £50.

Thank whomever you pray to for Dapol and Oxford Rail for keeping Wagon prices down to £10 and if they can do it why can't Hornby and Bachmann.

These prices are killing the hobby, it cannot be sustained by the ever shrinking must have and at any price customers and pricing their core customers out of the hobby will only end one way.

Make the most of what you own now, there may not be much choice about in another 10 years.

Paul


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