RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

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RailwayRobbo
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RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby RailwayRobbo » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:25 pm

Just had an email from RAILS basically saying that after 35 years of trading with Hornby they are now unable to fulfill any pre-orders and get any of the out of stock models as well.
Is this the same scenrio as the Hattons/Bachmann affair?

whufcfan
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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby whufcfan » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:32 pm

Me to:
Dear Valued customer,

We regret to inform you that after over 35 years of trading with Hornby, with immediate effect we are unable to fulfil any orders for forthcoming release or out of stock Hornby products.

Therefore over the coming days we will be cancelling pre orders and informing customers personally. We apologise unreservedly for the inconvenience this will cause you.

We would like to make it clear that this only affects Hornby products that are on pre order or out of stock. All our other extensive range of brands are unaffected.

John Barber
Managing Director

Rails of Sheffield Limited

Byegad
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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby Byegad » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:44 pm

RailwayRobbo wrote:Just had an email from RAILS basically saying that after 35 years of trading with Hornby they are now unable to fulfill any pre-orders and get any of the out of stock models as well.
Is this the same scenrio as the Hattons/Bachmann affair?


I suspect you're right.

The 'manufacturers' have been caught out. These days almost anyone with talent and money enough can CAD a product, find a factory 'somewhere in China' and get it produced. For many years it seems that some 'manufacturers' have been doing just that. They don't like it now the big sellers are cutting them out of the process.

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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:10 pm

Will it all end in tears ?

I used to buy most of my locos & wagons from Hatton's. When Mr Hatton was around they were
rarely beaten on price. In fact several of the main on-line traders has similar pricing structures.
Then there came the dictat limiting the discounts the big two manufacturers wanted their products
sold at, although that I believe was against the price fixing laws of this country. If I recall it was
initiated by the then Hornby management combined with their decision to no longer provide new
models to magazines for reviews. New managements seem to have changed that particular stand.

Then we had the Bachmann and Hatton's fall out and I've noticed that Hornby prices from Haton's
were more than Rails. As a result of models I'm interested becoming available from Hornby I have
bought 4 from Rails as they were at a keener price than Hatton's with excellent delivery times.

So now Hornby have fallen out with Rails - I fear our two big manufacturers are going to damage
their standing through rather petty disagreements. I know that both want to support the few Hobby
Shops remaining, but just look at the carnage on the high street. Retailing is in crisis and these
moves will push a few big retailers and on-line traders to do even more of their own developments.

I'm pleased that I have just about everything I want this side of the grave - Just watching out of interest !!

Geoff T.
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centenary
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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby centenary » Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:46 pm

Due to Hornby's financial circumstances, they have been reducing discounting of their products to improve their profitability. To a degree this has worked and losses are reducing.

Im going out on a limb Hornby have told retailers to stop discounting above a certain amount or risk losing supplies. That said, as far as Im aware, companies like Hornby can suggest a retail price for their wares but in the UK, cannot prohibit sellers discounting further. They can legally refuse to do business with any other business hence this likely fall out.

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stuartp
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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby stuartp » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:47 pm

There is nothing in Rails' announcement to indicate whether Hornby have refused to supply Rails (which is what happened with Hattons/Bachmann) or Rails have decided to stop stocking Hornby.

Bachmann acted when Hattons went head to head with them with the 66, competing with Bachmann as a manufacturer is contrary to Bachmann's terms of supply. However, in both cases where Rails and Hornby compete directly (Terrier and the now aborted L&M coach) I'm reasonably sure that Rails announced first and Hornby brought forward an existing but unannounced project to see them off. Combined with Hornby's tighter margins on wholesale prices v RRP they (Rails) may have simply decided they don't need the hassle. I know that some time ago at least one dealer dropped out of Dapol's Gold/Silver stockist scheme because the terms were not favourable to retailers (IIRC a gold stockist had to stock the entire range).

We will probably never know. I bet the smaller stockists aren't complaining though.
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Bigmet
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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby Bigmet » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:57 pm

Byegad wrote:...The 'manufacturers' have been caught out. These days almost anyone with talent and money enough can CAD a product, find a factory 'somewhere in China' and get it produced. For many years it seems that some 'manufacturers' have been doing just that. They don't like it now the big sellers are cutting them out of the process.

Agreed, it has been a long time coming, and it was the two leading OO manufacturers that set this off by failure to maintain sufficient supply to their customers to enable them to sustain their business. That sent those two retailers (and possibly some of the others) off in pursuit of their own sources of product supply.

If that was all, Bachmann and Hornby might just shrug: but look at the number of new independent players setting up to supply OO product. Those competitors are guerrillas able to outflank the Margate Line and the Barwell Bastion. The only way to succeed against this is to outcompete these newcomers. Getting into a war with major retail outlets is about as silly as it gets: why would you want to reduce your own exposure to the market, and give those retailers every encouragement to promote the competing manufacturer's product?

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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:46 pm

Hornby would do well to remember how it came to be that a company that traces it's origins back to the Rovex factory it now inhabits came to own the Hornby name. Meccano had a policy of only supplying one outlet in each town with Hornby-Dublo, often a large general toy store, much to the annoyance of smaller model shops everywhere. As a result Lines Brothers who went by the Triang name were able to get many outlets for the Rovex product. When Meccano dithered over introducing two rail their fate was sealed, they didn't have the the multiplicity of outlets needed to push a completely new range. When they finally did it they couldn't sell enough and ended up asking Lines Bros to buy them out. It's not a smart move to try to push your distributors around.
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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby Buelligan » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:48 am

I'm not going to get into any speculation, the statement from Rails doesn't state whether it's their decision, or been forced by Hornby, so no point trying to guess at why it's happened.
From a personal point of view it's annoying as I had 3 preorders with Rails. I've managed to preorder elsewhere for one of them, another I thought I had but later realised it's the wrong livery, so need to phone and cancel tomorrow, and the 3rd is sold out everywhere.

It's a loss for rails for my business, as I normally tag on a few extra bits when I buy a loco, to make use of free postage. So now if I buy a Hornby product, it'll be elsewhere, and I'll tag the other items on to that order. On the plus side, its good for my local shops, as I'll be popping in tomorrow to see if either can preorder the locos I wanted, even if I have to pay the full RRP.

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alex3410
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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby alex3410 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:57 am

spotted it on Facebook this morning, whatever the reason both of them should have looked after those with preorders better, either by honoring existing orders (but not taking new ones) or giving customers the option to transfer it over to Hornby or something - simply canceling them is likely to leave some stuck not being able to get new preorders and missing out altogether.

I don't have any preorders, anywhere, and won't for the foreseeable - my only railway-related purchases this year has been some 'track master Thomas' trains for my little one that she absolutely loves, grabbed a few more for stocking fillers as they were £10 buy one get one free - if only Hornby had similar prices :lol:

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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby mahoganydog » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:54 am

Perhaps it might have something to do with Rails holding back LTD ed models and selling them for inflated prices.....

I can't imagine Hornby being happy about that.
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Buelligan
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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby Buelligan » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:54 am

mahoganydog wrote:Perhaps it might have something to do with Rails holding back LTD ed models and selling them for inflated prices.....

I can't imagine Hornby being happy about that.


That did cross my mind, after the prices they were charging on their eBay account for certain item's. Whatever the reason, I wouldn't have thought it would affect Hornby too much, as people will just go elsewhere to buy the items. It's not the sort of thing you go on to Rails website for something and then on an impulse, purchase a new expensive loco. People will have in mind what they want, and seek out someone who can supply it.

I've now managed to pre-order my items from other suppliers. I want them, but if they can't fulfil the order I won't hold it against the supplier or Hornby. Sometimes things go wrong and production doesn't go as planned.

I've experienced it on a car forum I'm on. There was a group buy for a batch of specially made heated windscreens for our cars. 40 people signed up for the order, misunderstanding meant that there would only ever have been 39 screens available, and a couple failed QC so only 37 screens between 40 people, some people had to miss out, and they got their money back. There was enough interest so there was another batch, and they got theirs then.

I can't imagine Hornby are spending all this money on tooling, to only ever do 1 small run. Once the tooling is there, they'll do them again, just have to wait.

IAN1955
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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby IAN1955 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:28 pm

On Friday I heard a different version of events from a very reliable source, this is their version and before I put pen to paper this has not been corroborated and before the legal boffins leap on board it is an opinion and there is no evidence to support this, legal bit over.

BUT MAKES SENSE

As the pandemic struck the big boys (no names) that had money, bought up massive stocks of products, they then started selling to us modellers at strange prices making the smaller retail shops unable to compete, these smaller shops complained to the likes of Hornby and Peco, what became of those complaints no one knows.

If you all cast your minds back to when supermarkets sprang up it put the smaller shops out of business, does this not sound familiar and is still going on today, the question is have Hornby and co feared for their reputation an done something about it.

Worth thinking about, interesting and worth a bit of thought is it a case of greed and what goes round comes round.

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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby luckymucklebackit » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:31 pm

Why on earth Hornby (and Bachmann) don't match the boxshifters prices and cut out the middle man altogether I don't know. For example, the new A2/2 and A2/3 Pacifics are available to preorder on the Hornby website at £189.99, delivery is £4.98 so total cost £194.97. On the Hattons website the price is £171 plus £4 postage - total £175, Antics Online 170.99 and free postage - It is pretty obvious where I would place my pre-order but Hattons and Antics must be making something to cover their costs so surely Hornby could match that price and go it alone.

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Re: RAILS of Sheffield and Hornby

Postby 6412 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:01 pm

So have I got this right? Bachmann are no longer supplying Hattons and Hornby no longer supplying Rails But both Hattons & Rails have stocks of Bachmann/Hornby items which they can sell to you?

Whatever the rights and wrongs of all this I think all should sit down and discuss this as whatever you think of these Box Shifters they do form a large part of the supply chain to us the humble modeller!


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