6412 wrote: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!
Yes, and I think it's gone beyond that stage, in that order.
Hattons went head to head with Bachmann when they became a manufacturer in their own right , particularly with the 66, which is a breach of Bachmann's terms of supply. The reasons for Hornby's split from Rails are less clear - it could be their aggressive discounting policy, or their descision to also go head to head with Hornby as a manufacturer, or to protect their dealer network from aggressive box shifting, or all of those, or none of those. Whatever the reasons either the two largest manufacturers have made a commercial decision that they each don't need one of the largest retailers as much as the retailers thought they did, or the retailers have made a commercial decision that the risk of being left without supplies is worth it, whatever 'it' is.
LMB is right, Bachmann in particular don't need Hattons as they simply divert product to their other dealers, or cokld even sell direct should they choose to. Hornby tried direct selling, bypassing dealers and closing concessions and it didn't end well, It makes sense in a strict commercial sense but you lose all sorts of intangibles such as goodwill, visibility in the market, impulse purchases from people who only went in for a packet of track pins, fre advice to prospective purchasers etc. The new/current regime at Hornby took the opposite view to their predecessors so clearly there are arguments both ways.
But whatever the advantages of a dealer network, dealers actively working against you to grab manufacturing market share is something manufacturers don't need.