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Hornby Trains Share Price Down 60%

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Hornby Shares Hit The Buffers On Sales Woes

The toy specialist issues a profit warning as it endures a torrid start to trading in 2016 despite strong Christmas sales.

http://news.sky.com/story/1639401/hornby-shares-hit-the-buffers-on-sales-woes

Maybe they could make trains with little LCD screens, and your 5 year old can control them with an App on their Iphone/ipad?

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I have a suspicion that 5 year olds with pocket money probably isn't their core market any more. Probably sell £1000 perfectly accurate model trains to 40 year old blokes instead. See also Games Workshop to a lesser degree. And any motorcycle brand that formerly made utility transport for first jobbers but now sells crotch rockets at mid-life crisis time.

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They also need a modern marketing campaign. A viral campaign - enthusiasts take selfies with their best model engine, and post it on social media.

They could call it the "Show us your Horn-by Challenge"

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Sorry I'll post up a better picture later.

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I have a suspicion that 5 year olds with pocket money probably isn't their core market any more. Probably sell £1000 perfectly accurate model trains to 40 year old blokes instead. See also Games Workshop to a lesser degree. And any motorcycle brand that formerly made utility transport for first jobbers but now sells crotch rockets at mid-life crisis time.

True - but they need the next generation of enthusiast. Are there more people in their 40s renting too? I would certainly wouldn't have a £10K trainset in the loft if I was on a 6 month AST rental agreement.

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Hornby are a classic example of a company that has been MBA'd.

Move production to China. Quality falls off a cliff.

Chinese fail to deliver on time.

Move company back to UK, lost all of previous staff.

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They've got quite a bit more than trains. Scalextric is a Hornby brand, as are Airfix and Humbrol paints. I don't think that we know which part is the cause of all the trouble.

From what I've read elsewhere they've got more troubles than quality and staff. Distributors seem to be unhappy with them and it sounds like they've fallen into a trap of trying to charge a fortune then everything turns up heavily discounted a while later, so there's lots of waiting for the price to come down.

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Long-term, they're also going to be trapped by the "Elephant In The Room" that gets discussed over there in the main forum: house prices.

When houses are so damned expensive, it's hard to justify dedicating an entire room to what remains a hobby... and a train layout takes up a lot of space.

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Long-term, they're also going to be trapped by the "Elephant In The Room" that gets discussed over there in the main forum: house prices.

When houses are so damned expensive, it's hard to justify dedicating an entire room to what remains a hobby... and a train layout takes up a lot of space.

Maybe that is what is all those yellow storage buildings. Waiting to get out, some day.

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Guest eight

Long-term, they're also going to be trapped by the "Elephant In The Room" that gets discussed over there in the main forum: house prices.

When houses are so damned expensive, it's hard to justify dedicating an entire room to what remains a hobby... and a train layout takes up a lot of space.

www.carendt.com

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I have a suspicion that 5 year olds with pocket money probably isn't their core market any more. Probably sell £1000 perfectly accurate model trains to 40 year old blokes instead. See also Games Workshop to a lesser degree. And any motorcycle brand that formerly made utility transport for first jobbers but now sells crotch rockets at mid-life crisis time.

GW have capitalised on the gaming market outside of tabletop though (i.e. PC and consoles), not sure Hornby can go down that route though I suppose they could try a Grand Theft Auto with trains game!

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GW have capitalised on the gaming market outside of tabletop though (i.e. PC and consoles), not sure Hornby can go down that route though I suppose they could try a Grand Theft Auto with trains game!

Well they own Airfix, and building things in a game seems popular (e.g. Minecraft), so computerised Airfix models anyone?

If Hornby are lucky then people will eventually rediscover the satisfaction of putting together something real and physical, but as mentioned above space is rather a problem for model railways.

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Guest eight

How can you gauge that?

Perhaps they neeed economies of scale to get them back on track.

An economy of scale, earlier.

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How can you gauge that?

Perhaps they neeed economies of scale to get them back on track.

That's not the point, but I suppose they have to look for the light at the end of the tunnel and establish a more sound business platform.

edit: On a more serious note perhaps a few smaller ideas. How about them push a build-it-yourself Raspberry Pi DCC system. It'll knock the sales of theirs but might get some started, even if it's just a shelf-sized bit of track, enough for a project.

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Was a story in the local rag about Hattons moving out of Liverpool to larger premises because of increased trade. Hattons is/was a HUGE model railway shop. Maybe they are downsizing and putting some spin on it?

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Was a story in the local rag about Hattons moving out of Liverpool to larger premises because of increased trade. Hattons is/was a HUGE model railway shop. Maybe they are downsizing and putting some spin on it?

Might not be spin. Hornby reported good sales before Christmas but the New Year has been a lot worse than expected, which seems to be the trigger for this crisis. This presumably fed through to the distributors.

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I have a suspicion that 5 year olds with pocket money probably isn't their core market any more. Probably sell £1000 perfectly accurate model trains to 40 year old blokes instead. See also Games Workshop to a lesser degree. And any motorcycle brand that formerly made utility transport for first jobbers but now sells crotch rockets at mid-life crisis time.

More like 55 year olds, I should think.

This is a company that should never have gone public -- niche product selling into a dying market.

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Was a story in the local rag about Hattons moving out of Liverpool to larger premises because of increased trade. Hattons is/was a HUGE model railway shop. Maybe they are downsizing and putting some spin on it?

I tried to enter this market some years ago, the attraction of selling boxed items mail order and on line.

to even get a look in, you had to place massive orders in January for the following christmas, and doing a little research, it appears that the specialist mags (railway modeller et al) were all joined at the hip to Hornby, as were the distributors.

A sort of cartel in the model industry.

In other words, a closed shop.

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Internet addicts with smartphones and tablets living in slaveboxes where there's no room. Don't think the up and coming generation will be fussing too much over toy trains and the like.

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It's inevitably at the older end of the spectrum but that may have always been largely the case (time and money). Exhibitions are still usually pretty busy and aren't exclusively old farts. I think that children are sometimes still interested, if they're not shut out. At a show a couple of years ago there was one layout which was basically shunt things around, and the owner gave the controls to a couple of kids with the instruction "Swap these engines around." It took them ages to work it all out (need to move this here, that there to free this one up type problem) but they seemed engrossed in it. One of them stood at the end waving the kid with the controls forward, lots of teamwork and concentration.

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I last attended a model railway exhibition a couple of years ago. It was very busy and many of the attendees were families with children. There was a wide selection of layouts in different gauges with different themes and round each a reasonable number of adults and a few children.

However the crowd of kids at the local Lego Railway Modelling club's exhibit was many rows deep. I think that's where the main 'modelling' interest lies these days. It's a shame you can't buy shares in Lego.

In light of the Flying Scotsman's return in full livery later this month, Hornby does have a commemorative model (175 quid) but it's not available until June.

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