Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

Tony Thompson

Mike Bauers wrote:


According to the recent closing of a major hobby shop here, the owners stated that sales of everything have steadily dropped since the panic of 2008.

They closed due to projections that they would be unable to make the payroll in two more years of decline, and assessments of what additional costs were expected as various governmental programs kicked in over the next couple of years, increasing their overhead as well as further reducing the general public's ability to buy leisure items from anyone. The economy hasn't recovered and is being driven further down. Just paying the constantly increasing electric and heating bills became a challenge to a hobby shop as sales reduced.

    Mike, I'm sure these people are sincere and very likely believe what they told you. But actually, all niche products have been falling in sales in brick and mortar stores. Books are the same. But book sales, like hobby sales and other niche products, are INCREASING, and have been right through the recession. No prizes if you guess it's all about the Internet. Buy a book, buy an Athearn locomotive, it's the same product anywhere you buy it, and both convenience AND price are driving all this. It is silly to say "people can no longer afford it," because overall sales are NOT down.
     For freight cars, this is at least as true as for the other items named. Few hobby shops could afford to carry a complete stock of, say, InterMountain cars, not to mention resin kits. But sales of them are zipping right along. Just not in stores.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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