Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Background Check...Retail / Hobby

So my second attempt at a meaningful entry. Hopefully they will become more topic driven very soon and less resume. So I apologize for the history lesson.

My current occupation is revolving around the Retail side of the business. My personal side though is on the Hobby side of the business. Talk about a tough road! I began as a lonely retail kid because that is all I could afford. Then I transitioned into a Hobby kid as my allowance and income allowed me to. Now I am a full fledged card carrying member of both communities. I assume most people are these days. I think they both prosper from the success of each other. All though I do believe that if the Hobby stores shrank to nothing the Retail side would flourish, but not to the degree one would believe. None the less lets hope that doesn't happen.

As far as retail goes for the industry, currently we all have seen that retail is getting stronger brands and more content. I think this trend will continue for a while for a couple reasons.

1. Retail is opening doors....hobby is closing doors. In 2009 alone there will be over 250 new retail stores open. I don't have exact numbers but my educated guess is that there will be 100 - 250 less hobby stores on Dec 31st, 2009 than today. One in my community closed just recently.

2. Retail has more buying power than hobby. Even though retail buys on different discounts the volume has increased enough and the hobby volume has decreased enough to make it more feasible for the manufacturers.

3. Royalties are at an all time high and the easiest way to pay them is by having stronger products. Don't be surprised if we see Finest, Co-singers, Sweet Spot, Longevity titles at Retail in the near future.

What direction would you like to see the manufacturers go? More Hobby Exclusive titles at mass, more hobby content??? Understand that in most communities these days the Hobby store is Wal-mart or Target or Rite-Aid or Meijers, etc.


  1. Keep up the good work. I'm interested in where this blog will go. I don't buy much wax so I don't have much input on the direction of the hobby, but I do have some intellectual curiosity about the business side of the industry.

    I'll be reading.

  2. Thanks for reading I appreciate the comments and look forward to hearing more.

  3. Nate,
    The hobby still spends more with the manufacturers than retail does, but the gap is closing and might go the other way in 2009.

    Nice blog.


  4. The Target in my town carries retail packs of Co-Signers already. I think a divide between retail and hobby is right, to provide better coverage to all types of collectors. I'm on the r/h fence, depending on what I'm purchasing, why, and from whom.

  5. I would love to see more 'Hobby-only' items in blister packs or blasters in retail stores, if for no other reason that a number of hobby shops tend to jack up the price of stuff in-store for whatever reason, and if there was a set price point (in retail), then that's better for the collectors. Boxes, on the other hand, are less of a good deal, simply because the price point is generally too high.

    What I /don't/ want to see, though, is retail versions of Finest, et al.