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R Palimaka

Another LHS closing...sign of the times

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Just got a notice yesterday that Leading Edge Hobbies in Kingston, Ontario will be closing in June. The two brothers who owned the shop have decided to pursue other avenues and spend more time with their families. They have been a fixture in Kingston and area for 25 years, and have always been helpful and friendly. It is currently one of the largest hobby shops in Ontario, and of course also carries supplies for hobbies other than plastic models. They also provided space for meetings for various clubs. They will be missed.

 

If they didn't have it they would happily order it. Like others who have lost their local shop, it's not just the kits, but the supplies like paints, adhesives, finishing supplies that will be harder to find. The closest shops that still survive are now two hours away in Toronto or Ottawa.

 

Sad day yesterday seeing that. We've lost our social hub and chance to support a local business, and spend spontaneously on kits we didn't need. :-) Thanks guys!

 

Richard

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I was spoiled living in the Dallas are for 15 years, there were no less than 6 hobby shops I could go to withing a half hour drive, unfortunately, since I moved to Nashville, there are only two hobby shops, but one concentrates on trains and games, has almost no model supplies, and the other is primarily an RC shop, but they are trying to stock more plastic hobby supplies, but their kit selection seems to be the same crap Hobby Lobby carries. 

 

I have talked with my wife a while back about opening a hobby shop, but I have trouble justifying the need for it in this market, as other shops can't seem to make it. I think for now, people have gravitated to online purchases, and the only way to open a new shop and be successful is to have a great selection, but that cost money. and the likelihood of success is low. 

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Bummer to hear another shop is closing, But judging by the lack of responses sadly few care that another shop is going away and it is indeed a sign of the times. Hobby shops in general will be far and few between in the near future. Years ago a city population of 1 million would support 6 or 7 shops and now just 1 maybe 2 shops could probably supported. Warehouse e-businesses will take over the rest. It would be unwise to start up a shop these days unless you had a very large amount of money backing it and are not expecting to get rich. The old saying is true, if you want to make a million in the hobby business start off with 2 million.

 

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Bummer. All we have are two "Hobby Towns". We used to have several LHSs in town,  but they too sadly closed up.

A sign of the times for sure. 

Sad, but I can understand. Maybe if taxation on the internet was implemented, the small local guy would stand more of a chance.

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It is a bummer. We are so lucky to have a LHS in Toronto run by two different generations that has turned itself into the best styrene model shop in the city. The real last one. Kudos to their customer service on every level. I have to drive twenty five minutes...but it's one stop shopping. Cheers to to the guys there who help at every level!:clap2:

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16 hours ago, R Palimaka said:

Just got a notice yesterday that Leading Edge Hobbies in Kingston, Ontario will be closing in June. The two brothers who owned the shop have decided to pursue other avenues and spend more time with their families. They have been a fixture in Kingston and area for 25 years, and have always been helpful and friendly. It is currently one of the largest hobby shops in Ontario, and of course also carries supplies for hobbies other than plastic models. They also provided space for meetings for various clubs. They will be missed.

 

If they didn't have it they would happily order it. Like others who have lost their local shop, it's not just the kits, but the supplies like paints, adhesives, finishing supplies that will be harder to find. The closest shops that still survive are now two hours away in Toronto or Ottawa.

 

Sad day yesterday seeing that. We've lost our social hub and chance to support a local business, and spend spontaneously on kits we didn't need. :-) Thanks guys!

 

Richard

Sounds like its time to buy a hobby shop, Richard!! Ready made clientele. 

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We have no LHS near to us. Even the one down where i was born has gone. I tend to use one shop online now as he is more often than not the cheapest i've found in the UK (and he runs a forum). His service is second to none. But i think the shops in the highstreet have had their day because they have bigger overheads due to physically owning a shop and foot-fall (people passing by) is smaller than years gone by. It's a shame really as i love going into a shop and chatting and physically seeing the items.

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I dondt have a shop nearby to go shopping

mostly my kits are found at conventions and most off the paint also

i still love to look at the boxes and talk to the people

im missing the days going to the shop to look whats new

but those days are gone im afraid its almost all online now

 

Mark

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5 hours ago, BiggTim said:

Sounds like its time to buy a hobby shop, Richard!! Ready made clientele. 

 

Thanks Tim, but nope. :) I owned a hobby/military history book store for a while and it's a hard slog that can be rewarding. Retail means long hours and small margins, and now you're competing with the whole world. I admire those that have survived and are thriving. I still prefer going to a store and browsing shelves more than browsing an online catalogue, but it's getting more difficult. 

 

Nope, thankful for my government job, pension and benefits, and thankful for the shops that still open their doors. 

 

Richard

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7 hours ago, Dainis said:

It is a bummer. We are so lucky to have a LHS in Toronto run by two different generations that has turned itself into the best styrene model shop in the city. The real last one. Kudos to their customer service on every level. I have to drive twenty five minutes...but it's one stop shopping. Cheers to to the guys there who help at every level!:clap2:

 

I'm guessing you're talking about Wheels and Wings, and yes, they are certainly worth the two hour trip from Kingston. I actually get the shakes going in there, trying to make sure I don't miss anything! Great staff, and the best selection of styrene I've seen anywhere. Jammed to the ceilings with kits from all over the world. And tons of books, aftermarket and supplies. Yup, in a way I'm glad they're two hours away...or at least my wallet is.

 

Richard

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18 minutes ago, R Palimaka said:

 

I'm guessing you're talking about Wheels and Wings, and yes, they are certainly worth the two hour trip from Kingston. I actually get the shakes going in there, trying to make sure I don't miss anything! Great staff, and the best selection of styrene I've seen anywhere. Jammed to the ceilings with kits from all over the world. And tons of books, aftermarket and supplies. Yup, in a way I'm glad they're two hours away...or at least my wallet is.

 

Richard

It is Wheels and Wings in the east end of the city...and they are very close to me. A bit too close...a champagne problem that I won't complain about. It does show that one can still run a top flight LHS. Like all the great remaining ones, it has embraced the old ways and incorporated the new. Hats off to them and their successful bretheren!

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Mine packed up and moved across town a few months back.  Kind of logistically makes sense seeing how they were the only game in town, they were a good 15-20 miles out of the central area.  New location puts them in the middle of all the suburbs of Columbia and Lexington.  They never were big on stocking kits I build, but I did drop a lot of coin on paints, glue and other supplies.  

I guess I need to make a shopping list and take the drive across town.  Then again, paying $8-$10 for shipping is better than eating up a few hours and gas money for a 40 mile round trip.

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I am not sure there is a future for the hobby, in its present form. Stores is what attract new people to the hobby and they get rarer. I suppose tanks and aircrafts in various fixed scales may eventually disappear. I am not that worried, however. Building stuff and painting it, otoh, is a basic fun thing you will find in all variants and that will stay forever. Kids today do the Warhammer stuff. Of course, what they call tanks and aircraft are pure :mental: 

 

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The hobby for what its worth, seems to actually be growing IMHO.   Look at all the larger number of 32nd scale kits..................15 or even 10 years ago Im not sure us large scale builders would have ever imagined such a bounty. 

 

To be honest, I think the hobby is changing,  but unfortunately I personally think its the LHSs that are going to suffer, and I think the only thing that may save them, is if tax is levied on internet purchases via the state you live in for the US. Not sure how it would work for the rest of the world tax vs shipping wise. 

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My nearest model shop is still standing. But on the same street there are at least four empty premises that used to be clothes and shoe shops. On the same street there also used to be two shops selling electronics (TV, sound systems, computers, etc) and they closed too, one is now a cafe and the other is a phone repair shop. All shopping is changing, not only hobby shops. Brick-and-mortar hobby shops closing is not the "death knell" of the hobby. The hobby is thriving on line. High-street shopping of all kinds is under pressure from skyrocketing costs such as rent, utilities, wages, taxes. The hobby is fine, you should be worried about the rest of the world around you. :-) 

Radu 

Edited by Radub

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