Hornby introduces retailer tier system
Hornby has introduced a new tier system for supplying products to its retailer network. This new system has come into force following appraisal of the company's supply chain and its ability to meet the increased demand for products during the recent Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns.
This has led to the company changing its previous pre-order allocation system, with its retail network placed into a new three-tier system. Hornby’s Chief Operating Officer, Tim Mulhall, explained in a press release during May: “Tier 1 relates to those retailers that amongst other things maintain a clean and well laid-out store and who promote several, if not all of the Hornby Hobbies ranges, which includes Hornby Railways, Scalextric, Airfix, Humbrol and Corgi. These retailers invariably have an effective website and mail order service, but more importantly they would also be able to provide help and guidance to their customers.”
“Those who have been nominated to tier 2 tend to be the types of outlet that will also include heritage centres or museums. Those outlets designated tier 2 must also be able to offer help, support and advice for their customers and are willing to promote Hornby products. Tier 2 retailers will include those online retailers who are also prepared to offer help, support and guidance to their customers.”
“Moving onto tier 3. Amongst the retailers in this category will be those that may not have ‘bricks and mortar’ premises and more than likely trade mainly online with limited support. Such tier 3 designated retailers may also manufacture their own branded model railway items which might possibly conflict with those produced by Hornby Hobbies Ltd.”
Explaining how the new tier system will work, Tim Mulhall continued: “With such a tier system in place, those in tier 1 will quite naturally receive priority on deliveries, especially where a product may be in high demand with low or restrictive quantities available. More importantly the tier system will restrict the possibilities of orders being favoured to just one or a handful of accounts and therefore allowing a more even and fair distribution.”
Hornby has also been working with its vendors to improve production and volume capabilities. As a result, delays to some forthcoming products will be inevitable, says Tim: “This does mean that the release of some keenly awaited products will be delayed by up to six months from their original anticipated release date. We appreciate that in the short term this will cause a degree of disappointment, but in the long term we believe by relieving some of the pressure from our suppliers we will be able to return to a more consistent and reliable release date programme once the recalibration has been achieved."
Visit www.hornby.com for more information.