Hobby People closing

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Initiator001

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For those who live in Southern California (and Las Vegas) the Hobby People (formally Hobby Shack) hobby shops have been a fixture for over forty years.

This regional chain of hobby shops carried all the major hobby categories along with building supplies.

The company has decided to close all its stores. Already, the stores in San Diego are gone with only some of the Los Angeles area stores still open as they close-out their inventory.

Sigh.
 

caveduck

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In SD in the last year or so we have lost both Hobby People and Hobby Central (a non-chain but once comprehensive store). Personally I don't think brick-n-mortar hobby stores are a very good business proposition anymore. We basically have one broad-spectrum hobby shop left in the form of Discount Hobby. There is also an RC specialist and a couple of model RR stores, and maybe a couple of places in North County that I haven't checked out. Back in the 1980s I counted 35+ hobby stores around here.
 

K'Tesh

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Sorry to hear that another LHS has folded shop. :sad:
 

mpitfield

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I am not sure that hobbies are down as much as they may be changing. A lot of young people are into robotics, arduino, open source open frame, hobbies that also have a practical business application to them. Also the whole D & D style games with the painted figurines and military hardware seems to be resurrecting to a degree. And we can't forget card collecting, my kids love Pokemon.
 

dhbarr

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We saw this with board gaming & video gaming, too. One thing that stands out in those areas is that the stores that stayed or came back have places to -be- and -do-, not just -buy-.

Maybe I'll win a couple of million bucks and start a combination makerspace / hobby store where a person gets a locker with their membership.
 

smoon

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I have a number of Hobby People batteries in my rockets. They are cheap and have worked well so far. My LHS stocks, them so I buy them over the more expensive brands for my rockets. It's sad to see them go after all these years.

Maybe I will help them with their sale $5.36 for a 2S 800 battery is a great price.
 

cerving

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I stopped by the one in Pasadena about a month ago only to find that it had closed, and the sign on the door referred me to another store about 40 miles away. It's probably closing now, too. Fortunately, the largest hobby store in SoCal is only a few miles from where I live, but I feel sorry for those who depended on HP to pick up stuff like balsa and the odd LiPo battery or connector.

Interestingly enough, there was a maker store right across the parking lot from that HP; they're shut down too. If you can't make it in a neighborhood that includes Cal Tech and Pasadena City College (a 2-year college that has as very technology-oriented curriculum), chances are pretty good that the business model is flawed. That's why online works so well; you literally have the whole world to draw on for your customer base, and you don't have the expenses that brick and mortar requires. You might not even have any big inventory expenses; a lot of online stores drop-ship almost everything, which is why it's so easy to get into online retailing.
 

watermelonman

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Are they profitable yet?

Who is truly winning the race to the bottom.
 

KenRico

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We had a Hobby People that was still open in El Cajon. Had just bought a pair of LiPo 2s batts for the Exactimator - his first step in moving off 9v.

The retailers (left standing) had already made it by the WalMart onslaught of price over value and had just enough of the more popular items to keep most from having to make a trip to the auto , home or fabric store.

In the same vein, Amazon is working to try to keep you out of any store period .. that strategy will win out & next losers will be sears and Macys

Kenny
 

The_Lone_Beagle

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My LHS is pretty decent. They have a whole aisle devoted to Estes and a couple of Quest kits. I'm not there often, but fairly regularly...but I haven't ever seen another person browsing the rockets, or the model airplanes, ever!

They seem to do a brisk business with RC cars in this area, and a decent amount of drone sales. I don't get the impression that people do a lot of model building, they just buy stuff off the shelf, run it, and repair or replace if something breaks.
 
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