Lionel goes to the mall...

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Lionel goes to the mall...
Posted by tarheeltracks on Tuesday, August 07, 2018 8:05 PM

Lionel has decided to go into the retail store business. They will be opening their(as they call it) flagship store at Concord Mills mall in Concord NC. The store will be opening Labor Day weekend, and the current store at their headquarters will close. Full details at their website.

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Posted by fifedog on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 7:13 AM

With Toys R Us going under, this might be an opertune time for LIONEL to try this venture.  I wouldn't mind seeing them setting up partial rentals (Sep-Dec), much like the "pop-up" Christmas and Halloween stores.

Folks still enjoy going shopping.

Wish them luck.

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Posted by robmcc on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 8:05 PM

Has anyone been to the Lionel store in Concord? I'm curious what they sell their product for. I know when I used to visit the Mount Clemens factory store, they still sold everything at catalog MSRP. So, it was still a better deal through the local dealers. I get it they don't want to undercut their dealers, but it makes one wonder if the store would be profitable.

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Posted by thesiding on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 9:01 PM

Lets hope we get other states though the northeast rents are gonna be high

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Thursday, August 09, 2018 6:21 AM

With malls dying and interest in trains waning, this sounds like a great idea!

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Posted by tarheeltracks on Thursday, August 09, 2018 2:59 PM

robmcc

I am only about 1.5 hours from that store so get by 2 or 3 times a year. Most of the time prices are MSRP, but they will at times have some items on sale. I think that store is closing tommorow?? Best time to get a bargain is the warehouse sale in November.  I hope when they have the grand opening in September there will be some bargains at the new store.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, August 09, 2018 5:12 PM

The Lionel mall in the store is a good idea, a very good idea indeed!  Anything that creates interest in the hobby is a good idea.

Now, as to pricing.  If there are no model railroad hobby shops within a 75 to 100 mile radius there shouldn't be any conflict with underselling any of their dealers, as long as they keep the discounts within reason.  They certainly shouldn't kill the "shop around the corner" assuming there is one.

And no mail orders or on-line sales!  Keep it walk in retail.  Do that and they can price the stuff to move.

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Posted by Michael6268 on Thursday, August 09, 2018 7:36 PM

If they stick to full MSRP that is bound to be more of a deterant to the hobby than a attraction....

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Posted by robmcc on Friday, August 10, 2018 10:24 AM

Thanks for clarifying, tarheeltracks. I was only 40 miles from the Mount Clemens factory/store. Occasionally, they would have a 10% off day or some "sratch 'n dent" items. Still, like I said previously, it was better to go through a dealer. I like your idea Firelock about at least being in store only deals. Still not sure if Lionel would want to risk upsetting their dealers whether it's a "Mom and Pop" store or a mega dealer by offering reduced pricing. Mind you, with all of this MAP nonsense, the gap between MSRP and actual store pricing is becoming even closer.

None the less, hopefully it will work out for them. Is there still a store in NYC?

Rob

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Posted by thesiding on Friday, August 10, 2018 11:09 AM

Don't think so one reason being              the rents

 

Toy building(s) are condos now I think

 

Last time I was near Flyer Building it was selling collectable figurines

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Posted by SotaPop on Friday, August 10, 2018 1:57 PM

Reminds me of the "Great American Train Store" that use to be at the Mall of America here in Minnesota and other locations around the country.

We loved to walk through the store, but really couldn't afford their higher prices.

Hopefully Lionel will avoid these higher rent locations, which should help keep their pricing more affordable.

This will be interesting to watch and to see how it all plays out.

One thing about trains: It doesn't matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, August 10, 2018 5:35 PM

I remember the "Great American Train Store,"  there was one here in a local mall, as SotaPop said the prices on the trains weren't so hot, but I did purchase quite a few books and videos there.  I DID buy my best friend Shotgun Charlie a Bachmann Central Pacific "Jupiter" HO set to run under his Christmas tree from "GATS,"  Charlie just loves those old-time 4-4-0's!

Lionel should use the "GATS" as an example of how NOT to do it.

I know during Jerry Calabrese's tenure as Lionel CEO he had a "pop-up" Lionel retail store opened in New York City's Rockefeller Center during the Christmas season for a few years.  Whether Lionel still opens the store at Christmas time I don't know, but supposedly business was pretty good for them.

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Posted by SotaPop on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 2:16 PM

Firelock76 - Makes me wonder how a Lionel seasonal kiosk would do in the malls across the US?  I'm not sure exactly how that would work, but should be cheaper than renting a high-priced retail space, right? Hmm

One thing about trains: It doesn't matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, August 19, 2018 10:47 AM

You know SotaPop, a seasonal kiosk like Hickory Farms does wouldn't be a bad idea, if they do a little homework first, such as...

1)  Make sure the mall has a strong walk-in trade.  A lot of malls are dying now due to various factors, the biggest of which is the mania for "on-line" purchasing.  I've got grave doubts about purchasing "on-line,"  but I won't go into it here. 

2)  Again, make sure there's no Lionel dealers within a 75 to 100 mile radius so the items can be priced to move without undercutting any Lionel dealers that may be in the area. 

Kiosks are a good idea.  Everyone knows the name "Lionel" but quite a few people aren't aware they're around anymore. 

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Posted by cwburfle on Sunday, August 19, 2018 10:53 AM

I buy from a Hickory Farms kiosk every Christmas season. I would not buy a train or any other hard goods from a kiosk or pop-up store. Where do you go if there is a problem or for support? (Don't need support, then buy online!)

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, August 19, 2018 11:10 AM

cwburfle

I buy from a Hickoy Farms kiosk every Christmas season. I would not buy a train or any other hard goods from a kiosk or pop-up store. Where do you go if there is a problem or for support? (Don't need support, then buy online!)

 

That's a very good point Mr. Burfle, however, where do those hobbyists forced to buy on-line or mail-order go because there's no hobby shop in the area go for support?  They have to box it up and mail or UPS the product back to whover they got it from.

How about this?  Suppose if with a kiosk sale Lionel provides a free UPS return shipping label  if there's any kind of problem with the product?   Supposing 90% of the products have no problems and only 10% do that shouldn't be a major issue for them.  Besides, UPS could probably work a "quantity discount" for them.

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Posted by cwburfle on Sunday, August 19, 2018 12:06 PM

That's a very good point Mr. Burfle, however, where do those hobbyists forced to buy on-line or mail-order go because there's no hobby shop in the area go for support?  They have to box it up and mail or UPS the product back to whover they got it from.

Would a kiosk or pop-up store target established hobbiests? ----- I don't think so.
I think the target population for this sort of retailing would be the Christmas tree trade. Those folks shop at Sears, Boscov's and those sort of places. Their support is probably no more than accepting returns.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, August 19, 2018 3:33 PM

Would the serious hobbiest go to a kiosk?  Probably not, the serious hobbiest already knows where he/she can go to get what they need.

But you hit it on the head when you mentioned the "Christmas tree trade."  These are the folks that would want something around the Christmas tree, more than likely a toy train for tradition's sake, if nothing else.   And who knows?  That train around the tree could very well lead to something else, which would be the whole reason for the kiosks anyway.  It was the reason for the pop-up Lionel store at Rockefeller Center I mentioned earlier. 

Get the product and the name out there so people can see it, that's the name of the game.

By the way, do you suppose Lionel is looking in on this conversation?  Probably not!

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Posted by cwburfle on Sunday, August 19, 2018 4:59 PM

There is little doubt about Lionel folks reading the other O gauge board. They probably look at this board too.

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Posted by rtraincollector on Sunday, August 19, 2018 5:08 PM

The serious buyer isn't going to go to a store in a mall. But your telling me if you happen to be in a mall that had the Lionel store in it, you wouldn't go in it. I doubt you can, if for no other reason it was there, and so where you. Now you see an item you want, and they have it there, would you not consider it, once in your head that you figures ABC train store on line has it for about 15% less but by time you add shipping it still about 5% less but you can have it now, not a week from now. Also although they may have a few of there big ticket items in there, I doubt they think they will sell. As ABC train store will have it a lot less than they do. Most there sales ( I would guess anywhere from 65% to 90% ) are going to be stuff like RTR train sets, track, individual train cars, accessories etc,etc.

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, August 19, 2018 7:38 PM

Hey, if I were at a mall and saw a Lionel store I'd certainly go in for a look, for curiosity's sake if nothing else, and besides, you never know, do you?

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Posted by tarheeltracks on Sunday, August 19, 2018 8:37 PM

If I see a store that carry's trains I'm going in to check it out,if they have something I like and can live with the price I'll buy. Hey LIONEL if you are reading this how about answering my email I sent 3 weeks ago????

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Posted by cwburfle on Monday, August 20, 2018 5:45 PM

rtraincollector
But your telling me if you happen to be in a mall that had the Lionel store in it, you wouldn't go in it.

We had a Great American Train Store in our local mall. I visited the store many times. Didn't buy anything until they had their going out of business sale. Then I purchased some Kato N gauge track for my son, a big roll of plain brown wrapping paper, and a couple of boxes of envelopes.
I was still buying newly made Lionel at the time, but not from GATS.

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Posted by rtraincollector on Monday, August 20, 2018 7:00 PM

That's my point, if nothing more than to see how high there prices are. They got you in there just by being there. And if they had a sale you liked you would buy, To them the most important thing is to get you in the store, And they have about a 75% more chance to get you in the store there than they do at the company head quarters. Not many are about going to there to buy a train, more likely goto the mall or big box store ( target, Wal-Mart etc. ) 

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

http://rtssite.shutterfly.com/

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Posted by cwburfle on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 5:11 AM

rtraincollector
They got you in there just by being there. And if they had a sale you liked you would buy, To them the most important thing is to get you in the store,



My comment was about temporary setups, like kiosks and pop-up stores.

Regardless, while I wish Lionel well on their store, the Great American Train Store seemed to have plenty of foot traffic, but not enough sales to stay in business.

Certainly more people will visit the store in a mall, as opposed to a store at the factory. Either location would be a bit far for me. :)

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Posted by fifedog on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 8:25 AM

To the average shopper, especially heading into the holidays, the MSRP on Lionel's starter sets isn't out of reach.  Team that with the plug-and-play LionChief + line, and the ability to demonstrate that to a new audience, I think it's a win-win.  And when newbies discover they can operate trains with their phones and tablets, who knows what the potential will be...

I wish they would set up a seasonal store within the ped mall, in Cumberland.

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Posted by tarheeltracks on Saturday, September 01, 2018 7:23 PM

Took the day off and had a road trip down to check out the new store. Got there about 15 minutes before they opened(10:00am) already 2 other persons waiting. The store has 2 small layouts to the left and right of the entry door. There are free standing and wall shelves with anything from ready to run sets, to TMCC items. There are several displays with some of the higher priced engines. I did see some items discounted but most are MSRP. The large layout is toward the rear of the store with 4 levels of trains running. The Nascar stuff is at the rear of the store. I spent a couple of hours looking around and by then there was maybe 15 to 20 people in the store. I did notice the foot traffic passing by the front of the store and the 2 small layouts were getting some attention. I guess time will tell if this works or not. I posted a picture album on imgur.com site, search for Lionel. Sorry could not figure out how to add the link... 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, September 01, 2018 7:48 PM

Interrestingly the stores page at the mall website: https://www.simon.com/mall/concord-mills/stores/lionel-trains talks more about NASCAR merchandise than Lionel trains.

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, September 01, 2018 7:51 PM

I linked your pics the cheater way.  Wink

 

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by tarheeltracks on Saturday, September 01, 2018 8:00 PM

Penny Trains thank you I need all the help I can get. Big Smile

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