This post it a little out of date but this is the first time I have had chance to update the site. It is sad news that Punctilio Modespot (aka www.modelspot.com) has closed their doors for the last time.
Here is their final note before the site went down.
“It is with great regret that Punctilio Modelspot Ltd has ceased trading and the shop is now closed. A combination of extremely poor local and national trading conditions, general austerity, coupled with competition from overseas dealers actively engaged in exploiting VAT avoidance loopholes, make it impossible for us to continue in the current trading environment as a high street shop. We would like to thank those who supported us over our previous 41 years of trading.”
This is very sad news and I’d welcome any debates on here regarding this. I have been a great supporter of this shop for many years, I bought my first Twin Star from them around 15 years ago and many more models since. I knew they had recently moved premises but I suspected something was wrong when I dropped into the new shop just after Christmas. I was hoping to buy a Fun Cub, but sadly no stock so I thought maybe a Funjet Ultra, once again, no stock. Gordon barely stopped eating his sandwich to serve me and did not get up once from behind the counter so I suspected things were not good.
Its a real shame and yes, the likes of Hobbyking do have a part to pay in the demise of many local shops, but I can not help but think that its the wholesalers who are more to blame in the UK. The likes of Ripmax, J Perkins, Amarang, Horizon etc etc have been buying in items from the far east and then putting their margin on before the model shop can have their bit.
Should these shops have adapted years ago and started to buy direct from China, the likes of Weston UK has been doing this for many years?
Whilst I am a great lover of Multiplex products something was brought to my attention in the last few months which did concern me. I have been told by a number of model shops that sell Multiplex (buying from Gordon the Multiplex agent and owner of Modelspot), that they must not sell below the recommended retail price otherwise they would refuse to supply them. I can only say this has been told to me verbally, but this practice is not legal, this is in breach of competition law. A shop should be able to sell their products at what ever price they want and a customer should be able to shop around for the best price. I wonder that if this practice of what is basically “price fixing” (If it was true) has not helped the UK model industry and has effectively opened the door wide open for the likes of Hobbyking to exploit, albeit to the customers advantage. Do the other wholesalers also specify a minimum price or impose restrictions such as refusing to deal with them because of “X”? I was told that model shop who tried to adapt by buying in Orange RX receivers had been warned that they would not be able to purchase Spektrum Transmitters if they continued to offer these alternatives to Spektrum receivers.
Food for thought but please feel free to debate below.