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 Flying Mule drops Corgi

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PostSubject: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Sun Jun 18 2017, 07:37

I was following a thread on another forum and I went to the Flying Mule on-line store website to  check on a pre-ordered model recently ordered from them.  As I searched their site, I  noticed that there was no listing for any Corgi products.  When I did a search, only three old models showed up.  Seems all the Mules's stock of Corgi models is gone.  Searching for old Corgi models lists them as being discontinued and out-of-stock. So if we want to buy a Corgi model, The Flying Mule is no longer an option at least for now.

Allan

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PostSubject: Re: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Sun Jun 18 2017, 09:17

Hmm. Interesting. It seems odd they would shut out such a major player in the diecast market.

I wonder if it is a site glitch or an actual action taken on purpose. Was the other thread pointing out the missing stuff or did they have some sort of explanation from FM?

Tom

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PostSubject: Re: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Sun Jun 18 2017, 10:06

TomMarkert wrote:
Hmm. Interesting. It seems odd they would shut out such a major player in the diecast market.

I wonder if it is a site glitch or an actual action taken on purpose. Was the other thread pointing out the missing stuff or did they have some sort of explanation from FM?

Tom

I don't think it's a site glitch Tom. The missing Corgi references are too widespread. The line is only listed as Corgi Aviation in the on-site search engine where in the past there were numerous Corgi lines available to search for. And it doesn't even show on the left side scroll bar that shows all the manufacturers whose products they carry.

What I've been able to gleam from the other forum is:

1) The Mule's big sale a while back was a Corgi inventory clearance sale - not an inventory reduction sale,

2) There is talk about poor product quality, lack of product availability, and a serious reducing of profit margins.

I think a whole lot of things we don't know about go into businesses making a decision like this. I know my other primary retailer has very little Corgi stock on hand. Maybe Corgi has decided to just sell directly to its buyers and is phasing out distributors and middle men like on-line retailers and brick and mortar shops. There's been comments about Corgi having a "Blighty first" philosophy that pretty limits them to a smaller collector base.

It will be interesting to see what shakes out of this.


Allan

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PostSubject: Re: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Sun Jun 18 2017, 14:41

I see. They own the Hornby line of model railroad stuff, which is pretty big, especially in England. They had issues a couple years back, but nothing like this.

Time will tell.....

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PostSubject: Re: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Sun Jun 18 2017, 15:11

Lack of product could well be part of the problem and maybe some of the recent blunders. Another factor is that Hornby/Corgi seem to be moving more and more towards selling direct. This would enable them to produce lowere run numbers but maintain the same profit level by cutting out wholesalers and retailers. I see that they have a US site and that would reduce Hornby/Corgi reliance on US re-sellers such as the Mule.

Just my thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Mon Jun 19 2017, 06:22

I was wondering the same thing DCR. Getting rid of the distribution base and selling direct may allow Corgi to make smaller runs while maximizing the profits they get from each model sold. The less you have to share with someone else, the more you can keep for yourself seems to be the Corgi way.

I've gotten several advertisement type e-mails directly from Corgi featuring new models and sales prices on older ones. I generally ignore them, as buying directly from Corgi in the UK just adds too much extra cost to my final price. Also I'm not familiar with the currency conversions so I never really know what I'm paying for a model - I prefer eBay as they give you a conversion in currency.

Allan

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PostSubject: Re: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Thu Jun 29 2017, 08:03

From what I am hearing about Corgi fom other sellers, it's not only the amount of product or QC issues but Corgi's demands regarding pricing and costs to the dealer. The dealers say that their profit margins on Corgi AA models, relative to the amounts they can sell, are so small that it's not worth carrying the line anymore. Others may soon defect, unless Corgi ups their margins.
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PostSubject: Re: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Thu Jun 29 2017, 11:36

Hornby (and by extension Corgi) are on the financial ropes. Upping the margins may lead to tipping the scales the wrong way - more $$$ for the dealers, less for the company. Yet without a good network of dealers, you may possibly get less product sold. Double edged sword in my view.

Corgi seems to be going more and more to the "direct sales" route. Corgi U.S.A. is selling models directly and sending promotional e-mails to those who are registered on their mailing lists & websites. They even offer a free shipping option for sales greater than $50. If they continue to make models that interest their customers and meet those customers' expectations in terms of quality, this direct selling route may work out to their advantage.

Allan

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PostSubject: Re: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Thu Jun 29 2017, 13:00

Allan, as you may know, I have long maintained that Corgi should alter its business model and test the idea of creating a "budget" range with a new brand name---like Sky Max for HM---which could be sold directly. The same goes for regular AA line "quality" products. I also believe that Corgi could use its existing molds as the starting point for a subscription series with a publisher such as Altaya or DeAgostini, then retain the rights for any new toolings for sale under its own budget line for direct sales or distribution via traditional vendors---as Oxford has done with the toolings it commissioned for Atlas. All of these approaches could have been tested some time ago---but each idea, while discussed, was rejected. I wonder if selling direct---in a sort of half hearted way, while still clinging to the old distribution system--- will be a cure for Corgi's ills. It may be too late for half measures.
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PostSubject: Re: Flying Mule drops Corgi   Thu Jun 29 2017, 13:24

You are in all likelihood correct Ed. But Hornby / Corgi are running out of options.

They used to be a cutting edge leader in the die-cast hobby - now they aren't.

They used to command most of the world's market share - now they don't.

They used to be the first company that people looked to for innovative, new castings - no one does that now.

They used to be a major player in the U.S. - now they are barely represented.

Dealers, small stores, and high end collectible shops used to sell Corgi products - now they don't.

Corgi was a successful company with a good profitability - now its teetering on insolvency.

I don't know how much they can do to turn things around. Like the Titanic, it's pointless to try to avoid the iceberg AFTER you've already hit it.

Allan

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