THE Cub Report – Welcome To The Jungle
Here we are, just you, me, and a few thousand other people, welcome to this week’s Cub Report. I hope you are already off to a great start of your week, I know things are hopping like crazy around our offices.
So this week I want to touch on something that I have never spoken about before- Amazon. Yes, you know Amazon, it’s the website that your wife orders anything and everything off of. It is the site that is putting a major hurt’n on a huge variety of brick-and-mortars, stores ranging from Wal-Mart to Lord & Taylor. No, I don’t shop on Amazon, but I know my wifey sure puts my credit card through a workout every time she lands on it.
So what does Amazon have to do with rc? Actually, a lot. You see, I know first hand of one of the largest rc companies that now ships more product to Amazon than they do to local hobby shops. Let that sink in a minute. Amazon.com is becoming a huge player in the rc biz, who would have thought? In fact, talking about the same company I mentioned above, they could pretty much care less about Wal-Mart and Best Buy now days. Best Buy has been on the verge of bankruptcy for years, and Wal-Mart has not taken off on the web as well as expect, so that certain rc company mentioned above is all about Amazon and it is paying off big time for them.
Ok, so Amazon is moving a whole lot of rc products to main-streamers, who cares? To me it signifies the next evolution in rc. Not in cars of course, but in distribution. For the entire life of our hobby, distribution has remained pretty much the same. Here in the USA we have 3 major distributors for hobby shops to get their product from, but with more and more hobby shops dying off, the need for distribution is changing. On top of that, some of the major manufacturers are changing how they want distribution to work. One of the biggest names in our hobby has drastically changed how they move their product to end consumers, a trend that we will likely continue to see more of.
Yes, all of the above is bad news for your LHS. As the on-line rc shops get bigger, and big mainstream sites like Amazon actually start to catch on with hobbyists, the backbone of our industry (local hobby shops) will face even harder challenges. I have no doubt that the really good shops will continue to prosper, while those that are less than stellar, or those with little diversity, will suffer. It is simply evolution, change with the times or go extinct. I for one hate the fact that so many hobby shops have gone out of business, but even I am smart enough to know that evolution simply can not be stopped.
Any which way, that’s all I have for ya this week. Like always, try to get out and support the friendly folks at your LHS when ya can, and drop by your local bash spot if you get some free time too.
YOUR Cub Reporter