NEWS AND UPDATES
This month is the 17th
Anniversary of our retail store opening.
While the current version of the retail store is not
what I hoped it would be after 17 years, and it seems
the best years for BRH happened some 10 years ago
now, BRH is still here!
Many online and retail stores have gone by the wayside
over the last 17 years. There are newer online and
retail stores out there but they can not compete
with the proven BRH business model.
In fact many have copied what BRH does, including
manufacturers stealing BRH marketing ideas!
Since the beginning of BRH as an online retail store
with 98% of sales coming from internet sales and the
retail store opening only lead to supplemental income
but that was only 2% of sales while increasing overhead
and time to run BRH.
From a small 1,200sf retail store growing to 5,000sf in
just two years with employees and volunteers decreasing
to 2,400sf in 2012 when the bottom dropped out of the
hobby then in 2014 decreasing back to 1,200sf at the
current location. This all was caused by the lack of
product availability to fill a retail store with
products that would sell.
Today, as many of you already know, product
availability for everything world wide is an issue.
Model Railroad items are just one of the products that
are suffering. Covid and the Covid restrictions are not
helping the situation.
But despite all of the issues BRH continues and sales
are good for now with what is available to sell to you
Right now I am not sure what the future will bring for
the Model Railroad hobby but BRH will keep chugging
along as long as product is available to sell and
customers keep finding BRH and return for more products.
Thanks to everyone for your support!
Back From Vacation
The last week of September I found myself at Walt Disney
World for the 50th Anniversary along with some 85,000 to 90,000
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE
This is an image of Main Street USA at the Magic
Kingdom at 7:45am just before official park opening at
8am. I arrived with our group just before 6:30am. Our
group was allowed into Fantasyland since we where
staying at WDW at Grand Floridian, my home resort at WDW.
This image was shot from the rear of Cinderella's Castle
through the portico. As you can seem the area from the
Hub all the way down to the Main Street USA Train
Station was filled with guests! That is a lot of people!
As most of you know I travel to Disney owned theme
parks and cruise ships as often as possible. I am a big
fan of the theme parks and how they are operated. In
fact, I model BRH customer service after Disney's.
So, Covid aside, this was the third Covid trip to
Disney World. I have lost count as to how many trips to
WDW I have made since 1976. I have been going to Disney
for 45 years and cruising Disney since 1999!
With that said, despite all on my vacation time, BRH
has always been open and available as long as I had
internet to access emails and orders.
BRH really has never closed in 17 years!
Again another good month at BRH in September via only 3
weeks in sales. 2021 sales where up 15.6 % over 2020. So
despite the 10 days of vacation with no sales
transactions at the end of the month the overall month
So far in October sales are strong as well.
BLI recently has cut wholesale orders back and has
begun to short advance reservations that you, our
customers, have made. They claim that their factory in
China did not produce enough product and shorted BLI so
BLI arbitrarily cut deliveries to the wholesalers.
According to information we have received from one
of our wholesaler said that they, "where alerted
by BLI that their factory shorted them on the 6640’s and
they had to allocate what they
Received and we were shorted a significant amount of
As of this update we know of only one of our customers
that have been effected by this debacle and they have
been notified. BRH does not know of any other
Just another reason to move manufacturing back to the
Looks like the Milwaukee warehouse has removed Con-Cor
from their list of manufacturers. No surprise here since
Con-Cor has not been able to produce any product for
some time and the owner did not seem to care about
selling his product any longer!
While model railroad supplies are thinning (as well
as many other products we use every day) at the
manufacturers and wholesalers and prices are on the rise
due to Covid related issues. Currently not enough
product is being created. What is being created is
sitting on container ships off shore due to lack of
people at the docks to unload, then when unloaded there
are not enough truck drivers to deliver to warehouses
Have you been shopping
at your local grocery store lately? My local Walmart and
Publix have a lot of empty shelves in the grocery area.
News accounts say that there is a supply chain issue and it is
going to get worse. No kidding!
Also, there is not enough product being created and
shipped out of the USA thus leading to the lack of
containers going back to China causing a shortage of
containers for China to ship to the USA. There is no
relief in site.
These problems are causing prices to increase some
20% and BRH is seeing this occur each day. Prices are
going out so again, think ahead and order what you can
So again, buy now for later!
Over this last week
the retail store inventory was finalized, finally.
So in the next couple of days the remaining retail store
will be live online for all to purchase at deep deep
Watch your email for the announcement when we go live!
Since March of 2020,
BRH has required that customers make appointments to
visit of retail store. This decision was not made
because of Covid and the lock downs, it was made because
BRH is an online retailer with 98% of sales being made
When people visited the retail store they did just that,
visited with no purchases. We have to have productive
sales to keep the lights on and maintain a retail store
space so we changed to the new visitation format so that
customer visits would generate sales.
Case in point. On Thursday we received a call from
someone that was driving through the area on I-85 and
was looking for a stop "so that they could stretch their
I did not know that BRH was perceived as a Rest Area
along the interstate!
Again, this is the reason for the store visitation
requests! The days of being open for anyone to wonder in
and not buy anything went away 18 months ago.
Sorry for this but BRH is currently a one man show
and my time at the retail store is mostly used for
shipping your internet orders and can not be wasted on
visitors just wanting to stretch their legs as they pass
through the area.
Several years ago we eliminated Con-Cor from our
database of products due to the lack of product that
they had available. I seems our main warehouse has
cleared out most of the the Con-Cor offerings from their
list of products. The back orders and advance
reservations see to still be in place at this point.
Looking at their website, it seems they are not making
any product any longer which does not surprise BRH at
all. Jim Conway, the owner of Con-Cor, seems to be
trying to be an online model train store and not make
any Con-Cor branded models. Not a surprise to BRH
after the conversations we had with Mr. Conway back in
February 2019. We stopped offering Con-Cor because of
So long Con-Cor?
Fall Vacation Week
As we do each year we take a
week off just before we get into the 4th and busiest
quarter of the year!
So vacation will be from 09/24 returning to BRH 10/04.
As we do most years we are off to Walt Disney World for
the 50th Anniversary on October 1st. We been going to
WDW on an off for the last 46 years! More often over the
last 20 years since we moved closer to the mouse!
As with every vacation we still process your online
orders each day. The only difference is that from there
will be no shipping from 09/24 until 10/04!
As we do when we are in vacation we do out best to
monitor voicemails and emails and try to answer
questions as they come up! Online orders will be
processed daily in the morning and late evening with no
delays as long as we have internet access which should
not be an issue.
Returns And Order Cancellations
Just as a reminder, if you need to return any item(s)
or cancel an order, back order or advance reservations
YOU WILL NEED TO CALL BRH AND SPEAK WITH A BRH CUSTOMER
Per store policy, if you email your request will not be
processed. If you just blindly send an item or
items to BRH without and RMA (Return Merchandise
Number), OXL (Order Cancellation Number) or XLN (Item
Cancellation Number) it will not be processed!
See store policy for specific details and costs, if any.
Another month of slower sales!
Sales down 28.5% from August 2020 which was a very
The last 30 Days show lower amounts of product to
New Customer Up 15%, Returning Customers Up 143%,
Average Daily Receipts Up 40%. So BRH is processing a
lot of orders for a lot of customers but smaller orders.
Receipt totals Down 20% and Items Per Receipt Down 22%
So far sales for September is tracking up over the last
several months and 2020 even with the lack of product
Changes At Blue Ridge Hobbies
In case you haven't noticed, the BRH Product Search
Page is no only featuring In Stock Items only. No more
advance reservations at this time. It is taking many of
the manufacturers years and years to fill order so BRH
has decided not to take advance reservations any longer.
The lack of product and product production by the
manufacturers since the closing of the
in China over 10 years ago now has deeply effected the
hobby. The hobby has yet to recover from that closing!
Also, some you may have noticed that our retail store
directory advertising has stopped with the current issue
for Model Railroad. Their just has not been hardly any customer
traffic coming to BRH from that advertisement that BRH
has been running for 17 years in MR or Model Railroad News! Most of our sales come
from internet searches and referrals.
Prices Continue To Go Up!
Wheels of Time
Wheels of Time manufactures authentically detailed
scaled model trains, vehicles and related accessories.
History in your hands.
Price Adjustment for Wheels of Time HO scale Flatcars.
Due to a radical increase in ocean shipping cost from
our factory, unfortunately we have to increase our MSRP
by 10%. This affects Wheels of Time product item numbers
40107 through 40160, inclusively.
Lionel Price Increase
Due to an increase in material costs, the
following Power & Control items will incur a price
increase effective immediately.
We appreciate your understanding.
Broadway Limited N Scale EMD Switchers Now Shipping
N Scale EMD NW2 and SW7 Switchers have arrived from
Broadway Limited. Based on switchers built in the 1940s
and 1950s, these
detailed models feature full Paragon4 sound and DCC for
realistic sound and motor control complete with back EMF
for smooth slow
speeds. The Paragon4 sound system works with all
Broadway Limited Rolling Thunder(TM) advanced sound
systems. These diminutive
switchers can be operated on all DCC systems as well as
on standard DC railroads (with limited sound
their wheel profiles allow smooth operation on Code 55
and larger rail. With many of these units still in
operation in 2021, these
diesels have broad appeal and typically sell
out quickly. Over a dozen new schemes are in-stock, but
selling fast. Get 'em on your railroads now!
CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE IN STOCK
New Busch HO
Arrivals Include New Action Sets, North American
Busch products are favorites with modelers because of
variety and detail. New arrivals include Action Sets
include a mix of figures, scenery details and small
complete a scene. Other highlights include 1957 Chevy
police cars and other international vehicles. Check out
latest arrivals and order now for the upcoming holiday
CLICK HERE TO ORDER ALL IN STOCK
I do not like to
talk about politics but according to Vice President
Kamila Harris during her recent trip oversees in
"If You Want To Have Christmas Gifts For Your
Children Now Is The Time To Start Buying"
According to national news sources, "the threat to
on-time delivery of Christmas presents due to the
pandemic". "The stories that we are now hearing about
the caution that if you want to have Christmas toys for
your children it might be the time to start buying them
because the delay may be many, many months," the Vice
President of the United States advised."
So what do you think is coming down the pike this
fall and winter? I have no idea but is is best to be
I again suggest you think ahead and get your orders in
for the products you may need over the next 6 to 8
USPS Price Increase / Fedex Costs
Today the USPS price increase is now in
Also, did you know that the cost of Fedex Ground is
usually twice the cost of the USPS Priority packages for
none large or bulky packages?
So when ordering through BRH pick the CHEAPEST SHIPPING
option on your order so BRH can shop the shipping for
your order and get you the lowest cost shipping!
New Email Server
So of you may have noticed a change in our sale and
news and update emails. That is because we have ended
the use of Constant Contact after 17 years. Effective
this past Monday 08/23/24 our sales and news and
updates email will be sent via Mailchimp.
This was done as a cost savings measure along with our
new computer and phone systems we have recently
installed to serve you better.
LGB / Marklin / Trix Direct
Because BRH has had several issues with our
wholesaler recently with the delivery of ordered LGB
products BRH has now replaced the wholesaler of their
responsibility to fill BRH orders. There are no back
orders currently pending fulfillment from this
wholesaler. Starting last Wednesday BRH will be ordering
directly from LGB / Markln / Trix which increase the
customer service and the timely fulfillment of orders.
Over the last 17 years we have used this wholesaler, but
as we have had to do with other manufacturers that this
wholesaler can not seem to fill orders with, we have
decided to purchase directly from the manufacturer.
Bowser Announces N Scale Freight Cars
Ready-to-run Bowser N Scale cars are great for those of
you who want interesting rolling stock for their freight
consists. New schemes
and road numbers are coming on popular Cylindrical
Covered Hoppers and PRR H21a Hoppers. Cylindrical
Covered Hoppers, perfect for
1960s to 1990s freights, will be available in both three
and six-bay versions as appropriate for each road name.
PRR Class H21a 4-
Bay Hoppers were built by the thousands for PRR and were
also operated by other lines from the 1910s and lasted
into the 1960s
and later in work train service, so they appeal to steam
and diesel-era modelers. All of these cars feature fine
appropriate trucks, magnetic knuckle couplers and metal
wheels. Preorder now through September 15, 2021
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
Broadway Limited HO EMD SD40-2s
Selling Through Fast
Based on one of the most popular diesels ever built.
Introduced in the 1970s, reliable SD40-2s became the
workhorse diesels used
for everything from hauling 10,000-ton coal drags to
short, fast intermodal trains. This diesel features full
Paragon4 sound and
DCC for realistic sound and motor control complete with
back EMF for smooth slow speeds. The Paragon4 sound
system works with all
Rolling Thunder(TM) advanced sound systems. The EMD
SD40-2 can be operated on all DCC systems as well as on
standard DC railroads
(with limited sound functionality). We still have a
handful of most road names and road numbers. Order now
for best availability.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
THANKS FOR THE