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SQUADRON MAY BE DEFUNCT


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Looks like long time mail order and wholesaler Squadron/MMD may be out of business. Nothing confirmed, but reliable sources say warehouse is empty. If I'm wrong, let me know.

Dak

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I'm seeing varying posts, but no definite answer. The last post I saw said "change of ownership"....but who knows what that means, even if it's true?

They had a %70 off sale last week, which is probably why the warehouse is empty. The problem now is how do they start back up IF there is a new owner and wants "Squadron" to continue"? The brand had lost so much of it's shine and reputation over the last 10yrs due to slip-shod service that I'm not sure the name has any value anymore.

There was a time when both their brick&mortar stores and their mail order were THE place to go to if you possibly could. But that was when it was run by the hobbyists who started the business. The "business types" who took over the purely mail order Squadron didn't have a clue as how to satisfy us, and ran it into the bankruptcy of today.

 

It probably IS the end of an era.....but as they taught us in physics....the ONLY constant in the universe IS change!

 

Gil :smiley16:

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I first became aware of Squadron through their ads in the late 1970's in the old Challenge Publications rag "Scale Modeler", and I first ordered from them in 1983.  From 1983 through the mid-1990's, they were my go-to.  Then I started working in a hobby shop (Warrick Custom Hobbies in Plantation, FL) where I could get whatever I wanted by tacking it on to a stock order, and had no use for mail order (or, as became more frequent, online purchasing).  I moved in 2001, and the next time I used Squadron was in 2005--what a marked difference.  Shipping prices were through the roof (not 100% Squadron's fault, to be sure, but...), and their "Specials" were less frequent and could be hit or miss.  After Jerry sold the business, I noted a lot less models on special and a lot more tchotchkes in stock and at a deep discount. 

To be honest, I believe the decline started with the rise of the internet.  Groups like Stevens International (through their MegaHobby arm) and what we now know as Sprue Brothers embraced the technology, while Squadron resisted.  When they did finally acknowledge that that was the future, their first attempt at a website was dismal, at best.  Then Jerry sold the business, and that guy got in over his head.  Then came Gwinne Gorr from Franklin Mint, but by that time the writing was on the wall. 

I recall reading somewhere a few months ago (about the same time Jef V. left and started his venture) that Gwynne, too, was out.  I guess that coincides with a change in ownership...

The funny thing is that MMD never missed a beat--probably because many shops were, up until recently, ordering via phone and fax.  The HobbyTown I worked for only started using electronic ordering after MMD synchronized their system to the HobbyTown SMART software.  Before late 2015 all our orders to MMD were done via phone, simply because it was easier than using their online ordering system.  An added bonus was that you received confirmation of stock as you placed the order...

If they're simply reorganizing, I will be eager to see what changes they've made.  If they're down for the count, it was a long, fun ride...

R

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There are a number of reasons for their problems. Personally, I liked the old web design much better than the latest one. Taking on Eagle Quest instead of continuing to support Scalfest as they did did not help either.

At any rate, I started doing business with them in the old Kalamazoo days. I still have copies of some of the Magazine/Catalog they put out in the old days.

Dal

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The site design they used two or three re-designs before the recent revamp was good, but the most recent site designs sucked rocks.  And the initial attempt at a website was horrid, even in year 2000 terms.

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Their website design was the least of their problems.

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