New departure for Hornby trains
Model railway fans will be able to pick up their Hornby sets from full-scale railway stations, it was announced today.
The Kent-based company, whose brands include Airfix, Scalextric and Corgi, said it had struck a deal with parcel delivery company DPD and its offshoot brand Doddle.
The parcel firm already has more than 2,500 collection points at shops and chemists in the UK, and through Doddle is extending this to railway station collections.
Doddle already has a number of shops within stations such as London City Thameslink, Glasgow Central station and Manchester Piccadilly.
It also plans to open five more sites in Paddington, Brixton, Canary Wharf, Surbiton, and Birmingham Moor Street in August and September.
Hornby chief executive Richard Ames said: "The delivery of these projects will strengthen our business model and ultimately benefit our customers.
"DPD runs an award-winning delivery service and with Doddle as a partner enthusiasts will have the convenience of being able to collect their model train purchases from a major train station near them."
The model railway firm said its new deal with DPD will replace its previous parcel service with rival UK Mail.
Hornby posted its first profit in three years last month, posting an underlying pre-tax profit of £1.6 million in the year to the end of March, compared with a £1.1 million loss a year ago, as it boosted sales and continued to overhaul its factory production.
In March, the business also set up an e-commerce team in London's trendy tech hub in Shoreditch, which will keep the firm's customers informed about its latest promotions via Twitter, blogs, Facebook and other social media.
The firm encountered difficulties in 2012 after its biggest manufacturer shut a factory producing the group's model railways in a year that also saw it suffer slower-than-expected demand for Olympic-themed products.