AMain has set its sites on becoming one of the largest entities in our industry, bringing that dream closer to fruition with the purchase of the Hobbytown franchise. Below is the official statement from AMain:
“AMain Hobbies is announcing an agreement in principle to the acquisition of HobbyTown, the largest hobby, specialty toy/game, and STEM retail chain in the World. The agreement, which includes the Lincoln, Nebraska headquarters and distribution center will begin later this summer. Combined with AMain Hobbies’ current distribution network, AMain will now have three strategically placed distribution centers to reach wholesale and retail customers with unprecedented speed. The combination of AMain Hobbies’ and HobbyTown’s industry experience, knowledge, and wealth of data will offer hobbyists an even wider product selection and modern retail shopping experience while making it easier and more profitable for stores to operate in the current economy.
“We are honored and excited to bring HobbyTown into the AMain Hobbies family,” states AMain Hobbies CEO Kendall Bennett. “With almost 40 years under their belt, HobbyTown has been the go-to place for countless enthusiasts, like myself, to fuel their passion for radio-controlled cars, airplanes, specialty toys, and games, as well as STEM toys. Thom Walla and Bob Wilke have developed a proven successful retail model, and we’re stoked to bring our expertise in eCommerce, customer service, and fulfillment to the table. Our mission is clear – we want to buck the current trend and expand the retail scene across the US. We want to create a space where enthusiasts can come together, discover new things, learn, and connect with others while enjoying their free time.”
The HobbyTown chain of 106 retail stores spans to 35 U.S. states and features a wide selection of radio control cars and airplanes, models, toys, puzzles/games, and Science/Technology/Engineering/Math (STEM) toys. Thom Walla, Merlin Hayes, and Mary Hayes founded HobbyTown Unlimited, Inc. in 1985 and opened the first franchise store in 1986. The company quickly grew into a hobby leader and continues to be a brick-and-mortar retail pacesetter where many enthusiasts nationwide are first exposed to the wonderful world of RC cars/planes, models, toys, games, and puzzles.
“We have formed a great partnership with AMain Hobbies for the past seven years,” HobbyTown Founder Thom Walla remarked. “We have confidence Kendall and his team at AMain Hobbies along with the HobbyTown team will continue the tradition of bringing an enjoyable one-stop shopping experience to customers across the country.”
Several United States markets are targeted for HobbyTown franchisee growth in 2023 and beyond. Current hobby store owners who have considered expansion or enthusiasts who would like to own their own hobby store can inquire through the HobbyTown Franchise website: https://hobbytownfranchise.com.
Widely known in the hobby industry as a premier online retailer, AMain Hobbies has supported the brick-and-mortar retail community since its inception through its distribution programs, local retail stores, sponsorship of races and events hosted by local track stores, and through in-kind donations extended to the communities in which those stores reside. In 2022, AMain Hobbies supported/sponsored more than 200 events worldwide and are on pace for even more in 2023.
“AMain Hobbies was founded by a true hobbyist in Kendall Bennett. Growing, supporting, and advancing the hobby industry is what Kendall and the entire AMain Hobbies team strives to make happen on an everyday basis. We spend countless hours and resources to ensure we provide the best overall customer experience in the industry,” states AMain Hobbies Chief Financial Officer Kevin Kiser. “It’s been said many times that brick-and-mortar stores are vital to the hobby industry. This is an opportunity for us to invest entirely in that belief and give retailers better tools to make them more profitable, save time, and feel like a valued part of the industry ecosystem. We are excited to combine the use of our data and technology with the existing HobbyTown stores and any other hobby dealers that want to grow their business model to ultimately provide the consumer with the first true omnichannel experience for our customers.””
We’ll be keeping an eye out on what this means for the industry. Stay tuned.
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