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Old 11th September 2017, 02:44   #1
jon0844
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Default London Transport Museum shop

I thought general discussion the best place for this, as it's not so much about transport but rather the shop - and how it has changed since my last visit last summer.

I am not sure exactly what TfL has decided to do with the shop. It's more open than before, and brighter, but seems to have less things for sale that might appeal to tourists - and more than I assume is aimed at enthusiasts.

Now if the latter works, so be it, but I couldn't help but notice that even on a Saturday, nobody was at the counter buying anything.

My son wanted another single tube train carriage to attach to the one that we bought a year or so ago, but they didn't have any. Nor could I see the Brio-like trains for each of the lines. Have all these things been discontinued?

Upstairs they had models, at a price. Like the S-Stock carriages for around £60 or something, and £340 for a 4-coach set (complete with optional lighting).

They did have the usual 'pocket money' stuff they had before, which has London Transport Museum stamped on (water bottle, pens, keyrings etc). Yet this is a lot of the same tat you can buy at any museum gift shop, just with a logo put on it and very little to do with whatever the museum is about, although I thought the ducks were quite funny (mind the quack).

Inside the new kids play area are some nice tongue-in-cheek gags like Thames nippers, but nobody seems to have thought to sell models of any of this in the shop. Unless I was missing something and there's another part of the shop I am not aware of (and I checked both floors).

Seems like a lot of missed opportunities, but if you want books, posters or mugs with your initial on it in New Johnston then knock yourself out!

For the first time ever, we came away without buying anything (although the wife quite liked the tube train cushion!).

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Old 11th September 2017, 21:39   #2
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My wife ordered something one Xmas for me from the Friends of London Transport Museum, and I believe it arrived with a catalogue. They are a separate organisation and I contacted them as a named person was one I worked with at LT over forty years ago, but after that initial dialogue I haven't ordered since, but they may be worth seeking out.
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Old 13th September 2017, 08:42   #3
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I think what puts most tourists off is the price, only an enthusiast would commit to the kind of prices they have there.

Easily the kind of place that I could spend all my wedding savings in an hour. The missus has temporarily banned me from that place as well as the Ian Allen Bookshop, Alton Model Railway shop.
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Old 13th September 2017, 10:04   #4
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We often read here about how the NRM is dumbing down & not catering for the enthusiasts yet here we are complaining that the LU museum isnt offering enough for the non enthusiast!
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Old 13th September 2017, 13:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarloRich View Post
We often read here about how the NRM is dumbing down & not catering for the enthusiasts yet here we are complaining that the LU museum isnt offering enough for the non enthusiast!
It offers plenty for the non-enthusiasts, it's just the same tat that you can get elsewhere but more expensive.

I've found that over the last few years, the price of everything connected to the London Transport Museum has become quite expensive.
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Old 13th September 2017, 13:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanD View Post
It offers plenty for the non-enthusiasts, it's just the same tat that you can get elsewhere but more expensive.

I've found that over the last few years, the price of everything connected to the London Transport Museum has become quite expensive.
I fully agree. On a recent visit I found that many items you could buy cheaper elsewhere.
It is in a prime location in Central London so tourists will pay those high prices.
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Old 15th September 2017, 23:39   #7
jon0844
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I wasn't so much moaning about the price, rather a lot of the toy stuff having been removed. Now it's mugs, cushions etc.

I know they did some of this before, but it's as if they've thought

a) Cater more for enthusiasts. More expensive models, books, posters etc.

b) Cater for the total non-enthusiast that brought their kid(s) but would rather buy a T-shirt than a model train (affordable toy one, not die-cast and costing £70).

c) The kids can buy some marbles or a pencil eraser with LTM stamped on it.

The shop is a lot more open and airy, perhaps helping to prevent shoplifting? but seems to have had a change of direction that I, personally, thought was wrong and then I confirmed to myself on account of the fact that nobody was buying stuff!

Opinions may vary, but when I went to the Museum of London, I felt they had a much better mix of things (and of course the marbles and pencil erasers...).
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Old 17th September 2017, 22:02   #8
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Maybe they have put an emphasis on Visual Merchandising?

What would the OP do to improve things? Do you think they need a better stock range? Or do they need to lower the price?
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Old 17th September 2017, 23:41   #9
jon0844
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I think they should bring back some of the items they appear to have stopped selling, like when they had wooden trains for each Underground line, little model carriages and so on.

The sort of thing children, of which there are LOADS (look at the two play areas for kids and the cafe) will want/buy.

Pricing isn't up to me. Of course I'd likely say cheap, but I know that's not how it works!
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