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Model Railroading > Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???


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Date: 02/20/06 20:28
Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: NH2006

They used to have awesome deals in Model Railroader, but there's nothing from them anymore in there and the website is basically useless for N scale shopping....

I can't help but think this was the beginning of the end:
http://www.press-enterprise.com/newsarchive/1999/04/01/922949889.html

IN case the website disappears:
"Longs loses `station manager'
Built model-train area from 36 sets to 5 aisles

By Joe Gutierrez
The Press-Enterprise
MORENO VALLEY
The station master is departing, but the trains will stay behind, sandwiched between the vitamins, prune juice and Thousand Island dressing.

Longs Drug Store Manager Jim Bromar is leaving his Moreno Valley store, more than a decade after he stuck 36 model-train sets in the toy section and planted the seed for a model-train department that grew to five aisles and is known around the world.

"It's time to look to the future to other and greater challenges," said Bromar, whose last day on the job was Wednesday.

Store employees held a potluck lunch for Bromar, who has been the store manager since it opened in 1986. Many of them were teary-eyed, saying they were lucky to have worked for him and sad to see him go.

"I would like to thank you for being the best boss I've ever worked for," Maria Chasse said.

Bromar tried to keep employee spirits high. He taped six tissue boxes to a strap and wore it around his neck.

"These are for me," he joked.

He is leaving because of disagreements with Longs management that he declined to describe. He is sad to be leaving, especially the train section.

Bromar, 57, was clearly at home in the aisles near the rear of the store that were filled with models of steam engines, diesel engines, Pullmans, cattle cars, tankers and freight cars.

A model train circles overhead, above boxes of train tracks and accessories such as tiny passengers and passersby, trees and bushes, rocks and buildings.

He often stops by to greet one of the many miniature-train hobbyists who frequent the store, many of whom have learned of the collection from an Internet Web site. Bromar reassures customers that Longs has promised to continue carrying the merchandise at the store on Alessandro and Perris boulevards.

Bromar said the model-train section started out as a fluke several years ago. He was at a 1989 vendors meeting when one of those attending said he had 36 train sets and wondered if anyone wanted to stock them. Bromar took him up on the offer. They sold out within weeks.

Customers soon began asking for accessories. So he began stocking accessories. And that brought in even more customers.

"As we kept growing, people kept asking for more, so I just kept expanding it," Bromar said.

Most of his customers are older than 45. Model trains were their hobby when they were much younger, but once they grew into adulthood, family came first, Bromar said.

"Now they are older, somewhat more successful, kids are gone from home, and they have some disposable income, so this has become enjoyable for them," Bromar said.

Two aisles over, John Morrison of Highland fit Bromar's description. Morrison, 70, has been a model-train enthusiast since the early 1950s. Now that he's older, model trains have become a passion for the semi-retired engineer (not trains). He has 15 locomotives and 100 rail cars.

Morrison has been coming to the Moreno Valley store for years. The selection is large, the prices are cheap, and it's close to home, he said.

"It's either here or go to Pasadena," said Morrison, who comes to the store several times a month.

Richard Carreon of Ontario buys almost all his supplies and model trains at the store. When Carreon heard Bromar was leaving, he shook his head.

"It's sad to see him go. I hope they don't downsize it," Carreon said. "I really like coming here."

Bromar said the section, known as Longs Model Railroad Supply, has become known throughout the model-train world because of advertising in model magazines and having an Internet Web site.

The store receives calls and orders from as far away as South America, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, Australia, even South Vietnam.

Model trains are more than a business for Bromar. They have become his hobby. Bromar is president of the Riverside Live Steamers, an all-volunteer club that maintains and operates miniature steam locomotives and tracks at Hunter Park in Riverside.

Bromar's interests go beyond model trains, however.

The Moreno Valley Chamber of Commerce named Bromar its Citizen of the Year, citing his commitment to education. Bromar, who serves as chairman of the chamber's education committee, helped launch its Student of the Month luncheons and end-of-year banquets to honor students for their academic achievements.


Published 4/1/1999"



Date: 02/20/06 20:35
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: ESPEE5318

There web site is useless for any scale. Have you been to the store lately? Every time I have been there over the years it has gotten worse and worse. I have not been in the store in over a year but I hear that it is still going down hill. It went from five aisles to four and so on and then it was a little back room.


Joe



Date: 02/20/06 20:42
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: MrMRL

Wow, my first trip there was over two years after that article was published. I used to think that store was the best, but haven't been there in over a year now.

Robby F. (Mr. MRL)



Date: 02/20/06 20:48
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: mirage

That's a seven-year old article. Long's did okay until recent years, so maybe it's stretching it a bit to blame their present problems on a change that happened so long ago. Shame, too, because we need more stores like that one -- popular products at discounted prices with fast, reliable service.

So, Moreno Valley'ers -- what's caused Long's recent troubles?

Mark J



Date: 02/20/06 20:56
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: ESPEE5318

When the guy that ran the train department left(and later started Train Quest) that is when I remember things started going down hill. Back in like the early 90`s (I'm guessing it is hard to remember) Longs was "the" store packed with people and product. When they went to the little back room I said "I don't think I need to come back here".

Joe



Date: 02/20/06 21:13
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: NH2006

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

longs224@longs-trains.com




Date: 02/20/06 21:37
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: n6nvr

Was there last week. Not much in the way of small stuff, detail parts, etc. a pretty good selection of locomotives and cars in N and HO, appears to be a good assortment of large scale. Would embarass most hobby shops, and many Train stores, but a shadow of it's former self. More stuff, a lot more volume wise than Trainquest, but TQ appeared to have better prices.

I would hazard a guess that the young lady that was kind of honchoing the train section isn't there anymore and that it is going to die a slow death unless they decide to support it. If they get a model railroader who knows retailing they might survive. They have a major advantage over TQ in their hours. TQ looks to be concentrating on mail order, Longs doesn't appear to be concentrating on anything.

In any case, didn't buy anything either place.



Date: 02/20/06 21:41
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: 03GrandAmGT

ESPEE5318 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When the guy that ran the train department
> left(and later started Train Quest) that is when I
> remember things started going down hill. Back in
> like the early 90`s (I'm guessing it is hard to
> remember) Longs was "the" store packed with people
> and product. When they went to the little back
> room I said "I don't think I need to come back
> here".
>
> Joe


Yeah, I cannot recall his name but I purchased several SD9's from that store when I was in New Mexico 1998? That had to be ONE OF THE MOOOOOST pleasurable experiences I have ever had in my 40 yrs.

jd



Date: 02/20/06 22:02
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: Charles

I have heard two rumors.....

1. New corporate management wants all of the stores to be identical in what they carry.

2. The Long's has merged/been bought out and new management doesn't want trains.

I have also heard they will be having a "Going Out of (Train) Business" sale, but have not heard any dates, etc.

Charles



Date: 02/21/06 04:10
so where in nm
Author: highhood

is [ was ] longs



Date: 02/21/06 08:23
Re: so where in cali
Author: NH2006

highhood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> is [ was ] longs


Moreno Valley, So Cal!



Date: 02/21/06 08:35
Re: so where in cali
Author: Chessie2018

NH2006 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> highhood Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > is [ was ] longs
>
>
> Moreno Valley, So Cal!

That used to be the home of the world famous Riverside International Raceway, I want to rebuild that old, dirty, hot racetrack (could someone get me some dirt from the old racetrack located at Day and 60) :(

Jason/Chessie2018



Date: 02/21/06 09:21
Re: so where in cali
Author: WCSTK

Riverside raceway is long gone...if you want dirt, better get it fast...the palce is being built out with retail as fast as they can....as for Longs....glad to see them go. Jim Bromar, owner of Trainquest, is a good friend of mine, I have known him since he was at Longs....Longs, over the years, has done some pretty shady things to him, and I am glad he will be the last man standing......



Date: 02/21/06 10:25
sorry i asked my question based on this
Author: highhood

Yeah, I cannot recall his name but I purchased several SD9's from that store when I was in New Mexico 1998? That had to be ONE OF THE MOOOOOST pleasurable experiences I have ever had in my 40 yrs.

jd



Date: 02/21/06 10:39
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: atsfman

Last time I tried to access anything on TrainQuest resulted in giving up in disgust.

Bob



Date: 02/21/06 11:13
Longs Drug Stores not dead .....
Author: dnuck

.... but thery are growing and not really concerned about trains. FYI

"In 1971, shares of Longs Drug Stores were listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol LDG. That same year, Longs reported sales of $169 million, which were generated by 54 stores and 2,250 employees. During the next ten years, Longs would triple its number of stores.

In 1980, Longs Drug Stores entered markets in Nevada with the opening of six stores. The company built four stores and purchased two stores from Pay Less Northwest. At the end of Fiscal Year 2004, Longs Drug Stores operated 17 stores in Nevada, including three stores acquired in 1996 from Rainbow Drug and Drug Emporium.

1982 was a milestone year for Longs Drug Stores. Sales exceeded $1 billion for the first time in the Fiscal Year ended January 28, 1982. The Company operated 162 stores and employed approximately 7,700 people.

In 1985, Longs Drug Stores entered Colorado for the first time with the opening of two stores. The company opened one store in Colorado Springs and the other in Fort Collins. The number of Colorado stores grew to nine by the end of Fiscal 2004.

By 1993, the number of Longs stores in California had grown to 236. In September of 1993, Longs acquired Bill's Drugs, a 20-store chain located primarily in northern California for a total purchase price of $23.9 million. Longs Drug Stores made another sizable acquisition in October 1999, when it acquired 32 Rite Aid stores in California at a total purchase price of approximately $150 million. By the end of Fiscal Year 2004, Longs Drug Stores operated 395 stores in California.

In 1998, Longs Drug Stores acquired 18 stores in Washington and 2 stores in Oregon from Western Drug Distributors, Inc., a franchise of Drug Emporium. The number of stores in Washington grew to 17 by the end of Fiscal 2004.

In the Spring of 2001, Longs Drug Stores launched e-retail sales of approximately 8,000 front-end products. The Internet supplements Longs e-fills, the Company's online prescription service, and provides extensive health information. "



Date: 02/21/06 12:51
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: n6nvr

Individual Longs Managers used to be able to carry additional merchandise to fit their market. One in Bishop might go heavy in fishing supplies, etc. As long as that merchandising effort made enough money to make it worthwhile, it was ok. Now that kind of out of the box thinking and merchandising is pretty risky for a corporate wig to countenance in many situations. My gut feel is that between the corporate growth and lack of a dedicated (in more ways than one) employee and Store Manager, it's going to be gone. I got some pretty good deals out there over the years.



Date: 02/21/06 16:27
Re: Longs Model Railroad Supply dead???
Author: puckeringswine

I am sure there was a time when the model sales were higher than the actual drug store sales. Many times you waited at the checkstand with other guys with nothing but trains in the basket, and at those prices most guys never left without spending a 100 dollars or more. More power to Trainquest.



Date: 02/21/06 18:47
trivia time
Author: TopcoatSmith

Since someone mentioned Rivercide raceway, what was the original name of the place ?
Extra points if you can name two.


TCS - dream street survival club



Date: 02/21/06 19:00
Re: trivia time
Author: AC4400CWGEVO

Here is one..

Riverside International Motor Raceway or RIR

(or should I say two?)

Ac4400cwgevo

TopcoatSmith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Since someone mentioned Rivercide raceway, what
> was the original name of the place ?
> Extra points if you can name two.
>
>
> TCS - dream street survival club



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