The Effects of Brexit Hit the Model Train Industry
Residents of the UK are still feeling the impact of June’s Brexit vote. Inflation has spiked, the trade deficit has widened, and a temporary Marmite shortage sent part of the country into a panic. Now, the latest victim of the referendum’s aftermath is the model train industry. As the BBC reports, makers of toy trains are boosting their wholesale prices in Britain.
One of the latest companies to adjust for Britain’s growing economic troubles is Hornby. The top model train manufacturer is headquartered in the UK but they make their products in China. The value of the pound against the U.S. dollar has dropped by about 17 percent since the Brexit vote; because the raw materials used to build kits are purchased with dollars, Hornby's profits are shrinking.
To make up for the devaluation, Hornby announced earlier this month that they’ll be raising wholesale prices by an average of 10 percent. This marks the first price increase from the company in nearly three years.
Hornby isn’t the only figure in the model train scene forced to cope with the Brexit fallout. Dapol, a much smaller manufacturer based in Wales, has had to raise costs of their imported models by 10 to 20 percent.
Despite the pastime’s decline in popularity over the years, there are still plenty of enthusiasts out there willing to shell out $650 or more for a model train set. Time will tell if the cost increase is enough to turn off any longtime hobbyists.
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