The world has changed and retailing has been changed by the internet, and for the better.Once upon a time we bought what the shop had,new releases were a rare event,you would read about them on the pages of military modeler,small scale scene, then wait ,sometimes for many months before seeing it on a shelf.If we had to shop like that today without the internet Hat and others would not have sold the volume that has driven this golden age of the hobby.For some time 100% of my hobby purchases have been made on line, if one on line seller does not have stock I can usually find it on another,doing that the old way ie visiting the shop in person would have cost time and money with often with unsatisfactory results at the end of all that effort.by all means lament the demise of model shops and those fond chilhood memories of visiting them,the internet age has made our hobby what it is today with hundreds and hundreds of sets to choose from and lots of places to shop from ,and you can chat to like minded people from all over the world and never once have to leave the comfort of your home to do so, this truly is the golden age and we have to thank the Internet for making that golden age possible.
Agreed Mr Buckingham. Sentimentalist though I am, things have improved hugely through internet retailing, and it is difficult to imagine a return to the old days of visiting your local model shops in hope of XYZ new release being in stock, or even the hope that they would have ANYTHING you wanted in stock! I have fond memories of cleaning out all the retailers in my childhood home city in Hampshire of Airfix Waterloo French Cavalry one Saturday afternoon - but that is not the way to raise armies these days!!
I do still visit model shops when I can, mainly because I think there is a still a place for them, and also because of the sentimental value. Antics have a good chain of shops in the South west of England and west Midlands and I like to try to spend money with them whenever I am in the same town as one of their branches; usually it involves buying up their Zvezda stock - they don't do a lot of HaT sets, unfortunately. But I would never consider raising an army through my local shops, few and far between that they now are. It is way too haphazard and expensive in time, effort, travel costs etc. My most recent armies - early 18th century - which are mainly Zvezda were 95% purchased on-line and how easy it was too..