Traxxas Takes on Big Box Stores

Recently, I had something come across my desk that made me appreciate that I was sitting down. What I read was a huge surprise and caught me off guard. I had to read it twice and then I was on the hunt to research it.

Traxxas announces that they will be supplying big box stores across Canada with Traxxas merchandise

Traxxas would also be offering parts support via these outlets. Traxxas has similar future intentions in the United States. The first stage is online support and then product is to be brought forward to be available in stores.

The document went on to state that big box stores such as Best Buy Canada would be offering full product support and even in-store repairs to Traxxas products. A “Geek squad Pit Pass Membership” which would allow you to get 15% off all parts and services for the lifetime of the Traxxas vehicle.  To date, Bestbuy.ca has approximately 388 Traxxas products and parts available to the RC consumer.

Other big box stores in Canada such as Futureshop.ca are also similarly following suit with Traxxas availability.

Hobby stores in Canada challenge why Traxxas would do this as hobby stores believe this will be a determent to the hobby store business model. The complaint is that competing with online hobby stores and outlets is difficult enough on local hobby stores.

Traxxas isn’t only available from these mentioned big box stores. My research into an American automotive parts supplier has relieved they too have started to sell Traxxas products to the automotive parts sector as showroom filler and they ship to all of North America.

What does all this really mean?

Are hobby stores and online hobby outlets not supporting or selling enough Traxxas merchandise? Is this move a bad one for Traxxas after getting so much hobby support?

How do you think this will impact your local hobby store?

I want your feedback, RC Truck Stop fans, because this is a hot topic up here in Canada and it may be a future model for more than just Traxxas.

 

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Filed Under: CommentaryGeneral RC

Christopher Oswald About the Author:

Christopher is our Senior Editor and a professional automotive technician by trade, he has been a RC enthusiast for over 20 years and has hobby store experience under his belt. He has closed off many racing seasons with top podium finishes. His favorite is the Canadian National Championship series. He resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Good old fashioned competitive racing, scale crawling and some Sunday afternoon parking lot bashing is just some of his favorite ways to enjoy RC. When he isn’t writing, racing or bashing, Christopher spends his time with his wife and kids. Christopher also finds time to contribute other articles and RC tech on a variety of topics around the web. Christopher has his own personal RC project showcase website “R/C Modz Full Throttle” where you can find some of his own personal custom rigs.

You can also follow Christopher on Twitter for up-to-date project’s and review notifications at @RCTrkStp_Chris If you ever have any questions or comments, email Christopher at rctruckstopchris@gmail.com

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  1. Matt Higgins Matt Higgins says:

    This is a complicated issue. Traxxas has ever right to think big and I’d probably do the same. I’m also not sure this will hurt hobby stores … or at least there’s a possibility it won’t. Hobby stores make more money on small items–replacement parts and modified parts. They make a small margin on vehicles. With hobby-grade vehicles being sold in large chains, hobby stores may stand to have increased sales in support gear. There’s also the argument that the person buying a RC model in big box store wouldn’t have bought one in a hobby store anyway. People go to big box stores for price and people go to mom & pops for service. As such, it may not cut into their sales as, again, that custom may never be a potential hobby shop customer anyways.

    A big part of this is that going into mainstream outlets will expose the hobby to a bigger audience. Few would argue against the value of more people in the hobby.

  2. WTalia says:

    I think people may for that every town doesn’t have a hobby shop and this may be a better option than buying online for some people

  3. I like these key points you guys have mentioned. Im mixed, but see the value in both sides. It’s hard for me to pick a side, because I’ve been in the hobby store industry and personal customer of the hobby for years. But IM interested to see and hear about how this plays out.

  4. SoutherRacer says:

    I used to be a Traxxas hater, but they saved the hobby with the Slash. If they want to sell where every they can, so be it. I’d even say they earned it

  5. Chris Marsh says:

    this would be a good opportunity for those of us in the hobby for many years to pick up some side work as a geek squad member, but also what does this do to our LHS? hard to beat a lower price because of high volume buy big box stores. then again how much bigger can traxxas get before they fall flat on their faces. we all need to start thinking small & local.

  6. James Mikoliczyk says:

    Very intresting, yet is kind of right in line with the way Traxxas does things. Go the opposite direction from everyone else. It’s worked for them before, so it would stand to reason that this move could work as well.

    The only thing I wonder is how the parts side would work? If they only intend to sell kits, then I see it working easier on the retail side. If they choose to fully support the kits/RTR’s with parts support, could be a bit intresting. I don’t see a dedicated section of the retails stores just for that, but who knows. That could very well be the case when it all pans out.

    It’ll be hard to say what the effect on the LHS’s will be, if any. It can go either way. I think it’ll really depend on how the Traxxas procudts will be marketed in the retial stores. Going to make things a bit more intresting for sure. I can hear the sounds of disbelief from a couple shops I know, as I type this.

    • Matt Higgins Matt Higgins says:

      It’s hard to predict how this will impact the hobby and hobby stores. I understand some stores plan to offer parts support and repair services. Unless the technicians are well trained, the service part may be a failure and increase the value of the hobby stores. Repairing a broken suspension arm is straightforward, but diagnosing an electrical problem requires some specific RC knowledge and experience.

      Interesting aside: The fly-by-night helicopter kiosks in many malls seem to have boosted at least one hobby store’s sales (and I bet they have done the same for others). One of my local hobby stores, Pin Shop Hobbies in Oakville, CT, has had a good number of frustrated kiosk customers come in and buy “supported” RC helicopters. The mainstream exposure didn’t take away from their sales, but actually boosted them as people wanted the real deal that worked and had spare parts. People were sometimes even bringing in their mall-bought helicopters and throwing them in the garbage.

  7. Les Talvio says:

    My Taxxas is from Best Buy but so far I have $400 in upgrades from my local hobby shop.

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