Thompson, John L. (2003) Hornby Hobbies: swimming against the tide. Case Study. ECCH.

Hornby, the company that systematically gave the world Meccano, Hornby Dublo electric trains, Dinky Toys and Scalextric, remains an independent British company a century after it was started by entrepreneur Frank Hornby in Liverpool. This is something of a rarity in the UK toy industry, which has seen many brands disappear in the face of global competition and many businesses either close or be sold to foreign ownership. During the last forty years Hornby has been continually swimming against the tide. Strategies have changed. Innovation, new products and diversification have been important - so too have divestments. There have been different owners and several changes of strategic leadership. But recently the company's prospects have been transformed. Production has been moved to China, enabling the company to provide more detail without increasing prices. Pre-tax profits more than doubled between 2001 and 2002 and the latest interim results show a further doubling. Hornby's survival is testimony to the importance of branding and reputation.

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