Margate firm Hornby halts non-UK orders due to Brexit uncertainties

Hornby Photo Jamie Horton

Margate-based Hornby has paused all non-UK orders due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The firm, which up to last year spent 18 months of overhauling management and finances to claw back the loss of a ‘ginormous’ £10 million per year over three years, says it hopes to find a solution to a ‘difficult position.’

A statement from the company says: “Due to the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit and what it will mean for our International customers, we do not feel comfortable accepting orders until we have clear guidelines on how this will affect our Hornby family and the way we price and ship our products.

“Therefore, as of the 15th December 2020, we will pause taking non-UK orders, until 4th January 2021.

“We hope that you can all understand the difficult position we are in and remain patient with us until we can find a solution. 2020 has proved challenging far beyond what any of us could have ever anticipated and we are immeasurably grateful that you have all continued to show your support for the company.

“We are truly lucky to be surrounded by such a wonderful community and we hope that you all have a peaceful holiday season.

“We will be back to normal trading with fervour in the New Year, with ranges, collections and ideas that will be more than worth the wait!”

It is understood Brexit jams and uncertainty over tariffs and extra taxes for British goods are factors in the decision.

Hornby returned office staff to its historic Margate site and opened new showrooms in January last year.

Hornby had moved distribution to Hersden in 2014 and office functions to Discovery Park in 2015, ending more than 60 years of work in Margate. The Scalextric and model train giant then made the decision in 2018 to return to the Ramsgate Road site with the move completed by the start of 2019.

The fate of the UK remains uncertain as the looming deadline of the European Union (EU) transition end date on December 31 fast approaches.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to seek a trade deal with his European partners but major disagreements remain between the two sides over fishing rights and trade competition rules.

Talks have been extended with the European Commission saying there is a ‘narrow path’ to reach agreement.