A new business model for Stuart goes retro
A Wigan man has opened a new model shop in the hope of proving that, sometimes, the old ways are the best.
Stuart Scrivens launched Ashton Model Centre after lamenting the lack of physical outlets for his favourite hobby.
He now hopes his first crack at running a business will bring back scores of Wigan residents into the hobby and also encourage face-to-face purchasing rather than relying on the internet where much of this business has gone in recent years.
Other news: How a Wigan mum's 'gratitude journal' turned her life aroundIt is a hope on Stuart’s part of being able to ride the crest of a similar retro wave that has brought about a revival in public interest in vinyl records.
Located in the Greensway Shopping Centre in Ashton, the shop is stocked with all the traditional models and accessories, planes, trains, automobiles et al.
He was inspired to open the first brick-and-mortar shop of this kind for some years in the borough, after leaving his long-term job.
And while the 52-year-old from Abram says his first business venture is still finding its feet, he already has a steady stream of loyal customers just six weeks after opening, delighted that they have a proper shop they can visit.
“I’ve had customers all the way from eight to 80,” Stuart said.
“I’ve even got a really loyal 82-year-old customer.”
Stuart added: “I’ve had a passion for models all my life, and I had an inkling to open a shop for a few years.
“After being stuck in a dead-end job, I thought ‘right, I’ll do it.’
“And I’ve put all my life savings into it so there is a lot riding on this!
“It all came to fruition when I packed in my job making windows and found this place, and I went in feet first.”
“The job I did, I liked but it wasn’t me. I was getting into my 50s. I needed something I was passionate about.”
Stuart also hoped that going back to basics, and having nothing more than a shop and a landline, would add to the attraction of the hobby.
He said: “Hopefully I can get Wiganers back into modelling and real model shops.
“These days, people get everything off the internet, but it’s nice to go out to a shop and have a chat and order things from them.
“You feel chuffed when you go back and collect what you’ve ordered.
“Whereas when you order online, the excitement is gone because you just get a knock on the door and then it’s over.
“I love spending half an hour or so in a shop and having a look around.”
Stuart also has the support of a management course, which has been helping him with the financial side of running his own business for the first time.
“It’s quite daunting really.
“Luckily I have a mentor guiding me through with all the paperwork.
“I’ve never been great with that stuff.”
You can pay a visit to the Ashton Model Centre between 10am and 4.30pm any day except Wednesday and Sunday.