Hornby sales take off during lockdown as families turn to hobbies

Hornby enjoyed a lockdown boost, as housebound families turned to hobbies to entertain themselves.

The firm, famous for its model trains, said sales between April and August had been higher than the previous year and exceeded its expectations.

As the company held its annual shareholder meeting yesterday, Hornby, which also owns brands including Airfix and Scalextric, confirmed its operations are ‘nearly back to normal’ following lockdown.

The few: Demand for models during lockdown was so high that Hornby ran out of Airfix Spitfires (pictured) ¿ though they are now back in stock

The few: Demand for models during lockdown was so high that Hornby ran out of Airfix Spitfires (pictured) ¿ though they are now back in stock

The few: Demand for models during lockdown was so high that Hornby ran out of Airfix Spitfires (pictured) – though they are now back in stock

Chief executive Lyndon Davies said: ‘We’ve seen sales increase across all brands and in all markets. In lockdown we could see more things like Airfix selling. Everyone stuck at home was twiddling their thumbs.’

Hornby even ran out of Airfix Spitfires – though they are now back in stock. 

Davies said adults had sought comfort in toys of their childhood. He said: ‘Parents and grandparents know names like Airfix and Hornby, so that’s what they’ve turned to.’ 

His eldest daughter is a nurse, inspiring him to sell ‘Captain Tom’ locomotives and give the proceeds to the NHS. It raised £140,000.

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