Ian Allan Waterloo to close

Journeyman

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16 Apr 2014
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I wonder if the market for railway books is collapsing, due to the amount of information available from other sources. A lot of railway books are reference works of the kind that could go the way of printed encyclopedias - if you want to know some factoid about the rail network, a lot can be found online now.
 
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bramling

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I wonder if the market for railway books is collapsing, due to the amount of information available from other sources. A lot of railway books are reference works of the kind that could go the way of printed encyclopedias - if you want to know some factoid about the rail network, a lot can be found online now.
I‘d say there’s still a massive amount of information in specialist railway books that can’t be found elsewhere, especially the real specialist books like the Oakwood Press histories.

Whether that will continue as the current older generation gets replaced who knows...

There seem to be as many specialist railway books being published as there ever were, though Covid will have doubtless landed a heavy blow.
 

g4mby

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10 Dec 2006
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South Glos
I think the son who has run IA group for last 30 or so years,must be past retiring age.
Ian Allan himself died in 2015. The various companies within the group are or were run by his sons Paul and David with their wives as co-directors. Each son was either MD or a director of each company so that responsibility for the companies within the group was equally shared between them.

As a former employee of the group I met Ian, Paul and David. To me they were very different people. Make of that what you will but I'm sure that as they have grown older then the idea of the sale of the various subsidiaries, some of which were probably making heavy losses, became an attractive proposition in order that the more profitable parts of the group survive.

To me https://www.ianallan.com/ suggests that there's not too much left of the group as I knew it back in 2004 when I left them.
 

Bevan Price

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When their Birmingham shop closed, some of the staff were heard to comment that the new owners had little interest in retail operations, so, sadly, the closure of their London shop is no surprise to me.

Apart from the Covid situation, the excessive rents demanded by some property owners has been damaging shop businesses for several years. Ironically, after the IA Manchester shop closed, it remained unoccupied for over a year - so the owners probably got zero income from the premises for that period.
 

birchesgreen

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16 Jun 2020
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I wonder if the market for railway books is collapsing, due to the amount of information available from other sources. A lot of railway books are reference works of the kind that could go the way of printed encyclopedias - if you want to know some factoid about the rail network, a lot can be found online now.
No i wonder if the problem is over specialisation and running out of topics which haven't been covered much yet? This also applies to some other areas of transport (and military) books to be honest.
 

James H

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25 Jun 2014
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Closing down sale details:
  • 33% off DVDs and models from Saturday 26 September
  • 50% off books from Saturday 10 October
shop shuts 31 October
 

OneOffDave

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2 Apr 2015
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It's probably also affected by the massive redevelopment of Lower Marsh. A number of independent shops have gone from there and there are three hotels along there at the moment and I think at least one more being built
 

AlbertBeale

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It's probably also affected by the massive redevelopment of Lower Marsh. A number of independent shops have gone from there and there are three hotels along there at the moment and I think at least one more being built
Yes - it's becoming less of a shops-and-greasy-spoons street than it was. I only discovered the shop was there many years after I started passing the area quite often; I've popped in occasionally to browse, and sometimes bought something. Though I seem to remember that something I once went in there specially to buy (an ERT perhaps?) wasn't stocked, which surprised me.
 

Capybara

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10 Sep 2009
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SE11
I've been along there today and there is a board up advertising the shop premises for let, so if Ian Allan do own it then they are hoping to rent it out to someone else. Otherwise it looks like it could be a rent issue. I know rents along there have been increased in recent years forcing a number of businesses out. The street is not what it was, sadly.
 

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