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HobbyTown drops 'USA,' adds several new stores

By Nick Bullock
Published: July 29, 2014
Walts HobbyTown
From a rebranding effort to the addition of an iconic independent hobby store, HobbyTown has been quite active lately in getting its name in front of hobby customers.

And, yes, that name is “HobbyTown” not “HobbyTown USA.” The major retail hobby chain has dropped the “USA” from its name to prepare for future international growth and for cobranding with select U.S. independent hobby stores, HobbyTown President Bob Wilke said.

HobbyTown recently opened three new stores and cobranded with two existing hobby stores, according to Wilke.

One of the stores with which it has cobranded is the well-known Walt’s Hobby in Syracuse, N.Y. “We should have done this two years ago,” said owner Bruce Throne, who also serves as the National Retail Hobby Stores Association president. Walt’s HobbyTown is schedule to officially open on Aug. 1.

Throne was one of many attendees at the 20th Annual HobbyTown National Convention held July 7–¬10 in Lincoln, Neb. “The event was very well attended by HobbyTown franchise owners enjoying a hobby expo that shared the latest new products and programs from 110 exhibitors,” Wilke said.

Finally, the company also recently developed a new mobile application, which allows customers to scan QR codes on products to receive more product information and enter an “augmented reality experience for select products,” Wilke said. The app is available for Apple and Android devices.
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