Lack of Alton Towers Merchandise

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Noonie99, 29th Oct 2012.

  1. Noonie99

    Noonie99 TowersStreet Member

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    Not sure if this has a subject from before but I'll post it and see what happens..

    Yesterday was out last day at scarefest and we always spend a third day for a come back price and at the end we buy some things for the kids or just for us. The first thing I noticed about the shop now is that there is hardly any actual Alton towers merch! I mean yes ok you get the mugs and tea shirts for "some" rides, but why is there a whole section for Bench? Why would you travel 200 miles as it is for us to buy a bench top? Not only that but we wanted to get the children Th13teen tops only to find they don't sell them in the main shop, so in the pouring rain we went all the way back over to the shop outside the ride just to get them (not only that but they only had ladies t shirts and I notice the really lovely "Nemesis" made stuff of dream catchers and real creepy things have gone Something else that has been got rid of. Last year I bought a chalis and dream catcher and various ivy coloured bits made by this "Nemisis" company and they were brilliant.
    The Towers street shop is like a toy shop now for moshi monsters and sweets and fudge rather than what it used to be which if my memory serves me correctly you used to be able to buy everything from every ride in the end shop to A) remind you to buy at the end but B) so you didn't have to carry things round all day?

    I wanted to buy a book or DVD of the towers as I have before and nothing. Plenty of name badges or snow globes but it's just been taken over. In the end we bought the t shirts for the kids and that was it.. Not sure how others feel about this but I think they are missing a huge trick.. Why would you buy toys when you can do that from your local toys r us?
     
    Posted 29th Oct 2012
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  2. Tuggerz

    Tuggerz TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    As far as ride merchandise goes, from what I understand and assume, it's rather a shameful display, they will only sell what they can get a profit from, and if only a small margin of customers pay for a certain item, they will stop selling said item.

    T-Shirts/Mugs they can sell for a ridiculously large profit and thus make a ton off of them.

    A few months back they were still selling the History of Alton Towers DVD, though it was a limited amount of copies available, I do wish they had kept producing it.
    It's upsetting that they rely completely on wearable merch to make a profit.

    Bench is a big sponsor of the park if I remember rightly, and so is Moshi Monsters now, With such a sponsor they need to stock a large quantity of their merchandise to keep up with their side of the deal.

    It's shameful I know that the park needs to go to such lows as tie in promotions but I suppose it can make good business sense.

    If I remember rightly, they're supposed to be getting a whole load more merchandise next year.
     
    Posted 29th Oct 2012
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  3. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    I have to disagree completely. As a regular visitor to Towers Trading, they sell basically all of the ride merch. They might not sell all of the t-shirts and hoodies etc, but you can get everything else they sell in there be it mugs, key rings or bears. There is a section dedicated to each major coaster, as well as a "generic Alton Towers" section. You're never going to be able to buy every single thing from Towers Trading but their selection is good.

    As for selling other stuff, it's not just Towers that do this. Some theme parks I've been to in Europe have almost no park or ride merchandise in their shops, just unrelated bits and bobs such as toys. It's quite normal and I don't have a problem with it. For theme park merch Towers Trading is one of the best end of day theme park shops I've been to.

    :)
     
    Posted 29th Oct 2012
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  4. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    The other issue is at the end of the season they have less branded stock so a lot gets replaced with generic stock.
     
    Posted 29th Oct 2012
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  5. JayM

    JayM TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    I must say I agree with Rob.

    I always find that Towers Trading has no lack in ride merchandise, especially things like stationary. I think that you can get enough from there to satisfy many people's needs, there is at least a whole display dedicated to the major rides in the middle section of the shop.

    Merchandise at Alton Towers seems to be ever changing, and that is probably the reason why you can get something one year, but not the next. I think this is because in terms of merchandise, Alton Towers like to keep up with the more recent attractions, probably because they believe if someone is more aware of an attraction, through say television marketing, they are more likely to go to the park wanting to go on that ride, and buy merchandise for it.
     
    Posted 29th Oct 2012
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  6. Noonie99

    Noonie99 TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    Thanks Dave I did think this may be an end of stock thing as well.. Guess I'm just thinking back too far so over 20 years ago when the shopping at the end was exciting and far more themed to each ride rather than a children's toy shop..
     
    Posted 29th Oct 2012
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  7. cybermen39

    cybermen39 TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    I brought a fin the shark cuddly toy.They haven't made mascot cuddlys for years so thats a bit better than the last few years.
     
    Posted 29th Oct 2012
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  8. Equinox

    Equinox TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    We went on Friday for the first time this season and Towers Trading really annoyed me.
    I didnt pay much attnetion to the stock they had in the end because i was gutted that more and more theming is leaving the resort....

    The Bear coaster has been ripped out and the runaway mine train pick 'n' mix too.

    the queue system is a plus i will give it that, but the stores atmosphere is shocking now, i used to love the feel of that place on the last walk up every day.
     
    Posted 29th Oct 2012
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  9. CoasterCrazyChris

    CoasterCrazyChris TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    You must have pretty low standards to be impressed by any of the merchandise sold at Alton Towers these days...

    Some of the mugs are nice and a few other bits, but otherwise it's just a load of generic cheaply produced t-shirts, pens, keyrings etc which bar the ride logo and maybe a colour are all completely identical.

    In 2010 I was relatively impressed by the selection of Th13teen merch on offer, unfortunately my love of the ride at the time (and still now) was not great enough to warrant any purchases. At Thorpe, The Swarm also has a pretty cool range of stuff on offer this year. It seems they are only really willing to invest in quality produced stuff for new attractions in their first few seasons of opening.

    You only have to look at some of the original Nemesis and Oblivion goodies that crop up on ebay from time to time to see how the quality and range of goods sold has gone down in the last decade or so. You will be hard pressed to find any bespoke products unique to individual rides anymore (anyone remember the Oblivion deodrants?). If the best they can come up with these days is tat like that cardboard ride model sold in the park outlets this season then they really need to buck their ideas up...

    I mean, how much would it cost for example to produce some decent posters for each ride? Surely the overpriced high street clothing brands and rubbish pop culture inspired gifts can't be that profitable?

    As for the shops and outlets on park, they are all becoming very generic. Towers Trading feels more like a supermarket than a theme park gift shop these days complete with whitewashed walls and bright white lighting....what is magical or escapist about that? It's like as long as it's modern and clean nothing else matters....sod the fact it's a theme park.

    :)
     
    Posted 29th Oct 2012
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  10. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    I couldn't disagree more with some of what you've said. One thing Merlin do well is merch; it's good quality and there tends to be a wide range available. There are also lots of unique products available such as the Nemesis and Oblivion "statues" that have been available this year. You realise how good the merch is at Merlin parks when you visit other parks in the UK and Europe. The only parks I've been to that rival Towers for merch are Dinseyland Paris, Europa Park and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Phantasialand for example have an appalling range of merch.

    As for posters, I would love them to sell posters. I don't think they feel that they can sell enough of them thought to justify their production, which is a shame.

    :)
     
  11. Tuggerz

    Tuggerz TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    I hate to disagree Rob, but I can't help but find the ride statues quite tacky, I personally don't feel they look very good.

    I do however think they are a good idea, and I know it's not a priority to have them look 'exactly' how the ride does, I just can't justify a purchase for a statue knowing it doesn't look quite right.
     
  12. Aly

    Aly TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    Have you been in recently? As it's nothing compared to what it was like in the first half of the year. I was surprised at how little choice of Alton / Ride branded stuff there was. I often buy quite a bit of stuff to take back for my niece/nephew and for some of our staff etc, however when I popped in after the Scarefest Preview event there was nothing to the scale that there was at the start of the season - infact it was really disappointing. Even the ride sections we're quite bare in terms of the different products on offer etc.
     
  13. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    It seems all the shops are quite empty at the moment, I was in the Duel shop the other day and they just had sections full of one or two products. It could be just because its the end of the season and they dont want to order stock that will just be sat in the warehouse all winter, or they are planning some new stuff next year. Of course with SW7 that will bring a whole collection of stuff, as well as the general Alton things which will feature SW7 next year.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    I'd suggest this was more a case as others have suggested that they're just running the stock levels down for the end of the season and at the start of the next you'll be able to buy all the branded shizzle you need.

    I like the shop, clean, modern and the mugs are good quality. I've dropped my Oblivion one a few times only for dents in the laminate flooring rather than the mug itself!
     
  15. DaveW

    DaveW TS Contributor

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    This time of year is always the same with stock levels. Peak time of season, more guests on park, all buying stuff, stock levels will drop quickly, and as said before they aren't going to spend money ordering new stock with so little tim elect of the season. To be honest if they ordered now I very much doubt it would arrive in time anyway!

    Generally I have found nothing really catches my eye at the moment in Towers Trading, maybe it's because I already have a lot of it? I think they do miss a lot of opportunities though in terms of potential merch.

    judging by the rate the SW7 hoodies flew out the door there is clearly a demand for them, but obviously only a small run of units, the swirly face logo lends itself perfectly to a pin badge, a missed opportunity I think, as generally these are usually inexpensive and ideal for younger guests with limited funds.

    As for the look of the store, I do feel it has been getting increasingly sterile of late, with the bright lights and white walls, the addition of images of the scarefest characters is a nice touch, something that could be done all year with other characters or publicity images? It would be nice to see each bit of the store themed around the rides. But I understand the reasoning no to, as it limited the flexibility of the store, if you covered part of your store in ivy and Th13teen related stuff it's all fine and dandy till you want to move the merch around.

    I've always felt TT is lacking in something somewhere visually. just can never out my finger on it
     
  16. CoasterCrazyChris

    CoasterCrazyChris TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    So is my local supermarket.
     
  17. Ollie

    Ollie TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Towers street shops.. Where has the Alton towers things gone???

    What really disappointed me today was hearing generic pop music blasted throughout the store, just like my local supermarket too :(
     
  18. Rowe

    Rowe TowersStreet Member

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    I agree with Rob, every single time I've visited this season, there has always been loads of merchandise on sale in almost every attraction shop including Towers Street and even when it's been incredibly busy such as at Scarefest earlier this month. There is a fairly diverse amount for the target market from statues to mugs to clothes, heck even the shop at the Alton Towers Hotel still sells the "Past and Present" book, but it's unfortunate that it's levelled with fairly useless tat such as in-brand toys. As for "The Story of Alton Towers", as lovely as it is the DVD is incredibly out of date and cringeworthy in segments, it didn't have a place anymore in the shops.
     
  19. Noonie99

    Noonie99 TowersStreet Member

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    To be honest having been going to Alton since I was 4 and now 31 you would understand my frustration for the changes. Obviously times change, but when you visit somewhere like this you want memories of that particular place should you want to purchase. Not tat that you can buy in any tescos or sainsburys or pound land shop. The DVD may be "cringe" to some younger visitors but to us "oldens" it means a lot. Towers street in the 80's used to have 7,8,9 different shops, why not have the cheap plastic in another "toy shop" that seems to be vacant along there and have towers trading as what it's name states.. "towers trading" not everything you can get anywhere.
     
  20. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    They sell Bench clothing as some people come to the park and decide they didn't dress appropriately or are silly enough to go on a water ride and realise they don't want to be wet all day, however they don't fancy buying themepark branded clothing.

    I do think TowersTrading lacks a themed atmosphere, it would be nice if it was as immersive as a Disney Store (obviously using Towers themes). There is however always a lack of some branded merch in October as some lines will get a refresh next season so they won't want to buy more of the old stuff this late in the season.
     

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