I just wandered in here from MODELWARSHIPS.com. I returned to HO railroads back in 1995, and, because I could not find details for my layout, and fearing looming layoffs, I opened a store north of Boston MA. USA. Did well up until the Autumn of 2008. Wall Street shenanigans hurt my customer base badly. Although I had a WEB site, and sold through it, I could not cope with increasing Internet competition. When AMAZON.COM got into trains and model kits, there was no way I could beat their prices. I held on until the 2010 Christmas season, which was flat. Then I realized that this economy was not coming back for small businesses. Closed down June 2011.
Damn, it was a good store! Good to browse. Mostly HO trains, I focused on many brands of accessories, structures, vehicles and figures. I also carried many model kits of plastic, wood and resin, including armor, aircraft, vehicles, but I really stocked a lot of ship models!
But today, people prefer to shop online. There are three model-shipbuilding clubs in the greater Boston area. I visited each a few times, and offered members a discount. A few would stop by to chat, but no sales. Most made their purchases through Model Shipways. Ah, what can you do!
Still, I enjoy building my model RR town, and my warships. Keeps me away from the TV!