Shocking: well known company give up on the hobby
Very sad symptom of this shrinking hobby when a long running company announces its closing down. And this is even more worrying, when that particular company is so well known, nobody would have ever expected such an announcement.
Only Fine Helis has been with us for a long time, they are a well known retailer of the hobby, especially in the US. This is why the announcement caused similar reactions to a bomb explosion. The announcement was posted on their Facebook page on 21st September not leaving any doubt the decision is concreted and not reversible.
This company has been very active throughout the years, well visible at US events. Reasons are explained and well understood, perhaps they are not the last ones to get to similar conclusion. Shipping costs skyrocketed, each economical crisis followed by dozen other ones, of course, hobbies the first where moneys are withdrawn by customers. COVID measures, especially in the primary source countries hit this already suffering hobby very significantly, then the shipping crisis was the second factor. And now skyrocketing inflations caused by bad financial decisions of many assumed smart and powerful governments knocked the next nail into the coffin of RC helicopter industry. Of course crazy and nonsense regulations of model flying all around the world did not help either.
The trend of closing down retailers is accelerated by the changing distribution routes as well. Manufacturers are moving towards the direct shipping or shipping through distributors only, but they didn't recognise the downside of this direction yet: belated spare parts supply causing frustration at customers, what more, particular areas fall off the supplied coverage and they will be cut off some brands or even entire product lines.
No doubt, closing down of OFH is a big loss to the hobby.