Poor management, poor customer service. Most hobby shops that are owned by enthusiasts cater to the market that they are passionate about. So if the owner or staff is big into RC cars, that's their focus. You can tell right away that the model car selection is very generic, sometimes just what their wholesaler sends them. There is a local shop in NJ that the owner is a big IPMS military modeler. It's like nirvana for those guys, aftermarket bits etc for those subjects. One day I was there and went up to the counter with about $50 worth of basswood and Evergreen plastics. The owner smiled and asked me what I was working on. When I told him, he looked down and said, "oh, cars.." and then treated me like I had a disease.
It gets worse when the owner is away and the store is left in the hands of youngsters. I recently was at a shop in PA, where again I spent about $100 on supplies and tools. The two kids working there were too busy cutting up and joking between themselves, as they fiddled with RC stuff, to really be focused on a customer.
If I had a hobby shop, I'd make sure I knew enough about every category to have an intelligent conversation. I would treat every customer like my best friend. I don't care what they're into, I would be enthusiastic about it since I do indeed want them to buy those things from me. I'd make sure everyone left the shop with a smile.
To illustrate it... my wife and I go out for dinner and drinks maybe once a week. There are a lot of choices locally but we always wind up going to the same place. Same beer we'd get anywhere, food is good but no better than at the other local pubs. Why do we go there? Very simple... they have the best bartenders I've ever witnessed. Every one of them remembers our names like we're their best friends and remembers what we drink and our usual food order. They are beyond friendly and very efficient. They make the evening spectacular, No wonder this pub gets our money each and every week. Hobby shops could take a lesson from them!