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Where has all the chat gone?


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It's sad to see that the industry chat has all but disappeared from this site. Once upon a time it was full of ideas, gossip, news - and that was great. Are we all too busy or is it that there's just less of us out there now? Would be nice to see everyone get back posting and keeping this industry alive and kicking.

On that note, who's doing something special in their shop for the royal wedding?

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Here in New Zealand down by Milford Sound in Te Anau the town has just gone though our worst tourist season ever with most business

down any where from  25% to 40%.

The problem mainly being that the vistors that we had do not have the money to spend on non essential items.

this year we have noticed that if people have had a damaged camera they would not replace it but would buy a disposable camera instead,also we would normally do a average of 15 memory cards a day during the season this year we have been lucky to do 5

i will admit that our prices are not cheap but we have no competition in this area for those items and there is no way we will drop our prices as there is little enough profit in other areas of the business.

in other years we would sell up to 20-30 cameras a month from November to april this year we are lucky to do 10.

We here offer a range of services to the tourist and local market

Internet cafe,digital prints,canvas prints,tee shirts,Mugs,scanning of all types,frames,cameras and memory cards,photo gifts,

dvc,8mm,vhs.8mm film,copy to dvd,photocopying colour and black and white.camera batteries.filters,camera bags,tripods,

all tpyes of battery chargers.fitting of watch batteries,camera bags,head sets portable hard drives.card readers.binoculars,lenses.

Digital photo frames.Photobooks printed of site.

We rely on the tourist market for 70% of our business and the rest is from just the locals.

I have tried to think of what else we could sell or offer to the tourist market but i am struggling for any other ideas.

Note:we have had people though this season complaining about the price of the internet at $5 for the hour and we are one of the cheapest around this has never happened in the past. in the past the comment is that we are to cheap:o

I find it hard to get motivated these days as to the future of our busines, do we hang on till the reccession is over or is this the way of the future with people being alot more cautious with there spending. :o

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It's tough going - but all of retail is finding this. We just need to find different ways to make hay. My money is on canvas prints and the instant photo gifts. Our shop is seeing lots of growth in these categories.

Agree that we need more chat. We miss having reps in to call - and the friendliness of the industry. Everyone is just either too busy or not interested enough lately :o

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I think the forum has changed over the past few years. Its membership grew, it globalized, and it transformed -- specifically into a great forum for minilab engineers and owners to swap technical help in.

But the old minilab *business* chat of (mostly UK) independent photo retailers has died down a bit. And of course the old photo *industry* shrunk considerably, so we don't hear too much from reps, wholesalers and manufacturers anymore.

I think the independent photo sector only really gets chatty, and crystallizes into a community, during moments of change: the advent of the Internet, the change from analogue to digital, the change from 6x4s to value added, the change from wet to dry, etc. etc. In between times, independents tend to keep quietly to themselves?

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Ok Ok

I get the message !

The last few months have been tough for us in the UK in retail.

I'll start a new thread for us in the UK to share some Ideas. Anyone from overseas who wants to contribute is more than welcome !

OK, I'm going in........ May be some time........  :)

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Why doesn't PMA get more involved with this site? They don't have a very active forum - in fact nothing that focuses on the UK market. Getting their support could see lots more ideas and talk flowing. Haven't heard much from them in the news lately so they need some profile again JMO   :)

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