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Christmas - How's it going?


fujilab
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How is everyone finding the lead-up to Christmas? We are trading OK but it does not seem to be as busy as it was last year. Although there is still plenty of time to 'make the month' our impression is that there is more activity in digital printing, photogifts, books etc, but cameras are not as popular as this time in 2006.

What is happening everywhere else?

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New Zealand here! It's Saturday morning and we've already done eight photobooks before lunchtime today. Seems people are seeking these out and they are a hot gift item this Christmas. Almost everyone who orders one of these is coming back and getting extras once they see the final results.

Overall Christmas has been good. Very busy days from mid-day onwards, right through till early evening. Getting some very big 4x6' orders but also lots of mixed orders with varying sizes of enlargements. Print volume and orders per day up on last year. Canvases are up, collages up but we are not selling the same number of cameras and accessories.

Expecting an even busier one this coming week!

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Australia here Its sunday here I cant believe the amount of big 6x4 orders were getting  Its like the punter is clearing a years worth of photos getting ready for the new year. 20 orders last week exceeding over 600 prints each. Funny photosave is on the side of the ocean and and the similarity in trading is amazing I guess the punters  think the same no matter where they are..

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South Australia calling!!!! (sounds like those old WW2 radio announcements!)

We are doing heaps of 6x4's as well, and mostly big quantities. We are still getting 49c per print, so they are still profitable. Where we have gone stupid is canvas printing! Today (Monday 17th) after 3 weeks of radio ads promoting it, we have 42 canvas prints to print. Our stretcher is prepared to do it all for us by Monday, so we will have EVERYTHING back for Christmas. We have had at least 6 customers from Harvey Norman who were sent to us by them as they cant get them done by xmas. I've never ordered 10 rolls of canvas in one order, but I am very tempted!

Photo albums have been minimal to date, but I'm not fussed as there is way more profit in canvas than albums.

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It's the same up here in the Shetland Islands, people seem to leave their Christmas shopping later and later. We have two small shops. One is cameras, printers and mobile retail, the other minilab, studio and frame shop. That shop has done a huge quantity of canvas prints. Our Epson 24" printer has been going fairly steady.

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We seem to be the place for last minute gifts, even though a week out is not really last minute! I am guessing that because the multiples have passed their Christmas deadlines we are getting the extra business our way. Like Cecil our Epson has been working its socks off and demand continues to grow each day.

All the kiosks have been in use with customers choosing enlargements as well as standard prints. I think this year is definitely busier for enlargements and frames but albums don't seem to be selling as well as previously. There is a positive feel among other High Street shops this year - for a change :)

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Digital frames might sell well, but they have to sell big as the margins are a lot lower than other items like memory cards, traditional frames etc.

Calendars again popular, with A3 one being quite good sellers.  Binos good. Frames still doing well.  If only this was our normal trade.

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Phew!  The last Thursday night before Christmas our little town has a street parade starting at 8pm and all local shops stay open until then.  3 years ago we decided to dress my portly hubbie up as Santa, plonk him in chair outside the shop door and for 3 hours we do a roaring trade taking and printing 6x8 Santa Photos on the spot.  The locals love it.  It's now 10pm, I'm home and ......I'm ready for my sherry  :)  

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Well Well Well, we have done no Christmas advertising nor promotions, have sold no digital frames, memory cards nor cameras. On print volume alone we are nearly 200% up on last year. Frame sales are up 75%. Very dissapointed with canvas sales, but I know exactly what I will be doing next year (regarding the 'big box' stores cut off's, and other areas that independant stores are more flexable).

  I was expecting to be busy yesterday, but nothing happened, maybe Christmas eve? If I get no more business this side of Christmas, I am still happy with this season.

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