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How is Christmas going for you?


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With just over a week to Christmas how's it going out there? We've been trying to pick trends in our stores and have come up with this so far;

Frames - selling heaps more than ever before - most with prints.

Enlargements - we picked two sizes and discounted them. These have been great sellers but it's also boosted other sizes too.

Canvas Wraps - Had hoped to be busier with these but the cost is still a big issue for most. Volumes low.

Order Sizes - Order numbers are well up, but we also have lots of smaller, tricky orders - so we're working harder for our money.

Digital Media - sales numbers are up although turnover is down as the cards are cheaper than this time last year.

Film - Yes film, and we're still selling quite a bit. Got some good deals so that is helping.

Cameras - Sales are the same as last year however one of our suppliers has run out of the cheaper, fast moving models so hopefully we can sell our more expensive ones.

Albums - Sales up on last year and people are spending on the more expensive ranges

Other products - Great sales of the Shot2Go products like the fridge magnets, postcards and their 12 print calendar. These lines have been a surprise winner.

What's happening in everyone else's stores?

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Great sales of frames, print from print, reprints and enlargements surprisingly, but high street generally quiet. As Tony calendars and canvas quieter but copy work generally up.

So your high street is quiet as well?  Ours has been for about 18 months  :( Especially the last 2.

It's fair to say that Xmas has not kicked in at all and I don't think it's going to.

Another lab I know, in East Grinstead, also reports it's very quiet there. It's not only our industry that's being affected by this consumer recession.  

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This week has been good so far but what really has interested me is the huge number of small orders. People who need only a few prints have boosted customer numbers big time. Certainly been hard work managing this extra volume but good to see people realising the quality and convenience of in-store printing.

Last minute canvas wraps have also been good. At this late before Christmas price is now immaterial!

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Calendars have been a great success for us I'm delighted we invested the £500 in the best binding machine - so easy to use. We advertise them at £9.99 but add on for scanning, front cover etc.  Kodak cameras have sold well along with Fuji and the new Sanyos from Tudor. We sold every Sony DVD camcorder we could get. We left the price of cards up and people are not asking prices! It is only the best possible price of the camera they worry about. All the big stores have non discounted prices on cards (Boots, Argos,Currys, Jessops etc). Mobile phones from Swains are a big one for us.

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I agree with Chris - Photosave this whole month has been crazy especially last two weeks the kiosks are always busy lots of small orders but have had nothing under 5000 prints a day and enlargements are at least 20% of total. Frames have been re ordered weekly then daily with our local timber frame maker, if you promote enlargements you sell frames! Sure we are in a busy centre but there is competition, every shop nearby. Biggest difference is that our digital camera sales are not great but supplies are not either. Tomorrow night is till midnight the full on Sat/Sun then back Boxing Day. We are doing 15% off frames, 20 off albums and 15 off camera accessories as well as an enlargement promo, I will post a pdf.

Last year I was in London for Christmas will be much warmer this year and no 24hr plane flights!

Trust that it has picked up for the UK dealers as it has done here.

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Christmas has been good, especially camera, mobile,and printer sales. On the lab side, photo gifts, canvas and calander have done well. Our only problem has been with the Bank of Scotland card services which broke down on Friday afternoon and still down. Their help line (which takes ages when you don't have any time) goes through to a call centre in Puerto Rico. I intend to change my service provider as soon as possible. Can anyone give any help on who gives the best service and the best price. Happy Christmas, Cecil.

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In the end an excellent Christmas week for us - in fact the whole of December has been good. The last Thursday and Friday were the busiest for turnover and volume but even the weekend was well up there. Definitely enlargements and frames were the big hit and made a quick, easy gift. Boxing Day brought lots of films out of the closet plus our kiosks were busy all day. Our weather hasn't been very 'summery' so that has helped. I think that if it had been sunny and warm we'd not have done nearly as well. Hopefully the next few days will continue our 'luck!'

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Now the dust has settled, I have to say that it wasn't so bad. Down on last year but so has every month been. The early part of December was quiet, but from about the 14th it picked up.

Canvas wraps went well, Calendars picked up and as others also reported lots of reprints, enlargements, dupes and frame sales.

The few days between Christmas and new year were better than hoped for.

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