« on: March 15, 2014, 08:36:34 PM »
Brick and Mortar retailers are discovering that today's retail business has changed markedly and I guess it's been very difficult for many of them to realise this, and still keep going the way they always have rather than trying to re-invent themselves to suit today's market conditions.
It's not just camera stores either.
Here in Sydney, there are many empty retail stores for rent and I feel for the owners of these now empty stores as many had their whole lives and their money tied up in these.
The camera market has changed a lot.
The internet has really made it tough for B&M retailers as it is now so easy to compare prices worldwide, and when you look at some of the pricing offered by on-line sellers with little or no overheads, compared to the B&M shops with huge rents to pay as well as staff, the B&M retailers aren't all that much dearer in many cases, but people feel that B&M's are ripping them off, so many are now turning to the net first without even going into the stores.
Many camera stores relied on the sales of cheaper P&S cameras, as many people who buy them do little research and how much can you save on a $200 camera?
The sales of these P&S cameras has dwindled down to a trickle now, as everyone just uses their phones, and this has hurt them a lot.
People aren't getting many prints done anymore either, choosing to just leave the pics on their phones or computers, so there is another good profit earner down the drain.
I think we will see many more camera retailers close up, and I wouldn't be surprised to see over 50
% of them close down in the next few years, unless they can come up with something to get people to come in a buy from them.
Things like extended credit, maybe even hiring out gear and teaching people about photography, and giving really good service and advice.
I'm sorry for the employees, as it looks like they may never get their back pay etc., but I do think the writing is on the wall for many retailers that still believe they can trade the same way now as they did 30 years ago.