The Death of Camera Stores
Christian Sandström holds a PhD from ChalmersUniversity of Technology, Sweden. He writes and speaks about disruptive innov...
A revolution as sweptthrough the camera industry.
3025201510 5 0 1994   1995   1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005Number of film and digital...
It has put many formergiants and famous brands in   some big, big trouble…
Kodak has demolishedbuilding after building…
… Polaroid is gone now…
… Leica has had tough times…
Konica is gone…
… Agfa has been demolished…
… Hasselblad   merely survived...
… Ilford died…
… Bronica died...
… And so did Contax…
The manufacturers are notthe only ones who’ve been     into bad times…
Ritz Camera – the largest chain of camera stores in the USA, has gone bankrupt.
Ritz is not   alone incamera store  heaven…
I bet you know several camera stores in your hometown that  have gone out of business.
They may have looked something like this:
This photo was taken in Kuwait and the building wasjust about to be demolished. Most likely, the camera          store has...
There must bethousands  of themaround the  world…
This is not exactly what you think of when     someone says Photoshop today.
In the UK, Jessops has been into        a lot of difficulties.
Recently, the company posted aloss of 50£ million and the stock      crashed once again.
The Executive Chairman David Adams            stated that:"We cant carry on carrying £57m worth    of debt on a business w...
The firm also stated that:
"This is the first time for many years that the digital camera market as a wholehas seen such a slowdown."
Well, the market for digital     cameras may beincreasingly saturated and   the recession may be  worsening the situation.
But given   that so    many  camera stores, all  over theworld, havegone out ofbusiness…
… Thesecannot be theonly reasons...
The underlyingbusiness modelfor these storesmust have been  destroyed in some way with   the shift todigital imaging.
Let’s try tofind out howand why this  happened.
Needless to say, the camera  stores sold cameras…
.... Lenses      andaccessories.
The consumption of film generatedcontinuous revenues and visits to the        local camera store.
And they repaired your camera.
Cambridge 1987
… They provided service to their customers   and were usually skilled in the art of  photography and at repairing cameras.
I found the following story    and photo on Flickr:
“I bought a new Pentax K10 and Mom gave me Dads    old K1000 and lenses just before we went onvacation. When I arrived in ...
You wouldnever go to Best Buyor Wal Mart  and ask the staff  for help with your  Pentax.
However, with the rise of digital imaging,Thomas and his peers throughout the worldhave lost ground to Best Buy and the ot...
Let’s go through the differentsources of revenues and seehow they were destroyed by       digital imaging.
1. Camera sales
With the shift to  digital imaging,   camera sales exploded and thebig retailers couldsell huge volumes.
Since new modelsare introduced at amuch higher pace when an industry  is digital, it washard for the small dealers to reac...
Hence, they had to chargemore than the big retailers.
In addition to this, more and more people started to buy  cameras over the internet instead of going to a store.
2. Film sales and development of it.
Well, for most people, film is dead…
And the death of film implied less revenues    and less visits to the camera stores.
Film dropped – bigtime.
3. Repairing cameras.   Cambridge 1987
Have you ever repaired a   compact camera?
Probably not.
Maybe you have askedsomeone to repair your SLR,    but unless it’s a really expensive one you would  most likely regard it...
Right?
There are two reasons for this trend.
Digital products decrease rapidly inprice since new and better modelstend to be launched at a high pace.
At the same time, wages inmany countriesare very high in    relation to  these goods.This means that   consultingsomeone t...
This is thecase with all consumerelectronics.Back in 2003 I had thisNokia phone.
It got ill after a rainstorm, so I went tothe store and   asked if itwas possible  to repair it.
They wanted 300 SEK for checking if   this waspossible, and  if so, this would cost   me 1200     SEK.
For that  amount of   money I could buy a new, muchbetter phone.
It’s exactly the same with digital cameras.
’If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’
has become
’If it is broke, don’t fix it – buy a new one’.
Camera Care isn’t a booming business nowadays.
Thus, another source of revenuefor the camera stores diminished with the rise of digital imaging.
Because of all this, the camera storeswere put in a situation where they could         not compete on price.
The film business had collapsed.
And the need for reparation had alsodecreased with the rise of digital imaging.
The only competitive advantagesleft were the  personalskills and the   sales ofaccessories.
But the  overall decline in    this businessimplied thatcosts had to   be cutsomewhere.
The storeswere forced  to slashmuch of theircompetitive advantage.
Many people at differentphoto forums     have complainedabout the low   level ofknowledge atRitz and Wolf.
These stores were most likely aware ofthis, but were stuck in a vicious cycle.
Dropping film sales, price competition from big retailers    and a reduced need for reparation – all these factorscontribu...
All this is related to one thing:
The shift to digital imaging.
Image attributionshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/djking/1185670528/
Find out more:www.christiansandstrom.org
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores
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Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores

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How digital imaging put camera stores around the world out of business.

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  • Ilford is still around by the way , and maybe big camera stores are dead but not all the small ones are gone . Many have adapted as the business has changed. The major players in the field have also changed Sony is a huge name now and Richo bought Pentax, Olympus was saved by interest in micro 4/3's cameras , Panasonic is also huge now. Companies change in the 1970's where was 'Century' or even 'Graflex' they were out as Pentax , Mamyia & Konica gained in popularity.
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Digital Imaging and the Death of Camera Stores

  1. 1. The Death of Camera Stores
  2. 2. Christian Sandström holds a PhD from ChalmersUniversity of Technology, Sweden. He writes and speaks about disruptive innovation and technological change.
  3. 3. A revolution as sweptthrough the camera industry.
  4. 4. 3025201510 5 0 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005Number of film and digital cameras sold in the United States
  5. 5. It has put many formergiants and famous brands in some big, big trouble…
  6. 6. Kodak has demolishedbuilding after building…
  7. 7. … Polaroid is gone now…
  8. 8. … Leica has had tough times…
  9. 9. Konica is gone…
  10. 10. … Agfa has been demolished…
  11. 11. … Hasselblad merely survived...
  12. 12. … Ilford died…
  13. 13. … Bronica died...
  14. 14. … And so did Contax…
  15. 15. The manufacturers are notthe only ones who’ve been into bad times…
  16. 16. Ritz Camera – the largest chain of camera stores in the USA, has gone bankrupt.
  17. 17. Ritz is not alone incamera store heaven…
  18. 18. I bet you know several camera stores in your hometown that have gone out of business.
  19. 19. They may have looked something like this:
  20. 20. This photo was taken in Kuwait and the building wasjust about to be demolished. Most likely, the camera store has gone out of business.
  21. 21. There must bethousands of themaround the world…
  22. 22. This is not exactly what you think of when someone says Photoshop today.
  23. 23. In the UK, Jessops has been into a lot of difficulties.
  24. 24. Recently, the company posted aloss of 50£ million and the stock crashed once again.
  25. 25. The Executive Chairman David Adams stated that:"We cant carry on carrying £57m worth of debt on a business which is generating £4m."
  26. 26. The firm also stated that:
  27. 27. "This is the first time for many years that the digital camera market as a wholehas seen such a slowdown."
  28. 28. Well, the market for digital cameras may beincreasingly saturated and the recession may be worsening the situation.
  29. 29. But given that so many camera stores, all over theworld, havegone out ofbusiness…
  30. 30. … Thesecannot be theonly reasons...
  31. 31. The underlyingbusiness modelfor these storesmust have been destroyed in some way with the shift todigital imaging.
  32. 32. Let’s try tofind out howand why this happened.
  33. 33. Needless to say, the camera stores sold cameras…
  34. 34. .... Lenses andaccessories.
  35. 35. The consumption of film generatedcontinuous revenues and visits to the local camera store.
  36. 36. And they repaired your camera.
  37. 37. Cambridge 1987
  38. 38. … They provided service to their customers and were usually skilled in the art of photography and at repairing cameras.
  39. 39. I found the following story and photo on Flickr:
  40. 40. “I bought a new Pentax K10 and Mom gave me Dads old K1000 and lenses just before we went onvacation. When I arrived in Ottawa I found there was an incompatibility with the telephoto and the K10. I happened to wander past the Camera TradingCompany and stopped in. Thomas was able to figure out the problem and came up with a solution, at no charge. Thanks Thomas.“
  41. 41. You wouldnever go to Best Buyor Wal Mart and ask the staff for help with your Pentax.
  42. 42. However, with the rise of digital imaging,Thomas and his peers throughout the worldhave lost ground to Best Buy and the other super stores for consumer electronics.
  43. 43. Let’s go through the differentsources of revenues and seehow they were destroyed by digital imaging.
  44. 44. 1. Camera sales
  45. 45. With the shift to digital imaging, camera sales exploded and thebig retailers couldsell huge volumes.
  46. 46. Since new modelsare introduced at amuch higher pace when an industry is digital, it washard for the small dealers to reach sufficient economies of scale.
  47. 47. Hence, they had to chargemore than the big retailers.
  48. 48. In addition to this, more and more people started to buy cameras over the internet instead of going to a store.
  49. 49. 2. Film sales and development of it.
  50. 50. Well, for most people, film is dead…
  51. 51. And the death of film implied less revenues and less visits to the camera stores.
  52. 52. Film dropped – bigtime.
  53. 53. 3. Repairing cameras. Cambridge 1987
  54. 54. Have you ever repaired a compact camera?
  55. 55. Probably not.
  56. 56. Maybe you have askedsomeone to repair your SLR, but unless it’s a really expensive one you would most likely regard it as a reason to buy a new one.
  57. 57. Right?
  58. 58. There are two reasons for this trend.
  59. 59. Digital products decrease rapidly inprice since new and better modelstend to be launched at a high pace.
  60. 60. At the same time, wages inmany countriesare very high in relation to these goods.This means that consultingsomeone to fix your camerawould cost a lot in relation to what the camera costs.
  61. 61. This is thecase with all consumerelectronics.Back in 2003 I had thisNokia phone.
  62. 62. It got ill after a rainstorm, so I went tothe store and asked if itwas possible to repair it.
  63. 63. They wanted 300 SEK for checking if this waspossible, and if so, this would cost me 1200 SEK.
  64. 64. For that amount of money I could buy a new, muchbetter phone.
  65. 65. It’s exactly the same with digital cameras.
  66. 66. ’If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’
  67. 67. has become
  68. 68. ’If it is broke, don’t fix it – buy a new one’.
  69. 69. Camera Care isn’t a booming business nowadays.
  70. 70. Thus, another source of revenuefor the camera stores diminished with the rise of digital imaging.
  71. 71. Because of all this, the camera storeswere put in a situation where they could not compete on price.
  72. 72. The film business had collapsed.
  73. 73. And the need for reparation had alsodecreased with the rise of digital imaging.
  74. 74. The only competitive advantagesleft were the personalskills and the sales ofaccessories.
  75. 75. But the overall decline in this businessimplied thatcosts had to be cutsomewhere.
  76. 76. The storeswere forced to slashmuch of theircompetitive advantage.
  77. 77. Many people at differentphoto forums have complainedabout the low level ofknowledge atRitz and Wolf.
  78. 78. These stores were most likely aware ofthis, but were stuck in a vicious cycle.
  79. 79. Dropping film sales, price competition from big retailers and a reduced need for reparation – all these factorscontributed to the fall of camera stores around the world.
  80. 80. All this is related to one thing:
  81. 81. The shift to digital imaging.
  82. 82. Image attributionshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/djking/1185670528/
  83. 83. Find out more:www.christiansandstrom.org
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