Friday, January 12, 2007

Support your Local Camera Store

The stories about traditional camera stores closing up always make me sad. This one is particularly sad, because it's obvious that the store had been there a long time. A brick and mortar camera store has a hard time surving today between the competition from the big-box stores, office supply stores, and of course, the Internet. Digital has become so pervasive in the marketplace, that consumers shop at a computer or office supply store to buy cameras. This has had a devastating effect on the "traditional" camera stores. Ann Arbor has lost several photo stores over the years - Quarry Photo, Purchase Camera (1980s), Dave's Photo Emporium (2005), and more recently the local Adray Camera store (2006).

Mike Myers at Big George's in Ann Arbor.

Locally, we have Big George's Home Appliance Mart and in Dexter, there is Huron Camera. The only places to go nearby if you need photochemicals, non-consumer film, a film camera, and supplies. Oh yes, and you can talk to people that know something about cameras and photography, and businesses that also support local photography groups as well as provide student discounts. Support Your Local Camera Store!


ronin1516 said...

Mark - I agree with this sentiment 100%!!! I am also a guitar amd saxophone player, and in the world of music stores, the same trend is evident. So, nowadays, if i want a box of reeds for my sax, I have to get it mail order from far away.
I hope Big Georges stays in business for a long time.
And I hope our local photography community continues to support local stores like Big Georges.

therese said...

I hear this.... Fortunately, we have Looking Glass in Berkeley and more often than not I have to wait in line to get help!!

Anonymous said...

I agree as well. I worked for a small camera store in Traverse City, MI for over 3 years. I still think of my time there as some of the best years of my life.

Anyway, the store Blue Photo Co., which seems similar to Dave's Photo Emporium (I remember hearing about them when I worked there), is also closing. The same problem applies: everyone wants cheap. They want to pay 19 cents a print at Wal-Mart, when the local camera store pays more then that per print. People are also growing "too knowledgeable", to the point where they feel local service isn't as much of a necessity.

I fear not only for local camera stores, but local businesses in general. People want things so close to cost anymore, it's very hard to compete. Hopefully, something will turn this around...

Pdiddy said...

I do support my camera store, i don't support the department stores. the local camera stores seem to have the best prices, the best selection and the most helpful sales people.