Antipodeans shine at IPI conference

July 20, 2010: The ‘Thunder from Downunder’ took on a new twist at IPI’s recent conference in Las Vegas.

IPI, the Independent Photo Imagers Co-operative, has 900 member stores throughout the world – mainly in the US, Canada and Mexico, but with a smattering of members from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It negotiates special buying terms for members and provides a wide range of support services.

Each year the IPI conference attracts people from across the US and other parts of the world at a resort near its Las Vegas headquarters.

Presenting the conference keynote ‘Falling back in love with your business’, Kiwi retail consultant Chris Wilkinson (First Digital – pictured above right) showed how to use systems, strategy and a fresh mindset to regain control of your store.

‘Essentially it was designed to show retailers the way to regain control of their business, implement some systems and have a fresh perspective on the market,’ explained Wilkinson.

The session generated a huge amount of interest, Wilkinson added, and First Retail is now developing programs specific to IPI’s North American members.

The dynamic duo from from Creative Photo Workshops, Shelton Muller and Glynn Lavender, also had a role at the conference, conducting a photo workshop at a desert location.

FotoFirst’s Phil Gresham got off his bike to attend after completing a grand motocycle tour to visit some of America’s most innovative photo retailers, and share and swap ideas.

Also at the show was Melbourne’s Peter Michael and Alan and Catherine Logue from Adelaide – founding Australian members of IPI.

Asked why retailers from Australasia would join IPI, Wilkinson said: ‘In North America it’s buying power and fellowship that are key drivers.

‘In Australasia and South Africa it’s international connection, fellowship and some future opportunities for buying economies that seem to be drivers.’


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