Having not long ago moved from Brisbane’s Myer Centre to nearby Adelaide Street, Phil Gresham’s Fotofast has now quit the city altogether to set up shop a few kilometres away in Taringa, which Phil describes as ‘the gateway to the affluent western suburbs of Brisbane’.
Not only has Fotofast changed its address – it has undergone a subtle name change – to ‘Fotofast Photo Design Centre’.
From a financial point of view, the new premises represent a massive saving on rent – a staggering 90 percent reduction, according to Phil.
It also reflects a change in the nature of photo retailing – online orders have become more important, ‘walk-ins’ generated in part by heavy city foot traffic, less so.
He mentioned that just this week the largest ever online order came in – from Mt Isa.
‘The value of the average order online is increasing considerably, while the value of walk-ins has dropped, while still requiring the same amount of service,’ said Phil.
So as well as a game-changing saving on rent, Fotofast has been able to reduce staffing levels.
There have also been some lifestyle benefits. ‘It’s just enjoyable being here. You can see the sky and there’s a bit of greenery and some trees, rather than noise and smelly buses.’
And another lifestyle benefit is that Fotofast will no longer open the doors on Sundays!
He said that quite a few of his customers from the city had found their way out to the new store. ‘The free parking is a big deal,’ he noted. (There’s off-street parking under the store.) ‘Film orders this week have been as large as ever,’ he said.
The move was completed over the weekend, with Fotofast closing over the weekend and opening up in the new premises on Tuesday. By the end of the week all kiosks and printing equipment were fully up and running. He singled out Ian McEllister (IPS) for special mention in helping with the move.
Fotofast will be focussing on providing a faster turnaround in the new store – moving from a four-hour turnaround for photo gifts to a more while-you-wait one hour, for instance.
There is room in the new store to run some customer classes and Fotofast intends to offer courses in ‘iPhonography’ based on the course materials supplied as part of the IPI Marketing Solutions Program.
He also sees a big opportunity in offering scanning services to the baby boomer rich (and rich baby boomer!) demographic in and around Taringa.