Australian photo specialty retailing has just 166 outlets in formal buying/marketing groups at the start of 2014.
Currently there are 67 Camera House stores, 16 more stores in the Camera House affiliate program (including the Paxton group); 62 stores in the PhotoEdge (Leading Edge) group; and 21 Ted’s Camera stores.
None of these groups has any great plans for expanding those numbers in the current retailing climate.
Beyond the buying groups, however, there are a surprising number of stores continuing to carry the banners of Kodak and Fujifilm, even though neither marketing programs have been particularly active in recent years.
While Fujifilm has effectively abandoned Fuji Image Plaza and the Accredited Photofinisher programs – they are not even mentioned on the Fujifilm website – there is a long list of stores which nonetheless keep the FIP livery and name alive.
Currently the Kodak Express website lists over 100 stores, and the Kodak Alaris business has stated its intention of re-launching the Kodak Express program, having taken back management from the Leading Edge group. Currently there are just over 100 stores listed on the Kodak Express website.
Photo retailing desperately needs more profile as a discrete niche. Currently Camera House and Ted’s are ‘holding the fort’ in terms of maintaining a marketing communications presence in competition against other discretionary spend leisure niches. Kodak Alaris has a great asset (if those 100 Kodak Express stores actually exist) which has been neglected for too many years. Fujifilm? Who knows what it might do now its role with CE and mass merchants is being ‘downsized’.