Canon has announced its first consumer retail store, The Canon Experience Store, located in South Melbourne at the same address as its Sun Studios pro store and photographic studio rental businesses.
The 320 sq metre store has been planned for the last two years and caters ‘to everyone from photography beginners to professionals in the field.’
‘Canon’s Experience Store enables visitors to try and buy a range of Canon devices, troubleshoot, grow their skills, and access a range of exciting activities run by the Canon Collective.’
The Canon store is only a couple of kilometres from the vibrant Elizabeth Street photo retailing precinct and close to several other South Melbourne photo outlets. In elaborating on why Canon was motivated to open its own consumer store in direct competition with its retail customers, store manager Chris Siacolas said Canon had a different approach to most Canon Authorised Resellers selling Canon products:
‘Photos and videos are at the heart of how we communicate today, but we’ve just scratched the surface in helping people understand what they can achieve. In a typical retail environment, you wait to have devices unlocked and have very limited ability to trial them.
‘At our Experience Store, you’re able to play, test and explore with guidance from our in-store Ambassadors [ie, retail staff] based solely on what you want to achieve.
‘By showing not telling, and inspiring before selling, we aim to encourage many more people to see the world of opportunities that open up with Canon products and services.’
Rob Caldwell, who previously managed Ted’s Cameras stores in Fountain Gate and Melbourne City, has been recruited for The Canon Experience Store.
Here is the full press release:
Canon Australia opens unique consumer retail ‘Experience Store’
Sydney, Australia, 5 July 2018 – Canon Australia is proud to announce the launch of a new retail experience concept, providing a unique Canon environment that caters to all levels of visual creative from beginner to enthusiast. Located in the heart of South Melbourne (95 Buckhurst St), Canon’s Experience Store offers people an opportunity to be inspired, learn and try the gamut of Canon products, services, events and content through an experience customised for them.
Led by Jason McLean, Director of Canon Australia’s Consumer Imaging Division, Canon‘s Experience Store project was based on extensive research into what Australians want from the brand. According to McLean, the brief for the store was simple and single-minded:
“Our objective was to create the best consumer experience possible. We had no preconceived ideas and deliberately looked to challenge established ways of thinking that become experience barriers.”
“The result is a space that is welcoming to all, provides unrestricted access to our gear and encourages an exploration of photography, videography and print in a way that’s relevant to you as an individual,” continues McLean.
Welcome one and all
Occupying 320 sqm, the Canon Experience Store offers an experience personalised to the visitor using their own images. This includes tailored demonstrations, consultations, lessons, safaris and guides to help people take their next step with confidence. Regularly refreshed, the Store will have image features that inspire and offer accessibility regardless of skill level.
The store offers all Canon photography, video and print products from entry-level to professional, as well as related services including photoPICO wall art and photobooks, Irista cloud storage and Canon Collective events and workshops. Occupying the same site as the new SUNSTUDIOS Melbourne, the combined location provides a complete destination for visual creativity, extending from consumer level right through to professional studios, rental, sales, service and fine art printing.
Chris Siacolas, the newly appointed experience store Manager and Canon employee of 18 years, believes the time is right to welcome more people to the world of photography and video image-making. “Photos and videos are at the heart of how we communicate today, but we’ve just scratched the surface in helping people understand what they can achieve,” says Siacolas. “In a typical retail environment, you wait to have devices unlocked and have very limited ability to trial them. At our Experience Store, you’re able to play, test and explore with guidance from our in-store Ambassadors, based solely on what you want to achieve.”
“By showing not telling, and inspiring before selling, we aim to encourage many more people to see the world of opportunities that open up with Canon products and services.”
The experience-led brand
Canon’s new Experience Store is the ultimate expression of Canon Australia’s brand ambition, which has seen a constant and determined evolution from product wholesaler to experience facilitator, fuelling the people’s passion for imaging and helping them see what they can achieve with Canon’s complete product and service offering.
Ground-breaking achievements from Canon’s Australian arm include the Canon Collective, an experience team that hosts consumer experiences, festivals, overseas tours and Light Awards Live competitions around the country. Canon Australia also hosts world-leading social media channels, and rich content channels focussed on celebrating the achievements of Canon users. A standout among these is the Tales By Light series launched on National Geographic Channel and now streaming globally on Netflix.
“At Canon we enjoy a freedom globally to approach each market based on the local needs and opportunities and that’s something we don’t take for granted,” says Jason McLean. “We test and learn extensively and feel we have a good grasp on what people want from us. We look forward to seeing how our experience store is received.”
Other Canon Experience Store features include:
· A welcome concierge and onsite valet for visitors’ convenience;
· Highly experienced in-store Ambassadors with over 50 years’ combined experience and ability to support every visitor with their creative journey;
· Canon Collective will host a range of weekly activities for local explorers, including beginners’ guides to photography, photo excursions in and beyond Victoria, and edit-to-print workshops;
· Inviting support spaces for personalised consultations;
· Two break-out areas with cycloramas that can be set up for a variety of shoots so visitors can test their devices and have practice runs to set them up for success;
· Digital content screens to showcase range of photography and videography to and by the creative community;
· Printing facilities in-store and at SUNSTUDIOS, ranging from pocket-sized keepsakes to large-format fine art printing;
· Large gallery space onsite within SUNSTUDIOS;
– Currently hosting its first exhibition, SUN Celebrates Melbourne, showcasing some of Australia’s most exciting photographers who have received both local and international acclaim;
· Two versatile studios enabling controlled lighting that operate within SUNSTUDIOS, with attached greenrooms and additional breakout spaces;
· Multi-purpose theatre space onsite;
· Onsite café.