Camera House sees pleasing sales

In an interview with the retailer’s GM.

Despite last year’s earthquake in Japan, camera sales have been pleasing, and while Christmas business arrived late the trend since has been good, Camera House general manager, Charles Davey told Appliance Retailer.

“All of our key brands in the digital camera category are performing well, reflecting the energy and focus of the local account teams. In the drone category we are seeing DJI take a lead in share. Within our accessory and memory category we are seeing a very strong mix in the ProMaster range, demonstrating the outstanding quality and value for money this range gives the customer,” Davey said.

With member retailers spread around Australia information on the most requested camera features varies depending on location, however battery life, shooting modes and image stabilisation are generally the most talked about features between store customers and retailers, he said.

Although price is still a significant factor to a sale, it is no more so than the service and advice that member retailers can give. “Customers often reflect on the importance of the knowledge that if they need more help on the use of a camera, or cannot work something out, they can just return to store and receive expert advice. Many of our stores offer tuition for helping customers make the most of their new purchase to help them create amazing pictures and artworks.”

As to the effectiveness of promotions and add-ons to the sale: “Our retailers pride themselves on ensuring their customers walk out with what they want and need. Adding to their base needs is very important, such as the right SD card, the right lens selection, the right case, the right tripod. The options are varied. In many cases we will help our retailers with doing a bundle option for getting exceptional value for money.

“We recently relaunched our online site and found customer interaction to be very positive. We added live web chat which has been useful to answer many questions. The online site is a key focus to our strategic plan going forward, intended to increase the capabilities and helping to deliver to our customers with what they want within speedy timeframes.”

No interview can be complete without asking about Amazon, and Davey was candid in his response. “Australian retail is chatting about the arrival of the mighty Amazon with newspapers referring to this as a challenge. For us the opportunity here is to focus on the amazing service and advice our retailers give to customers around Australia, the instant ability to purchase a product as well as the ability to print or make photo gifts within short time periods. We need to always be evolving our retail models and reflecting the changing shopping patterns we see today.”

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