That said, Kadair’s has also made a conscious effort to reinvest profits back into the business, which allows them to do those things that keep them ahead of the competition while providing their customers with the best services in both the photo and consumer electronics categories.
“We’ve branded Kadair’s as an expert and tops in this field in our community. We feel that photos are, and will continue to be, very important to people. They will want to have their memories preserved and printed for future generations to enjoy,” says Howard.
“Being perceived as an expert in the field is critical,” says Howard. This is key to their ability to successfully compete with nearby big-box stores. Competing in today’s photo retail or consumer electronic marketplace has gotten harder over the years, with many independent dealers closing their doors, while the big-box chains stay in business. Howard believes a retailer today needs to be seen as the specialist or expert, along with the right mix of offerings. “The way we combat this is to become super specialists by offering expertise in ways the big-boxes can’t—with photo classes, a knowledgeable sales staff, unique products and services for customers (i.e., the digital café, custom cinema),” he explains. “We’re extremely mindful of our product selection, vendor relations, and advertising dollars—all help us remain viable in the marketplace. Our customers come to us for expert advice, product knowledge, and superior quality of output, and our service department services what we sell.”
Service—A Little Something Extra
Today’s consumers don’t expect good service. “The general public has been bombarded by the big-boxes and drugstore chains in terms of their saturation of locations—one on every corner—and marketing. With this has come a culture created on lowered expectations in the customer care arena. Receiving good service has now become the exception, instead of the rule as it was in the past,” Howard says. “When you take care of customers and offer that little something extra (in Louisiana, we call it ‘lagniappe’), customers are amazed and delighted. It makes doing business an enjoyable experience when an employee greets them by name, asks about their family, or takes time to offer a bit of advice about their photography,” he explains. “We’ve even started a ‘Mom’s Express’ service for busy moms. We offer car-side service for pickup and drop-off when they have their little ones with them.”
“The independent that is able to remain progressive, hire and keep good personnel, and always be on the lookout for new technology and ways to integrate it will survive,” Howard concludes. It’s this recipe that has kept Kadair’s going strong for the past 60 years and has prepared them for the future.