Magazine Article


Dan's Camera City
Location for Industry Triple-Header

He said that one major feature of the series is that it contains a built-in spectrophotometer.

Greg said the wide bodies used HP 70 Vivera pigment inks, which HP said ďwill produce images {that} can last 200 years.Ē Twelve inks, Greg? Here they are: matte black, photo black, gray, light gray, magenta, light magenta, light cyan, red, blue, green, yellow, and gloss enhancer.

The visiting dealers, as well as myself, had heard and read a lot about how Danís Camera had set up its kiosk area and were anxious to see what all the fuss was about. WOW! Mike has over 20 Lucidiom kiosks deployed, both in a special room set up in a semi-enclosed area of the store, as well as remotely in other businesses in Allentown. In addition, there are three Lucidiom Luci kiosks for scrapbookers.

In Danís Digital Cafť, about a dozen kiosks are set up along the walls and on a center island, each with its own seat. In one corner of the room is a kidís play area with child seats, a TV set, and activity toys. During my visit I would estimate that at least half of the kiosks were being used most of the time, and Iím told there are times when all seats are taken.

In addition to the kiosks, Danís has the HP Photosmart Studio in operation, along with the new HP Microlab 4x6 printer and wide-format printer perking along. You can read all about this type of arrangement, but until you see it and watch the customers (mostly ladies) working so intently in front of the monitors, itís difficult to appreciate. For Danís Camera, anyway, it seems the future is now.

The afternoon was devoted to the NY/NJ PMA Metro division seminar. PMAís Ted Fox, who hung out for the entire day at Danís, was the opening speaker. He brought a PowerPoint presentation with the latest marketing information. Some of the interesting findings: two-thirds of households made paper prints from digital images in 2005ócompared to 54% in 1999; over 20% made prints from a free-standing kiosk in 2005, up from 16% in 2004; and in 2007 it is projected that more prints will be made from digital sources than from negatives. In 2008 it is projected that digital sources will lead two-to-one.

Rich Duncombe, HPís VP, Retail Photo Solutions, Imaging & Printing Group, told the group that he credited the relationship with Danís Camera, which began two years ago, and the input from Mike Woodland and other dealers, such as Paul Rentz, Rush Hour, Corvallis, OR., for the development of the Microlab 4x6 printer. He sees the pm1000 being placed wherever instant print functionality is needed, either as a companion piece in a wet lab or as a sole-source printer in a digital retail site.

He made the point that the key ingredient in the switch from analog to digital at retail was getting the right people in the retail environment. Danís speakers did a professional job of giving away the storeóor, at least, the secrets of the store.

Manny Brodt, retail division manager, discussed the management of the staff and why he feels the store has such an extremely low turnover rate. For one thing, he noted that whenever anything goes wrong, the employee involved isnít blamed. Rather, a meeting is held to find out how the system broke down and what needs to be done to make it better.

Steve Olock, Mikeís director of imaging services, is the guy in charge of all lab operations, and he openly described the setup of the lab and why itís done the way it is. He discussed that Danís was always on the lookout for new income-producing services. Last Christmas, for example, Danís offered to imprint the customerís return address on holiday envelopes, and the program was very successful in increasing the revenue per order of between $8 to $16 per card order. ďWe wore out a few Brother $99 inkjet printers and just threw them out. They paid their way.Ē

Julie Strasser talked about getting employees excited about new printing services that Danís would bring into the store. She said they allow an employee to make two of every new product, one to take home and the other for sales purposes at the counter as a real-world sample.

The coordinator and planner of the entire meeting, Bill McCurry, talked on the subject: Replacing Lost MarginóLabs Canít Live From 4x6 Alone. ďHoping that someday the 4x6 D&P will magically reappear as your profit driver is folly. Hope is not a strategy. Look at what Danís and others are doing to leverage services for solid profit growth.Ē

A few days after the Danís event, I called Mike Woodland and asked how long it took to get the store back into retail-ready shape after the throng departed. ďWe were fully restored by the next morning,Ē he said. (With a staff of 65, why not?) He noted that while he hoped that the visiting dealers were able to walk away with new thoughts for their own business, he, also, picked up some nuggets. ďItís great to see the reaction of the other dealers to the program as we all benefited from the interchange.Ē

Sid Davidowitz, a New Jersey Moto Photo operator, was especially pleased by the meeting. ďItís amazing how open everyone was. What a terrific attitude that people can be so open and not threatened by each other.Ē