Magazine Article


Retailer Spotlight: Harold's Photo Centers
Photo Business Spans Four Generations in Sioux Falls & Surrounding Areas

Harold's Photo Centers logo
Bob Hanson
Bob Hanson, owner of Harold's Photo Centers,with locations in South Dakota and Iowa.
Harold's Photo Centers

Erin von Holdt, Holly Hendricks, and Jeanne Chleborad examining new portrait products
Erin von Holdt, Holly Hendricks, and Jeanne Chleborad examining new portrait products. Note the products behind them—the array of frame corners on the left, and greeting cards and calendars on the right.
Harold's Photo Centers

Customers using Express Kiosks
Customers using Express Kiosks at the Meadows location of Harold's Photo Centers. The far wall is utilized as a reminder of the products that customers can create with their images.
Harold's Photo Centers

Emily Erfman  using Xerox laser printer
Emily Erfman looks at two-sided greeting card output on one of the two Xerox laser printers.
Harold's Photo Centers

Teresa Meyers
Sales associate Teresa Meyers at the drive-up window; an important feature in many of the Harold's Photo Centers locations.
Harold's Photo Centers

Screenshot of Harold's Photo Centers website
Screenshot of Harold's Photo Centers website

"Kiosk usage is huge! We have a couple of stores with 10 to 12 kiosks each, and as soon as we have time, we'll be adding a couple more," he says. This is mainly because on the weekends it's common that all of the kiosks will be full, with customers waiting for their turn.

Bob offers his customers the ability to create scrapbook layouts digitally, through the kiosks and online. It isn't a big part of the mix, but it's a necessary offering.

Another large part of the business is photo education through classes, and they try to offer as many as possible. And yes, there's usually a bump-up in sales of items that are talked about in class, but providing a reason for customers to come into the store(s) and reap the rewards of such an education is the real value a retailer sees.

What does Bob owe to the success Harold's Photo Centers has enjoyed for almost a century now? The company's long-standing presence and the people who work there. "We've had lots of long-term employees that are critical to our success," Bob says. And those include the fourth generation of the Hanson family: Bob's son Andrew is the Prolab manager, Davis supervises the retail stores, and Emily works in marketing. Other key members of the management team are Jeanne Chleborad, director of operations; Erin von Holdt, director of marketing; Deb Deidrich, controller; and Gene Smith, merchandise buyer.

"We have also benefited from our membership in PRO, working alongside many great dealers," he concludes.