"Our most successful campaigns have all come from learning from others," he says. "There's so much risk in going into uncharted territories. It's so great to be able to ask someone for help."
Rob's involvement has not gone unrecognized among his peers.
"He gives a lot to the independent photo retailer through his idea exchange and his work with specific dealers through PRO," Ron Inkley, a former PTN Dealer of the Year, said.
Click Gets Scrap-HappyClick's 2,000-square-foot "Super Scrapbooking Store" has been such a success, it's running out of room. With 6,400 scrapbooking items in stock at the scrapbooking store at any one time, having a good SKU manager is essential.
The scrapbooking phenomenon is something many in the photo industry have kept their eyes on over the last several years. Rob Klaben, though, is someone who jumped into scrapbooking with both feet several years ago and has been reaping the rewards ever since.
"It started as a small section for scrapbookers seven years ago," Rob recalls. "We saw it as a great way to grow our accessory business and our high-margin albums and frames. But once people got interested in it, we quickly found we didn't have enough to offer them."
So two years ago, Rob opened Click's first store devoted exclusively to scrapbooking with a one-hour minilab included.
"It has been very successful. We are probably to the point of outgrowing our location," Klaben says of the 2,000-square-foot "Super Scrapbooking Store" in Dayton. "There are lots of opportunities to connect with those customers. We're in the process of determining our next step."
To keep scrapbookers—a notoriously fickle lot—involved, Click has launched a scrapbooking club with a newsletter and a 10 percent discount for members. Through the club, Click hosts special events at the store, including pajama parties, Easter egg hunts, and different theme parties and contests every third Friday night. It's not unheard of for the events to go as late as 1:30 in the morning.
"They're a loyal group, but they also like to see what's out there, and other scrapbook stores are opening left and right," Rob says. "The key is to be continuously going to scrapbooking trade shows and rotating stock. You need a good SKU manager because there are a lot of items."
After running a quick check of his inventory, Rob estimates that there are about 6,400 scrapbooking items in stock at the store at any one time.
"You can't just go in halfway," he explains. "You need to be dedicated and have a person who knows the category, and you need floor space and classes."
The results, though, can be profitable. Klaben credits Cord Camera, which has found success in scrapbooking, for sharing ideas with him.
"Two years ago it was two percent of our company sales, and today it's 4.5 percent," he says. "But what that doesn't show is that the margins are much, much greater than digital cameras, so it's more profitable."