When we ponder our selection each fall for Dealer of the Year, we oftentimes revisit the most recent PRO Group meeting to reflect upon who has made an impression.
That’s not to say that every Dealer of the Year has been a member of that group. But as the years go by, I notice more and more the power of PRO to help dealers become better dealers.
While the first thing you might think of when you think PRO is their almost trance-like dedication to the ProMaster product line, it’s really much more than that.
It’s about a brotherhood/sisterhood of dealers who understand that the role of photo specialty dealers is changing and the environment gets more challenging each year. There is a sharing of ideas and the openness to hear new ideas from fellow dealers. There are the margin deals that come from being part of a buying group. And, most of all, the respect that I see among dealers and a willingness to go out of their way to make someone else in the room more successful.
I bring this up because our selection of Mike’s Camera this year is a reminder that a dealer who takes risks, adapts to a changing marketplace and continues to study the retail landscape makes for a very compelling choice. While many dealers are family-run businesses, the Christianians have taken the lessons learned from their father and combined them with the lessons of a new generation of retail—and they’ve actually expanded their base when other dealers are thinking of contracting. I have to believe that the camaraderie and lessons learned from PRO meetings contributed to their success.
We wish our heartfelt congratulations to the entire staff of Mike’s Camera, and we wish all of you a happy holiday season.