New York City, NY—At a gala evening event on June 23, 2010 at Willoughby’s Camera in New York City, Pentax unveiled what is billed as the first American Pentax Shop. The opening reception was attended by top Pentax execs Ned Bunnell, John Hodnett and Mark Sherengo; Joseph Douek, CEO of Willoughby’s Camera; space designer Alex McCord; and imaging industry press people.
Located immediately to the right as you enter the elegant upscale Willoughby’s Camera store at 298 Fifth Avenue, the fashionably understated boutique offers a dazzling and colorful collection of virtually everything in the Pentax line, all designed to provide visual enticement as well as a tactile, hands-on experience for customers. Displayed are the complete line of Pentax sport optics, a luscious array of Pentax DSLRs—ranging from the prosumer K7 to the broad-spectrum K-x in five scrumptious colors—every Pentax point-and-shoot compact, including the 12.1MP smart, retro-looking Optio I-10 and the cool, sleek waterproof/dustproof/shockproof Pentax W90. Even the formidable digital Pentax 645 medium-format camera is on view, as well as, of course, lots of lenses.
Directly opposite the Pentax boutique is the recently opened Leica boutique, an exclusive high-end association that redounds to the benefit of both legacy brands in attracting an upscale clientele. When Willoughby’s proprietor Joseph Douek approached Pentax with the opportunity of a branded shop-in-shop alongside another heritage brand (Leica) to freshen the store’s threshold area, Pentax knew this would be an excellent way to underscore its commitment to photo retail. The legacy of these two international brands is stellar, and Pentax is honored to neighbor 150-year-old Leica.
“Whether you’re a devoted Pentaxian or simply considering Pentax for the first time, our mission is to offer every visitor a thorough hands-on experience,” said Ned Bunnell, president of Pentax Imaging Company. “Willoughby’s is now a unique outfitter to prepare all who are ready for their next Pentax photography adventure.”
That’s more than PR spin. Willoughby’s, New York’s oldest camera store, was founded in 1898 and has been a mecca for photo enthusiasts at all levels for well over a century. Moving east to Fifth Avenue seven years ago from its longtime location on 32nd between 6th and 7th Avenues has only increased its panache.
The Pentax boutique officially opened to the public on June 24, 2010, offering a time-limited trade-in event with major savings on any Pentax camera purchased over the counter from Willoughby’s. If that sounds like sales synergy, you’re right on target. The boutique will be staffed by both Willoughby’s and Pentax employees. pentaximaging.com