DIR December 2013 Editor’s Note: Staying Focused

DIR December 2013 Editor’s Note: Staying Focused

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OK, maybe it’s an overused camera pun, but staying focused on the endgame is what 2013 was all about—and what we should all recognize for the coming year.

I think we can agree in general that the economy is in a lot better shape than it was a year ago. Retail reports point to optimism going into the New Year, and people are taking more pictures than ever before—a trend that will continue into the foreseeable future.

But the camera business is changing, and for this category to stay profitable and relevant, we’re going to have to recognize that it’s up to retailers and their employees, at the counter, to tell the camera story.

It’s no secret that smartphones are encroaching on camera sales. And while some dealers (like our Dealer of the Year, Unique Photo) are putting a toe into the smartphone-selling waters, that is not the solution. We also heard from Matt Sweetwood that a qualified salesperson at the counter is the best defense we have.

Make sure your employees are staying focused on the endgame. Are they telling the camera story? Are they highlighting quality images that come out of DSLRs? Are they asking customers about their printing habits?

Smartphones are not going away, but there is an opportunity to coexist with them if we recognize their strengths and their weaknesses, and make sure we continue to have that conversation with our customers.

Memories should be shared, but they should also be printed and kept for future generations. It’s a point that’s hard to argue but may not be as obvious as we think. We just have to keep talking about it.

The staff of Digital Imaging Reporter wishes all of you a great holiday season, and a happy and healthy 2014.

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