PIR July/August 2012 Editorial: My Annual Shot of Photo Retail Adrenaline

PIR July/August 2012 Editorial: My Annual Shot of Photo Retail Adrenaline


As I write this, I’m on the plane coming home from the PRO convention in Portland, Oregon, and my brain is still buzzing.

The PRO group represents some of the best and brightest minds in the photo retail business. And spending two days with them reminds me of why our industry continues to be resilient in the face of economic and competitive challenges.
Photo specialty retailers believe in themselves. They are smart, creative businessmen and women who operate small (and not so small) companies and understand the industry far beyond any big-box store or online retailer. They are passionate about the photo segment, focused on their craft and committed to their customers.

What impresses me most about this annual gathering is the camaraderie I see among the dealers. They are not competitors. They are friends, eager to share their own successes and innovative tips with their fellow dealers. Bill McCurry, as the group’s energetic master of ceremonies, expertly uses his engaging techniques to encourage dealers to sing their own praises—and in the process to pass on their own paths to success.

Of course, the PRO convention only represents a slice of the many dynamic photo retailers in the country. While they weren’t all there, they all share the same passion.

When it comes to selling, I’d stack the photo retail channel against any retailers, large and small, in America.