McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #183, with a guest host
The Harmen Report on the Dan's Camera City Dealer Meeting
by Jerry Harmen, CPC.
The New York/New Jersey Metro Division of PMAI sponsored a meeting at Danís Camera City in Allentown, PA yesterday, drawing dealers from as far away as St. Louis, Missouri. Representatives of HP and Noritsu were on hand, as well as Ted Fox (President, PMAI), Liz Cutting (NPD), Brent Bowyer (IPI), and industry media. About 100 people from some 50 dealers attended all 6 seminars - 4 by Danís staff and 2 by HP.
HP also supplied a very nice buffet dinner.
Danís store was very busy at 3:00 just before the programs started, with a line of customers near the processing/services counter. Attendees roamed the storeís departments taking notes and photos of the various displays and signage. The first session began with Manny Brodt explaining the Danís culture and Mission Statement - to be the best retail store in the United States. Following Mannyís discussion, Steve Olock gave Danís concept of the 21st century lab. He followed the transition from analog to digital and the introduction of serious inkjet production printers.
This proved the segue for Greg Kearnan, HP Director of Sales, to discuss the new HP PM1000 inkjet printer, which can do 700 sheet fed 4x6 prints per hour at a net of 20Ę per print. The prints were very colorful , scratch resistant and water-fast as they emerged from the printer. The printer itself was under $12,000. Many dealers had walked by the printer on the sales floor without realizing what it was! (note: the printer is in one of the 4 photos with this review, see if you can spot it!)
Julie ďDigiJulieĒ Strauser was the next speaker, talking about the newer and planned services offered at Danís. She discussed the decision making process of what services to offer and the planning required for its implementation. Julie had worked her way up from a printer to the management team. (Within Danís culture, every employee is consulted about new products or services, but management seems to mold the decisions from this input.) Julie also spoke about the training lab personnel undergo to create these new services.
Ted Fox followed with a program discussing how printing at retail was gaining strength, and how the internet and home printing were both sending customers to retail locations. He supplied more insight into Jennifer and how the Complete Picture Inspiration Center is designed to maximum sales each time she visits. Both Ted and Mike Woodland, President of Danís, echoed how their independent research led to tremendous similarities between Danís Digital Cafe and PMAIís Inspiration Center.
After a dinner break, Mike discussed the successes and future improvements to his Digital Cafe and Lounge. It was a nuts & bolts discussion and if nothing else it was communicated that if the area is designed to appeal to women, let women on your staff design it from scratch.
The next segment was Rich Duncombe, VP of HP whose domain includes Photo Specialty. His overwhelming thrust was that HP is into printing at retail for the long haul. HP must succeed in keeping photo specialty a healthy and profitable channel. (There was no reference to any prior collaborations between HP and Eastman Kodak.)
The meeting concluded with a short session with industry newcomer William McCurry who reinforced what others had said all evening - you cannot survive on just 4x6 prints! He also managed to give out a few candy bars.
All in all the day was a tremendous learning experience for all, and encouraging that our industry will survive and prosper well into the future. It was a job well done. Thank you Mike Woodland, Danís Camera Cityís staff, New York/New Jersey Metro Division, HP and Bill McCurry for making this event truly spectacular.