Of late the press is full of bad news about the retail industry due to high profile companies going into administration, others reducing the number of stores and many blaming the internet for the decline in sales. At the same time other retailers continue to expand because of the environment they offer their customers, creating engaging surroundings that cannot be replaced by the internet. The experience of touching and feeling products whilst interacting with knowledgeable people can never be replaced.
Within the photographic retail environment we have seen both Jacobs and Jessops fall into administration in the last year, although photography itself is more popular than ever and manufacturers have brought out many new products for those who have a passion for photography.
Jessops, with many stores and a long heritage had a strong impact in promoting photography to the general public. Although they were a major competitor of Calumet, the fact that they enabled many photographers to handle products within a showroom environment across so many cities in the UK contributed to the incredible increase in the popularity and use of digital SLR cameras in recent years. We of course have the greatest sympathy and respect for the staff, and wish them well in the future. For Jessops’ customers who have been left with unfulfilled orders or issues with manufacturers’ warranty repairs we also sympathise.
With regard to the latter, we would like to offer any Jessops customer who needs to return a product to a manufacturer under warranty for repair the opportunity to use one of our eight nationwide showrooms. The store will handle the dispatch and return along with the necessary paperwork. Please contact your closest store if you wish to discuss taking advantage of this service. We guarantee not to charge any administration fee for this facility.
Calumet Photographic is fully committed to photography. We continue to offer photographers at all levels every opportunity to handle and try all the latest equipment. A large number of our retail staff are talented photographers and will use their experience to demonstrate how products work in real situations.
We fully understand that every photographer has different needs and therefore requires different solutions, for example this is why we have extensive rental departments and also offer a try before you buy service. We already have and continue to introduce live studios and work flow solutions in our stores so that you can use product in a ‘real’ environment and experience the quality the latest equipment can produce.
We can assist you to gain knowledge to further your photographic skills and experience other genres of photography by offering an extensive programme of seminars and workshops nationwide. These are aimed at all levels of expertise from the novice through to the professional.
We understand the advantages that internet shopping can provide customers, our own website is very successful and integrated into all our sales channels with ‘click and collect’ being part of our daily business. Choosing products online and getting free shipping* to your home is also a convenient way of shopping with Calumet. (*over £100.)
Calumet Photographic prides itself on being unique; supplying everything a photographer could need, from the camera to digital workflow and lighting. Our teams don’t only sell products, their advice is based on extensive training and experience working as photographers themselves.
We believe that we can demonstrate, despite the recent negative publicity, that there is a strong demand for the retail touch and try experience, which a pure online presence cannot offer.
We look forward to the future and continuing to serve all your photographic needs.
Managing Director Calumet Europe