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No more camera stores

Our last camera store in Springfield, Illinois closed a few days ago. No more going to the camera store for emergency advice, repairs, or accessories. A city of 120,000 people and no camera shop except for Walmart or Best Buy. Unless someone from Springfield happens to see this post and tells me otherwise. In my opinion photography is a wide open field of opportunity. But with the existence of internet, the retail side is suffering.

Comments

  • Same here in Vermont. We still have a couple of places, but only one, in Burlington, that still stocks a fair amount of stuff from major manufacturers.

    But I don't think it's just the internet that is at fault. The camera business itself is shrinking, as a great many of the people who used to buy compact cameras and were not very serious about photography now are using cell phones.

    It's also partly, I think, the fault of some manufacturers. It's fairly common in retail sales for manufacturers to deny franchises to sellers who cannot come up with a certain minimum of sales. As overall sales decline, of course, the number of sellers must also decline, and to some extent I think the limiting of sellers is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    We have one place nearby that still does printing and some developing, and sells some photo gear, but mostly stuff like packs and accessories, batteries and filters and low-cost inventory. In 2014 they were a Nikon dealer, and I bought my D3200 there after trying it out on the premises. A couple of years later Nikon pulled the plug on them. They still sell some third party lenses and some equipment, but no Nikon. Now I'm a Nikon guy and will buy gear somewhere else when that happens, but if I am just looking for a camera to take on vacation, or a point and shoot portable, and want local support, I'll buy what they have.

    Anyway, I agree that it's too bad. I still go to the one camera store within a day's drive, when I can, because I can actually try a lens and see how it works.

    I am a little suprised that a city as big as yours has no place left at all. I wonder if, after the dust settles, there will be some rethinking by camera makers and retailers, in which small niche markets are once again served, just as there seem nowadays to be more vinyl records available than there were 20 years ago.
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