The Death of the Camera Shop


ISO

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 16:15
Just had a very depressing day. Decided to drive round to see what s/h stuff was around. Picked out some shops from (an old) listing in North Kent.

Results:

Fielders. Sevenoaks – Closed down
Bexley Camera. Bexley – Closed down
Woods & Porter. Dartford – Closed down
Owens Photographic. Petts Wood – Closed down
Percival Cameras. Bexleyheath – Closed down
Chas Norman. Orpington – Closed down

In fact I didn’t find a single shop still operating.

JonSchick

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 16:27
Used to work in Bromley/Orpington and it's been a bit of a desert for camera shops for a long time. The places in SE London that are still trading are Mr Cad in Croydon (although as I've said before, some of their stuff looks like it has fallen off the back of a lorry and then run over by an overcrowded double decker bus) and Ivor Howell in West Norwood.

Dangermouse

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 16:32
My nearest is probably Melgray in Hereford, although they seldom have any used Pentax gear in at sane prices. I realise they need to make a living but they're just asking silly money for fairly commonplace items, and the stock never seems to change.

I do buy from them when they have something I like the look of - my S-M-C Takumar 135mm/3.5 came from there at a very fair £50 for a tidy lens with original hood, front cap, and their guarantee. I was pleased to see that they had a K-x and numerous compacts in the window last time I looked.

Ebay and forum-based private sales have probably clobbered the 2nd hand dealers pretty hard. People won't take their old gear in and sadly accept the paltry offer which is all the dealer can afford to make when they can cut out the middle man and sell it for the true value instead. As a result, there's no space for a dealer's mark-up.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 17:42
Given the surge in interest in photography and old lenses, it's a pity some shops struggle to keep up. The ones that are doing well have an online presence and keep prices sane. Ebay is as much a source of bargain stock for them as it is for us.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

TOZZA27

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 17:46
We`ve never really had a shop nearer than Liverpool or Chester so I tended to buy by mail order through The AP ads in the 90s.
Coincidently , MVX Uckfield whom I dealt with and are now defunct , are about 100 yards from where my daughter moved to .
Other names from my receipts file are - Commercial Cameras , Woking.Fairs Cameras near Birkenhead( still going ).London Camera Exchange , Cheltenham.Cambrian Paradox ,Chirk.Marriot Photo + Cine , Brighouse.Photo Optix,London.Camera Warehouse ,Kenley Surrey.London Camera Exchange ,Paignton.Surrey Cameras ,Wallington Surrey.Vic Odden`s ,London.And of course Jessops ( when they were a camera shop ).I think I had a few bits and bobs from Scotland too.

Tony
K20D,*istD ( now a dedicated M42 digital ),K100D,MZ5N,P50,ME Super,Spotmatic 1000,Spotmatic,ESII,ES,H2.18-55 II,18-55,75-300 FAJ,35-80 FA,80-200 F,28-105 FA,Sigma 24-70 AF Aspherical,Sigma 28-300 Hyperzoom , Praotor II 500 M42,Centon 500mm mirror,and a few Pentax M42 Taks,super-Taks,smc Taks,A and M lenses.Benbo trekker,7dayshop monopod and a Lowepro rucksack.

I am now on Flickr which is nice !

Dangermouse

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 17:54
I think if you're stocking your shop with ebay bargains you'd need a full-time buyer to keep up - I know I run a search for "Pentax" and "Takumar" every morning and I still miss things.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Gwyn

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 18:11
We have four camera shops in my small town. Two are official Pentax dealers - one said buy a Nikon or a Canon, not a Pentax and has no second-hand stuff.
The other has Pentax gear, but it is all at the SRP. They occasionally have second-hand stuff, but I've never seen anything there I want.

So now I tend to use shops which sell on the net, but also have a physical shop where I can try stuff first. A couple of them have even expanded, and opened new branches.

greynolds999

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 19:07
We have three in Edinburgh: Jessops, Jacobs and Calumet. Not a second hand shop within a hundred miles.
My Photobucket

grahamwalton

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 19:15
The City of Birmingham UK used to have lots of Photographic Shops. There was; Jessops Smallbrook, Jessops New street, Jacobs, Sherwoods, Techno, Camera House, Cequip, Priory Cameras, Dixons, Camera Connections, Fletchers, Bannister and Thatcher and Ron Parkes. I believe there were others that I've missed.

Now we are left with; Jessops Temple Row (large shop with a limited range and knowlege) a smaller Jacobs and PC World.
Friendly Regards
Graham

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 19:40
Dangermouse wrote:
I think if you're stocking your shop with ebay bargains you'd need a full-time buyer to keep up - I know I run a search for "Pentax" and "Takumar" every morning and I still miss things.

Lol I don't know about that but i've sold items to camera shops a few times. I guess when your not looking for something specific it helps- and you can sell with a bit more of a mark up if your a shop that offers customer support, warranties etc.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

dougf8

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 19:42
In case it's news, there has been something of a downturn recently leaving roughly one in seven shops empty on the high street.

You have to go in to your local shops and spend real money if you want them there. They just can't compete with box shifters.
Lurking is shirking.!

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 19:44
By the way, there's a nice little shop in Pershore. They often have a few Pentax bits. But it's a small shop,
total luck of the draw whether they have anything interesting in stock. Great for random things from the ubiquitous and wonderful 'bargain bin' of oddments.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

Technoblurb

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 20:17
greynolds999 wrote:
We have three in Edinburgh: Jessops, Jacobs and Calumet. Not a second hand shop within a hundred miles.

So do Camerabase not exist in Edinburgh, they used to be on Morningside Road ?

mowog

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 20:59
Yes. It's the same in my neck of the woods. The following have all gone in recent times.

Camera Craft, Palmers Green. - Closed.
Camera Craft, Crouch End. - Closed.
College Cameras, Walthamstow. - Closed.
Clear Vue Projection Co, Finsbury Park. - Closed. (I bought my first ever 'proper' camera from there).

The only little camera shop still open within a few miles of me now, is County Cameras, of Chingford Mount. - At least it still was, the last time I bought something there, over a year ago... And that's the problem, you see. If we don't buy from these little high street shops... They die!
No man is worth his salt, who has not been banned from at least one Forum, and two Flickr groups.

Mowog.
Last Edited by mowog on 05/11/2010 - 21:01

Dangermouse

Link Posted 05/11/2010 - 22:00
dougf8 wrote:


You have to go in to your local shops and spend real money if you want them there. They just can't compete with box shifters.

Problem is when they don't have anything you want to buy. I do have a look in Melgray every time I'm in Hereford but they very rarely have anything of interest to me. It's still worth looking as you never know what they've got.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.
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