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12-19-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
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Pentax Not Showing Up In Christmas Ads Here In Baltimore

Approximately a year, or so, ago one of the last independent camera stores here in Baltimore, Cooper's Camera Mart, a 2-store operation, was purchased by Penn Camera..

Penn Camera is a large chain camera store with its headquarters in Beltsville, MD..They have 10 stores, 5 in Maryland, 3 in Virginia, and 2 in Washington, DC..Penn closed both of the Cooper's locations in the Baltimore area, choosing to open new store in an upscale mall / strip store location..

Cooper's was the only shop in Baltimore that sold Pentax dSLR's when I purchased my K10D in March 2006..I know that Pentax accounted for only a small percentage of Cooper's sales compared to Cannon and Nikon..Now that Cooper's is gone and merged into the new Penn Camera store, even that small Pentax presence in Baltimore has diminished..

What I find interesting is that regardless of Pentax's success with both the K10D and the K20D cameras, Penn has elected NOT to feature any Pentax products in either their Christmas newspaper adds, or the Christmas flier that they mailed out just several days ago..

I spoke to a salesman on the phone to confirm that they are still Pentax dealers..When I asked if they still sold and serviced Pentax cameras there was a noticeable drop in enthusiasm in his voice for the remainder of the conversation..They only carry the dSLR's, not the P&S's..

I am sure that this comes as no surprise to other Pentax owners..Penn Camera carries two Pentax products, the K20D and the K200D dSLR's..Compared to hundreds of Canon and Nikon products..If Penn Camera were to drop Pentax that would leave only Wal Mart as Pentax dealers in the Baltimore Metro area..This according to Pentax Imaging's Dealer Locator List..

Pentax needs a real advertising campaign along with cameras, lenses, and accessories that can compete head-to-head with Canon and Nikon if they have any hopes of surviving the next 5 years..

Just my opinion..


Last edited by baltochef920; 12-19-2008 at 03:35 PM.
12-19-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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Sad, I used to get my darkroom supplies from coopers or a little place in towson (can't remember the name) How about service photo? I guess they are mostly nikon though. I just shop online anymore There is nothing on this side of harford county.
12-19-2008, 12:52 PM   #3
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I purchased my K10D from Penn in Springfield VA and the sales people were more than happy and enthusiastic to work with me. And later to show me and let me play with the K20D. I haven't looked at their advertising for the holidays though as I don't get the newspaper. There is a smallish Pentax presence at our local Ritz stores here in Suburban NOVA, however, none at Walmart/Target/BestBuy. I would LOVE to see a Pentax in the same section of BestBuy with the Canon/Nikon/Sony DSLRs.

Advertising, yes. And just get the dang things in the dang stores. If the masses see them along side the others, it will go a long long way to help get the name out.
12-19-2008, 03:23 PM   #4
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Nothing here either

About a year ago there was a post referring to an order Pentax got from Ritz camera that was about the largest single order Pentax US had ever gotten. Pentax did not follow up on after sale service well enough so Ritz is now getting out of Pentax. In the New England market that leaves Hunt's Camera as the only Brick and Mortar stores that carry any Pentax. They have no K2000 cameras in their system and the only one they list as an item that can be ordered is the kit with the flash.

New England is about 5% of the US market and the only presence Pentax seems to have is Hunt's. That does not seem like a good record especially in light of Ned stating the specialty stores were the backbone of the Pentax strategy. Posts on this forum from people in the Euro market indicate the situation appears to be completely different there.

Your post seems to reflect the same amount of market presence in Baltimore as we have in New England. The only stocking stores I know of is one location in Rockford, Ill and the big guys in NYC. How about the rest of you around the country? What is the availability in your area?

Last edited by regken; 12-19-2008 at 04:28 PM.
12-22-2008, 07:07 AM   #5
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If the specialty store was the backbone of Pentax strategy they shouldn't have forced most of those dealers to distributors last year. The plan is broken - perhaps beyond repair. Even the largest B&M Pentax dealer in the US didn't run any ads for them. Ran a 6 page color one for Nikon though. Interesting they didn't service Ritz well enough to keep them.

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12-22-2008, 09:08 AM   #6
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I have never seen an ad for a Pentax dSLR in Florida. A P&S ad is rare. No TV or radio ads even for P&S. So things are status quo in north Florida for Pentax.
12-22-2008, 10:42 AM   #7
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I have not seen an ad for Pentax anywhere for about a year. I haven't read any photo magazines for a while so I don't know if they are advertising there. I see a lot of Nikon on TV and a couple of ads for Canon and Sony cameras. we have NO camera stores for about 50 miles around except for 1 Ritz and they don't stock much in the way of cameras, a couple of entry level Nikons and Canons. They can order Pentax if someone wants it.

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