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08-12-2009, 05:41 PM   #16
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Where I live (a city of 200,00) there are two dealers who carry Pentax, and the brand is, from what i gather, fairly well represented in every metropolitan area that has a real camera store.
I note that most of the complaints of this type are from citizens of the USA and can't help but wonder if the doom and gloom should be pointed more at the national distributor than the manufacturer.
I also wonder if the people who are starting these threads are perhaps thinking wrongly that because they are Americans, that somehow the universe should be orbiting around them.

08-12-2009, 05:51 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Where did you buy your cameras from by the way? If they were from a store, you were lucky to find old stock because they were discontinued when you bought them and if you did find them in a store, there's you're reason for not finding Pentax for sale in stores, they don't sell.
There are additional dynamics feeding Jack's frustration. As a local photo specialty retailer who happens to have Pentax as the leading brand in the store, I am always shocked that other retailers fail, as it were, to see the light. However in the case of Jack's purchase it is possible that he purchased his gear at, for instance, Ken's Camera. They were a very long time supporter of Pentax, but for reasons that were somewhat beyond their control, Pentax was dropped from their line-up. The Minnig family that owns Ken's is one of the great photo retailers in this country. I have been fortunate enough to benefit from the great business sense they bring to the industry, and I hope that they will have the opportunity to advantageously bring Pentax back to their store.

I think it would be very interesting to have some representative from Pentax comment on why their brand is disappearing from retailer's shelves; and it is disappearing at a considerable pace. I would love to know if they are concerned about that or if they really do plan on product fulfillment occuring without b&m storefront sales.

DS
08-12-2009, 05:54 PM   #18
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Some people here are too quick to defend corporate Pentax at any cost. For them Pentax can simply do no wrong, it seems.

Every retreat by Pentax is really an advance.
Every blunder is really a carefully thought through strategy.
Every failure is really a success. Etc.

It's positively spooky and Orwellian to watch.

Get ahold of yourself Pentaxians. Don't drink the Kool-Aid.
08-12-2009, 05:59 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnaseigel Quote
There are additional dynamics feeding Jack's frustration. As a local photo specialty retailer who happens to have Pentax as the leading brand in the store, I am always shocked that other retailers fail, as it were, to see the light. However in the case of Jack's purchase it is possible that he purchased his gear at, for instance, Ken's Camera. They were a very long time supporter of Pentax, but for reasons that were somewhat beyond their control, Pentax was dropped from their line-up. The Minnig family that owns Ken's is one of the great photo retailers in this country. I have been fortunate enough to benefit from the great business sense they bring to the industry, and I hope that they will have the opportunity to advantageously bring Pentax back to their store.

I think it would be very interesting to have some representative from Pentax comment on why their brand is disappearing from retailer's shelves; and it is disappearing at a considerable pace. I would love to know if they are concerned about that or if they really do plan on product fulfillment occuring without b&m storefront sales.

DS
Now this makes some sense. Especially the last paragraph.
I enjoying going to camera stores and looking around and am very disappointed when they don't carry my brand camera & equipment anymore. I've been visiting different camera stores since 1965 and certainly don't want them going the way of Amazon etc. I saw two Ritz stores that I frequent go down recently, one last week and now I have to travel 20 miles just to get to a camera store and Best Buy don't count. Around here, at least 10 Ritz or related stores shut down in 3 months alone. Very discouraging to to see. And the one I went to at South Center Mall, Talls Camera didn't have any Pentax's anymore. He said because no Pentax reps come see him anymore.


Last edited by jack56; 08-12-2009 at 06:08 PM.
08-12-2009, 06:09 PM   #20
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I'm wondering what is happening in the States. In Canada, at least in my Western Canadian city of around 700,000 we have one Western Canadian Camera store chain with 3 stores, another Canadian Camera chain with 2 stores, another Western Canadian Drug store with two stores, a private individual camera store...all great camera stores...all containing good Pentax DSLR stock.


Since Nov. 2007 I have bought the following from 3 different stores in my city. All of which was in stock, except for the 50mm which came in within a couple of days during the Xmas period.
  • K10D- Nov. 07
  • KM with kit lens- April 09
  • Pentax 16-45 zoom -Xmas 07
  • 55-300 Pentax zoom- June 08
  • 50mm f 1.4 - Xmas 08
    • 360 flash- Feb. 08
    • Battery grip for K10D- March 08
    • Pentax remote control - June 08



I think the question is not what is happening to Pentax, but what is happening to Pentax in the USA ?
08-12-2009, 06:13 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
i'm wondering what is happening in the states.


I think the question is not what is happening to pentax, but what is happening to pentax in the usa ?
bingo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
08-12-2009, 06:14 PM   #22
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This question came up at the Minneapolis stop of the K7 tour. Someone brought up that a guy at a local chain said they were no longer carrying Pentax. The account manager at was in attendance said that statement was false that the chain had ordered more K20s and would be stocking K7s once they were able to fulfill their order. He went on to say that the K7 so far has been pretty successful and they just aren't getting them in fast enough to fulfill the orders.

Take that as you want to as it seems that you have made up your mind that Pentax is in trouble. If you are able to make the trek to Seattle for the K7 road tour I'm sure there will be a representative that you could ask yourself or tell that person that they are working for a failing company using a flawed business/marketing strategy.
08-12-2009, 06:14 PM   #23
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It'd be nice if there still was a Pentax presence in retail and independent camera stores. To be honest, though, when my local camera store did carry Pentax I would go try something out and then turn around and buy it for a cheaper price online. Under this arrangement, it doesn't seem like the independent camera stores have a lot of incentive to carry Pentax. In turn, Pentax may be able to cut costs just by selling online and cutting out the middle man, which then annoys the local camera salesman who have to charge people sales taxes.

One thing I do agree about is that Pentax's absence from stores will only hinder sales because people will have no idea the cameras exist. This is part of a larger problem that Pentax has with doing only minimal advertising, which may be part of a strategy to keep costs down. Whether this will work or not we will see. I guess I'm not too worried either way.

08-12-2009, 06:16 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
It isn't clear that "local" is relevant. Not everyone needs to handle something before they buy it. Amazon and others have made that pretty clear. Like I said, time will tell if Pentax's strategy is sound.
Do you buy your cars without taking them for a drive? Probably not. I sure don't buy cameras without taking them for a test shoot either.

Having local dealers is important! Without local dealer and advertising the brand will disappear. Out of sight out of mind. Pentax/Hoya's marking strategy for Pentax is flawed and will ultimately the brand go the way of Miranda, Kowa, Ricoh, Minota etc.
08-12-2009, 06:25 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Some people here are too quick to defend corporate Pentax at any cost. For them Pentax can simply do no wrong, it seems.

Every retreat by Pentax is really an advance.
Every blunder is really a carefully thought through strategy.
Every failure is really a success. Etc.

It's positively spooky and Orwellian to watch.

Get ahold of yourself Pentaxians. Don't drink the Kool-Aid.
Not sure if I'm "some people" but I didn't defend anyone. Rather, I offered my interpretation on what I believe their "strategy" is. I do not know whether it will work or not - I don't have the data. I do know that many commodity products now have a significant percentage of their sales through online sources.

I simple refuse to claim the sky is falling when I think there is more than one way to sell a product these days. It is an interesting experiment...

And your Orwell analogy is rather displaced imho unless you think that Pentax somehow maintains some dominant position over the photographic "society."
08-12-2009, 06:29 PM   #26
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Funny enough, I just came back from a major camera store and read this thread!

The talk I had with the salesperson (very knowledgeable and brand agnostic) was that they still carry Pentax (Henry's in Canada). But that Pentax has nor promos, no marketing, and no salesmanship. Nothing. So the brand is on the edge.

Shame is, he likes the product and would push it if Pentax got off their butts and put out marketing and sales promos. The brand is getting clobbered, and it's worse at the compact end, he said. There is no piggyback marketing off flagship models.

And no, it is not Nikanon world. they sell and get great promo from Sony and Olympus, both of whom have actually been edging market share in critical areas at Nikanon's expense. Biggest selling points; 1) Not Nikanon!, 2) in-body IS.

Of the other 2 local independents, 1 no longer carries Pentax, and the other it is special order, at high prices.

The big box stores have largely dropped Pentax entirely save for some token compacts. they used to sell and promote the line, but no one is marketing. It's a huge dead zone of declining sales.

This is in Canada, and it's obvious there really is no Pentax Canada anymore. They have no presence, no marketing, no budget. That is a surefire way to lose customers forever.
08-12-2009, 06:32 PM   #27
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I live in the middle of nowhere and the only camera store is 40 miles from my house the next one is a 100 miles.

08-12-2009, 06:34 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jack56 Quote
I've been visiting different camera stores since 1965
So in other words you're an old fart like me

The reality is that Pentax isn't marketing to you. Now one could argue they aren't effectively marketing to *anyone* but that is another discussion.

It is clear to me that Pentax is trying to carve a niche in tough/weatherproof and is going for the "outdoors" type people. In general that is not the 50+ age demographic.

Again, I'm not saying they are making the right choices with their execution. I do think they are chasing the right niche though, even though I personally would like some different products from them. I'm reasonable to realize though that Pentax doesn't exist to please me. I am free to choose the best "fit" for my needs from the market (and in fact have different tools in my bag). Presently Pentax is pretty good for one particular set of needs/wants. WHen if comes time to move from my K20d, Pentax might not be the choice. But I'm not going to sit around predicting their demise in the meantime. The market will speak, and time will tell.
08-12-2009, 06:37 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Not sure if I'm "some people" but I didn't defend anyone. Rather, I offered my interpretation on what I believe their "strategy" is. I do not know whether it will work or not - I don't have the data. I do know that many commodity products now have a significant percentage of their sales through online sources.
Except DSLR's and lenses are not "commodity" priced. They are scaled and channel priced based on flagship to loss leader strategies.

Data I have seen (my biz) is that online sales, especially for non-consumable, higher-end products, relies on hands-on experience. If not, the return and refund mechanisms have to be seamless and financially integrated with the initial product sale. either that, or the product has to be self-contained and known, like most Apple products. Pentax is selling a "lens system", as are its competitors. The loyal don't care, but new entrants won't go ear the brand unless it is on the store shelf, with a promo, with knowledgeable sales staff. This is still ow 95% of retail works. If this were not the case, then why isn't Pentax Leica?

Or does it want to be Leica? There's a slow-mo train wreck.

No strategy is not a strategy. Pentax has pretty much zero marketing. Great products, very good engineering, but no presence. It's like Nikon circa 1982, a company run by engineers who got creamed by Canon (and Minolta) who knew that marketing sells.
08-12-2009, 06:39 PM   #30
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I am not sure who edited the pentax page in wikipedia:
"Hoya's primary goal was to strengthen its medical-related business by taking advantage of Pentax's technologies and expertise in the field of endoscopes, intraocular lenses, surgical loupes, biocompatible ceramics, etc. It was speculated that Pentax's camera business could be sold off after the merger."

It seems to be that Hoya has no interests at all at running the pentax camera part. But maybe due to latter compromise of their merging agreement that Hoya have to keep the camera part. So what Hoya now doing is to minimize the business scale of pentax camera (to reduce cost?). So yes, pentax camera is in danger in my own opinion.
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