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05-04-2013, 06:43 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Could be. Abusing your current customer base plays how in that scenario? Don't they get it that the GenX and subsequent generations of buyers surf the net and scan for issues? By abusing their current customer base they are generating a large and easily found list of complaints that will endure for a VERY long time on the internet.
And when they do they'll read quite a lot of unfounded hyperbole. The problem isn't what PRAC is doing to its customer base today. The problem is what Hoya let Ned do the brand yesterday. Many of us are angry because Jim is moving our cheese. Others of us are angry because the lenses we dreamt hypothetically about (that I would never have actually purchased) are now hypothetically impossible.

I don't know where they're going. I don't know what they're doing nor what is coming to justify what they're doing. Speculation is .... just that.

I think they think if you stuck a red dot on the front of a Pentax camera you could sell out the entire stock in a day at twice the price.

And I am quite confident that they're willing to sacrifice price-only customers in order to move the brand where they think it ought to be. Their actions are speaking - loudly. After all, what else are you going to buy?


Last edited by monochrome; 05-04-2013 at 06:48 AM.
05-04-2013, 06:58 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
And when they do they'll read quite a lot of unfounded hyperbole. The problem isn't what PRAC is doing to its customer base today. The problem is what Hoya let Ned do the brand yesterday. Many of us are angry because Jim is moving our cheese. Others of us are angry because the lenses we dreamt hypothetically about (that I would never have actually purchased) are now hypothetically impossible.

I don't know where they're going. I don't know what they're doing nor what is coming to justify what they're doing. Speculation is .... just that.

I think they think if you stuck a red dot on the front of a Pentax camera you could sell out the entire stock in a day at twice the price.

And I am quite confident that they're willing to sacrifice price-only customers in order to move the brand where they think it ought to be. Their actions are speaking - loudly. After all, what else are you going to buy?
What else is Nikon. Seriously, I see where you are going with this - place yourself between Nikon and Leica. Interesting move. Even more interesting that they feel that they can jettison their entire current customer base. Their pricing does support your contention. Lower prices on bodies and what they consider throw away lenses (Kit zooms) with deals, rebates, etc. and raise prices on the perceived higher-end lenses. Get more Pentax cameras into more hands thereby increasing the user base. This can lead to more room for diversification in camera offerings, greater support from 3rd party vendors, and increase the number who will buy the Pro+ level gear at Pro+ level prices. Just one caution - there are only so many physicians and lawyers who throw stupid levels of money at photography and in my experience Leica, Nikon, and Hassy have that market locked. But I do see where you are arguing they may be trying to go with these moves.
05-04-2013, 07:04 AM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
And when they do they'll read quite a lot of unfounded hyperbole. The problem isn't what PRAC is doing to its customer base today. The problem is what Hoya let Ned do the brand yesterday. Many of us are angry because Jim is moving our cheese.
In my opinion, a big part of the problem is that what Hoya did was NOT yesterday, it was a couple years ago, a decade in technological terms. Other brands move on with exciting products while Pentax raises prices on old lenses and releases DSLRs that were designed under Hoya.
05-04-2013, 07:37 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Seems to me PRAC / PRI might be hoping to speed the inventory draw down of certain lenses and slow the inventory draw down of others. A PRAC-based price increase is an especially useful tool if USA online merchants do indeed sell in other Division and Distributor territories.

If this is inventory management, why do you suppose PRI would be doing that?
If you only sell Pentax lenses between Black Friday and New Years, then you only have to worry about (re)stocking for one month a year - doesn't that simplify inventory management?

Joking aside, if we take PRI at their word that they are having to rebuild relationships with dealers one at a time, and that MAP is supposed to be helping the B&Ms, I can see them needing MAP if for no other reason than as a gesture to former/potentially future dealers that they really do want to work with them. I know, B&Ms are few and far between (I'm aware of two "near" me - four hours' drive to get to either). Yes, short-term, that doesn't do us any good, but I think I can see their logic. Hopefully, things would get to a point where those other stores had specials that got things at or below the former prices. Whether it will actually work and how long it will take, I dunno.

05-04-2013, 07:47 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
If you only sell Pentax lenses between Black Friday and New Years, then you only have to worry about (re)stocking for one month a year - doesn't that simplify inventory management?

Joking aside, if we take PRI at their word that they are having to rebuild relationships with dealers one at a time, and that MAP is supposed to be helping the B&Ms, I can see them needing MAP if for no other reason than as a gesture to former/potentially future dealers that they really do want to work with them. I know, B&Ms are few and far between (I'm aware of two "near" me - four hours' drive to get to either). Yes, short-term, that doesn't do us any good, but I think I can see their logic. Hopefully, things would get to a point where those other stores had specials that got things at or below the former prices. Whether it will actually work and how long it will take, I dunno.
They've gotten the K-30 into some interesting places lately. Costco sold out twice when they offered the K-30 bundle recently. I see that as progress. It would be better if they were actually in the stores for people to handle, but that may come in time.

Target has been, and will continue to be, a sad joke when it comes to Pentax. The WG10 was intended to be sold solely through their stores so people could touch one, nope - only online. Target only has 3 dSLRs on display and 2 zooms other than the ones bundled with the dSLR kits and they are one Canon and two Nikons. So, getting into Target may be fine for an entry level camera but how does raising prices on lenses they will never sell influence getting the K-30 into their stores? Ditto WalMart, that BTW had 0 dSLRs in my Mega-Store last week (not out of stock, just none carried in store at all). Isn't going with Target and Walmart just expanding their online presence without getting people to handle their cameras? BestBuy? Geez, someone so out of touch here even mentioned getting into CircuitCity during this "discussion" - they're out of business.

Remember we are talking about PRIC USA not Pentax Canada where there are far more B&M stores from what has been reported here. So, other than the few small stores and a couple of small camera chains, where are these B&M stores in the US that they are working so hard to get into by abusing their current non-customers (remember that officials from PRIC said that we are NOT their customers back when Maximum Assured Pricing was inflicted on us).
05-04-2013, 07:54 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
In my opinion, a big part of the problem is that what Hoya did was NOT yesterday, it was a couple years ago, a decade in technological terms. Other brands move on with exciting products while Pentax raises prices on old lenses and releases DSLRs that were designed under Hoya.
What is the full development cycle of a "new" technology? Is it possible Hoya also left a vacuum of product development so there is just plain nothing else in the pipeline to release? Is it possible this is all part of the set up for the first Pentax-branded PRI products (after the Ricoh GR), which start to appear this May, this summer, this September?

The GR has TAv (a decidedly Pentax technology) on the Mode Dial. That took 18 months.

In the DPI interview Jim stated it took longer to integrate the two design/engineering teams than he anticipated. He said much the same in our call earlier this week. If you want you can assign that to Jim as a minor leadership fail, or you can assign that to Jim as the careful and thoughtful merger of two distinctly different design philosophies. Take your pick.

I clearly don't know and don't claim to know anything. I choose to start with the presumption that PRI knows what it is doing and each action is intentional and tactical, supporting a strategy. These price increases and lack of new products don't make sense to us - don't encourage us - because we don't know, can't know and won't know the strategy until it is revealed, by which time it will be too late to undo whatever decision we have made. We base our decisions on our own past history, which is K-mount, great price-value in APSc, little to no support or marketing and inept management.

If you have to change the whole thing, the first thing you change is really disruptive of the assumptions built on the past history.
05-04-2013, 08:08 AM   #37
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A question. Did Mr. Malcom's abandonment of owner info calls signal/symbolize/anticipate/avoid the amount of flak that has hit the fan?
05-04-2013, 08:15 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
(remember that officials from PRIC said that we are NOT their customers back when Maximum Assured Pricing was inflicted on us).
We're NOT PRAC's customers.

That whole meme plays into Ned's "Distributor" business structure that caused so many local merchants to tell Pentax, "Well, if I'm not important enough that you will call on me directly, then you're not important enough for me to stock." Under Ned, you WERE Pentax's customer and the big internet retailers were just the pipe. Now, not so much.

In the sense of on whom do the Pentax Sales Reps call and how do they actually earn their commissions, I am not PRAC's customer. I am Amazon's or B&H's or Adorama's or occasionally Henry's or even more rarely Creve Couer Camera's customer. I buy mostly from B&H on the phone because I get the best experience there, price be damned.

I buy Honda Accord EX-L 6-cyl. cars over and over and over. My wife buys Subaru Outback 3.5R Ltd. 6-cyl. cars over and over and over. We buy those cars because the DEALERS treat us the way we want to be treated, not so much because of the cars. A car is a car. I don't care if it is a Passat or a Taurus or a Sonata or a Malibu or an Accord. They're all about the same. (Subarus are different - and they cost more for basically the same thing - they get me from here to there). But the specific Honda dealer where I buy my cars makes it pleasant and honest and easy and fair - what I want - to buy cars from him, so I keep coming back. I don't even shop the price. I trust that the price is good enough. I probably (certainly) pay more than I absolutely HAVE to pay - but I don't care. I want the experience Mungenast gives me and I don't want to play the Consumer Reports Car Buying Guide, internet dickering, price-trading, screw the salesman for $300 game.

I'm not Honda's customer, I'm Dave Mungenast's customer. It just so happens he has Accords on his lot.

If I was starting from scratch with no history and no K-mount lenses to take into consideration I would buy Nikon from B&H. My local Dealer's (who does carry a decent complement of Pentax offerings) salesmen constantly subject me to bait and switch to Canon tactics that I just cannot abide. I have literally, in a raised voice, said, "Just show me the damned Pentax lens," ( DA40Ltd.) which I ended up buying on line because he was such a d(*&%^&d.


Last edited by monochrome; 05-04-2013 at 08:34 AM.
05-04-2013, 08:24 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
We're NOT PRAC's customers.

That whole meme plays into Ned's "Distributor" business structure that caused so many local merchants to tell Pentax, "Well, if I'm not important enough that you will call on me directly, then you're not important enough for me to stock." Under Ned, you WERE Pentax's customer and the big internet retailers were just the pipe. Now, not so much.

In the sense of on whom do the Pentax Sales Reps call and how do they actually earn their commissions, I am not PRAC's customer. I am Amazon's or B&H's or Adorama's or occasionally Henry's or even more rarely Creve Couer Camera's customer. I buy mostly from B&H because I get the best experience there, price be damned.

I buy Honda Accord EX-L 6-cyl. cars over and over and over. My wife buys Subaru Outback 3.5R Ltd. 6-cyl. cars over and over and over. We buy those cars because the DEALERS treat us the way we want to be treated, not so much because of the cars. A car is a car. I don't care if it is a Passat or a Taurus or a Sonata or a Malibu or an Accord. They're all about the same. (Subarus are different - and they cost more for basically the same thing - they get me from here to there). But the specific Honda dealer where I buy my cars makes it pleasant and honest and easy and fair - what I want - to buy cars from him, so I keep coming back. I don't even shop the price. I trust that the price is good enough. I probably (certainly) pay more than I absolutely HAVE to pay - but I don't care. I want the experience Mungenast gives me and I don't want to play the Consumer Reports Car Buying Guide, internet dickering, price-trading, screw the salesman for $300 game.

I'm not Honda's customer, I'm Dave Mungenast's customer. It just so happens he has Accords on his lot.
That kind of thinking has killed MANY a business. Without us they can sell to their customers and eventually their customers will realize they have shelves full of crap cameras and lenses that no one wants. It really is very simple, you have to service your distribution network but they ARE NOT your customer.

P.S. If we are not their customer then why do they advertise (not Pentax obviously, perish the thought) to us and not simply to the distributors? I just watched an Intel commercial, weird because I'm not one of their distributors.
05-04-2013, 08:39 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by lukulele Quote
A question. Did Mr. Malcom's abandonment of owner info calls signal/symbolize/anticipate/avoid the amount of flak that has hit the fan?
Mr. Malcolm hosted a 1 1/4 hour GoToMeeting Conference Call just this last Tuesday, April 30.

James Malcolm Conference Call with Q User Group
05-04-2013, 08:44 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
That kind of thinking has killed MANY a business. Without us they can sell to their customers and eventually their customers will realize they have shelves full of crap cameras and lenses that no one wants. It really is very simple, you have to service your distribution network but they ARE NOT your customer.

P.S. If we are not their customer then why do they advertise (not Pentax obviously, perish the thought) to us and not simply to the distributors? I just watched an Intel commercial, weird because I'm not one of their distributors.
By that logic every non-Canon camera should have a "Sony Inside" sticker on it. Am I Sony's or Seiko's or some glass maker's customer?

Perhaps when the Gross Profit at PRAC derived from sensibly pricing the Pentax products rises to a certain level, PRAC will advertise to its "customers."

As I have said, I really don't know where they are going but I simply do not believe they are doing this with no plan, and no other motive than greed, or trying to kill the company. They're not stupid.

When you have to change everything, the first thing you change is very disruptive.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-04-2013 at 09:13 AM.
05-04-2013, 09:02 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Remember we are talking about PRIC USA not Pentax Canada where there are far more B&M stores from what has been reported here. So, other than the few small stores and a couple of small camera chains, where are these B&M stores in the US that they are working so hard to get into by abusing their current non-customers (remember that officials from PRIC said that we are NOT their customers back when Maximum Assured Pricing was inflicted on us).
I know of at least three B&M camera stores in my local area that don't touch Pentax, and I would have to drive past cities with one or two apiece to get to the two stores I am aware of (4-5 hours away, in different directions). I've spoken to folks in B&M stores in the midwest that liked Pentax, but were frustrated in trying to get product (in the Hoya days). That may not mean a thing; it's just what I've observed.
05-04-2013, 09:14 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
I know of at least three B&M camera stores in my local area that don't touch Pentax,
Did they stock Pentax ten years ago? I know for a fact, face-to-face, Jim is frustrated by what he is up against.
05-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #44
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"In the DPI interview Jim stated it took longer to integrate the two design/engineering teams than he anticipated. "

That isn't an indication of anything good.


Maybe all this repricing is about trying to cut losses. Maybe Ricoh didn't get what they thought they paid for. Maybe they have to somehow maximize profit with what they have instead of what they they thought they were getting. Maybe, if the Ricoh discovered that Pentax engineers didn't have anything in the pipeline they really needed then they can sell or retire the brand and take what they can salvage and make it part of the Ricoh brand. It wouldn't be the first time a company that was considered somewhat venerable was subsumed by another.

It's all supposition.

The only fact of the matter is the price of lenses went up without anything being "value added" to them which means their value actually went down.
05-04-2013, 09:19 AM   #45
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Pentax continues the tradition.

Pentax Optio E10

A camera that was outdone by even a twenty dollar digital camera.
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