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02-24-2015, 07:22 PM   #1
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Is MAP protecting small Pentax retailers? Nope...

Pentax has had a problem with getting cameras in potential customers hands for a long time, but reports suggest that more independent camera stores are stocking Pentax now. I know Portland has been very lucky to have Camera World stock a ton of product so I try to support them as much as possible.

But I see them having trouble dealing with some of the special pricing from some of the big stores like bh, adorama and amazon. If small independents can't sell product at competitive pricing relative to the big stores, they will not sell much, or sell unprofitably and will eventually drop Pentax from their inventory.

I've heard that our store in town is considering this and I can understand why. Many manufacturers have a MAP policy where pricing on products is kept consistent across channels. If promotions are implemented, they are available to all sellers where credits are issued based on units sold within the promo period.

I'm all for competition and for getting a good deal. But I'd also like to see Pentax do better in the US and without partnerships in retail, it's going to make it that much harder. Even though it might be against my own financial interest, I hope Pentax starts enforcing their MAP policies. Of course I think their MAP pricing is a bit too high in their current position in the market, but still, I'd rather see some efforts to keep Pentax products profitable in stores.

There will be some short term pain - once prices bump up and stay there, sales will dip. What I'd do is to give every store authorization and credits to offer sales on certain lenses/bodies/accessories, rotating the sales to different items they want to move or need to clear out. If they need to have some fire sales to go through product, offer rebates to all stocking distributors. Incentivize salespeople with schwag or spiffs - offer a loaner program so they can use the cameras for a week or two. It will take more work to maintain this, but as sales momentum gets to a good level, they won't have to do this stuff as much. But at least then, they'll have marketshare and partners who want them to succeed because it benefits them also.

Hopefully someone at Pentax reads this...

02-24-2015, 08:03 PM   #2
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I have a smal retail client (not cameras) that might well be out of business by now (driven out by big boxes and Amazon, etc) were it not for MAP pricing. I don't know how Pentax's MAP pricing works, by my client has new products on MAP and last season's stock off MAP so that they can drop prices and clear stock for cash flow purposes.

I hope Pentax's MAP pricing helps the smaller retailers too.
02-24-2015, 08:29 PM   #3
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I've been to CameraWorld (and posted a pic of their inventory on here because I was so impressed)!! I've seen the local shop in Minneapolis stocking up on Pentax, but they still don't have the limiteds, just the more mainstream cameras/lenses. Hopefully the KS-2/pending full frame pull more demand - at any rate they did say the Ricoh/Pentax reps have been more involved lately vs the past. I think Ricoh has a long road ahead of it, but they're making progress at least!
02-24-2015, 10:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
Pentax has had a problem with getting cameras in potential customers hands for a long time, but reports suggest that more independent camera stores are stocking Pentax now. I know Portland has been very lucky to have Camera World stock a ton of product so I try to support them as much as possible.

But I see them having trouble dealing with some of the special pricing from some of the big stores like bh, adorama and amazon. If small independents can't sell product at competitive pricing relative to the big stores, they will not sell much, or sell unprofitably and will eventually drop Pentax from their inventory.

I've heard that our store in town is considering this and I can understand why. Many manufacturers have a MAP policy where pricing on products is kept consistent across channels. If promotions are implemented, they are available to all sellers where credits are issued based on units sold within the promo period.

I'm all for competition and for getting a good deal. But I'd also like to see Pentax do better in the US and without partnerships in retail, it's going to make it that much harder. Even though it might be against my own financial interest, I hope Pentax starts enforcing their MAP policies. Of course I think their MAP pricing is a bit too high in their current position in the market, but still, I'd rather see some efforts to keep Pentax products profitable in stores.

There will be some short term pain - once prices bump up and stay there, sales will dip. What I'd do is to give every store authorization and credits to offer sales on certain lenses/bodies/accessories, rotating the sales to different items they want to move or need to clear out. If they need to have some fire sales to go through product, offer rebates to all stocking distributors. Incentivize salespeople with schwag or spiffs - offer a loaner program so they can use the cameras for a week or two. It will take more work to maintain this, but as sales momentum gets to a good level, they won't have to do this stuff as much. But at least then, they'll have marketshare and partners who want them to succeed because it benefits them also.

Hopefully someone at Pentax reads this...
MAP most definitely protects small dealers, but other policies such as sales/purchasing requirements might not. This issue is entirely in the hands of the US Pentax distributor, RIAC.


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02-24-2015, 10:57 PM   #5
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The 2 camera shops closest to home carried Pentax last time I checked, but they don't seem to drop their prices when B&H and Adorama have their Pentax sales. Either Pentax isn't communicating with those dealers, or the dealers sell such a small quantity of Pentax it's not worth temporarily adjusting prices.

Regardless, the big NYC stores are close enough to my office that I never shop in the local places. NYC is unique because of B&H and Adorama.
03-02-2015, 03:55 AM   #6
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Idaho Camera in Boise carries some Pentax. I try to buy from them even if they have to order, to support local. But I've brought up B&H prices before, and they just shake their head and say that's their cost. I'm guessing that Pentax favors the higher volume retailers and doesn't help the little guys.
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