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05-18-2016, 04:05 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Whether they regard it as a problem or not depends on what they anticipated would happen, and whether they consider it's better to have the market think they've been surprised at the demand, than to have lots of stock sitting around,
I would hazard that in a shrinking market and uncertain economy that tight inventory and buyers waiting in line is a very good thing. Something piled high on sale at Walmart might sell lots of units, but is it bringing any margin home?

---------- Post added 05-18-16 at 04:11 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Are those arguing against brick-and-mortar stores really trying to imply that Pentax is the smart one and every other brand that's kicking it's ass is dumb?
Nope. I am not sure they are even connected. Pentax under Hoya left the brick & mortar channel, nothing to be done about that. But since then the vast majority of B&M camera stores have gone under. So IMHO, had Pentax maintained a presence in those stores it might make sense to continue. But since they didn't I do not see the point in trying to get back into a channel that is almost dead.

If you have a local camera store by all means support them. I don't. Except for Best Buy it would be about a 5 hour drive to actually see a new DSLR of any brand. I stop in the camera shops when I'm traveling just to look, but in almost all cases they are only interested in selling a cheap Canon or Nikon and no longer have all that much camera knowledge anyway. There are exceptions and two shops in the Seattle market that I enjoy stopping in. But a five hour drive is beyond 'local' for me.

05-18-2016, 04:20 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Same here...but I had no choice because there was no shop you could visit that carried Pentax. Now, if I were looking for a Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Samsung, or Panasonic...I could have seen those. Are those arguing against brick-and-mortar stores really trying to imply that Pentax is the smart one and every other brand that's kicking it's ass is dumb?
But they're not kicking Pentax's ass unless you measure success on absolute sales and distribution numbers alone. You're really missing the point completely - you're judging Ricoh / Pentax *relative* to other brands, rather than on it's own merit. There are many companies manufacturing quality products with a much smaller customer base and lower sales volume / market infiltration than their peers. Those companies are successful based on profit and loss relative to their investment (not relative to other similar products), and the customers' satisfaction of their products. And Ricoh's Pentax brand, from what we can see, is doing awfully well. I suspect that Ricoh is very happy with the risk / reward ratio of Pentax within its portfolio of businesses / product ranges.
05-18-2016, 04:51 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
You're really missing the point completely - you're judging Ricoh / Pentax *relative* to other brands, rather than on it's own merit.
You're right...I am judging Pentax against the other brands because they used to be a huge competitor. Now? eh...not so much. I've been using Pentax cameras for almost 50 years and I've seen them dwindle...not only on the world stage, but locally within my camera club and local shops...to being the "outsider". The reason I started using Pentax...and have stuck with it over all these years...is solely based on their merit. My gripe is that Pentax is making it extremely rough to let other buyers judge them on merit by making their product so invisible. Don't take my word for it...look at how 3rd party manufacturer's are no longer offering their products for Pentax.
05-18-2016, 05:01 PM   #49
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Local camera store?

A couple of years ago I got a gift certificate for $100 at a local camera store. Their selection was extremely limited, their salespersons were not very knowledgable, and everything was about 20% overpriced from what I could have purchased it for on-line through Amazon or B&H.

Local camera stores are so "yesterdays news"...

If Pentax makes a great product, word will get out on the Internet and customers will buy their products online. I just bought a K1 on line without ever holding one...

05-18-2016, 05:05 PM   #50
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Strategic shortages can actually drive up overall sales: If something is Selling out faster then it can be stocked, it must be desirable, so more people will look into it. It's a difficult balancing act though, as some can get frustrated by this and just opt out.
05-18-2016, 05:10 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
You're right...I am judging Pentax against the other brands because they used to be a huge competitor. Now? eh...not so much. I've been using Pentax cameras for almost 50 years and I've seen them dwindle...not only on the world stage, but locally within my camera club and local shops...to being the "outsider". The reason I started using Pentax...and have stuck with it over all these years...is solely based on their merit. My gripe is that Pentax is making it extremely rough to let other buyers judge them on merit by making their product so invisible. Don't take my word for it...look at how 3rd party manufacturer's are no longer offering their products for Pentax.
Times change. Pentax, as one of several brands within Ricoh, has - in reality - little to do with Pentax of old. You can only judge it as it exists today. It hasn't dwindled - it's a different company entirely, the old one doesn't exist at all. It has gone through multiple changes of ownership and (by now) retained little more than the name and compatibility (by design) with older lenses. It doesn't exist as you first remember it. That aside... Pentax is far from invisible here in the UK. It's not as prevalent as Nikon, Canon etc. - but it's here. We see it in the press alongside those other brands. And we buy it. It's not as big a player - but it doesn't need to be for Ricoh's business needs. Remember, Ricoh isn't developing Pentax for your benefit, but only to make a solid profit in relation to a managed level of investment and business risk. You might not like that, and that's OK - you can vote with your feet if necessary (I'm not suggesting you would - I'm just making that point). That's how Ricoh probably sees it, just like any other business would. It factors that into its business development plans. And so long as its getting the market penetration and sales volumes needed to make the business profitable, Ricoh is happy. Major expansion might well be outside what it is comfortable with from a business risk perspective. It's not necessarily right for a business to grow just because it can.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 05-18-2016 at 05:16 PM.
05-18-2016, 05:31 PM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
My gripe is that Pentax is making it extremely rough to let other buyers judge them on merit by making their product so invisible.
I think you have a very mistaken view of how things work in the retail world. Manufacturers do not make things hard to find, retailers do. If your brand of English Muffin is not at your local supermarket it's not the bakery's fault it's the store for deciding to carry some other brand instead. If you really want Pentax in your local camera store, go tell them. Once a week, for months. Buy something while you are there. Get all your friends and relatives to do the same. Maybe, in a year or so the store owner will actually decide to allocate shelf space, inventory dollars and training time to Pentax. Or maybe not.

My estimation is that it would take Pentax 2 to 3 years of concerted effort to get any significant number of retailers to stock their products. And to do so would require, sales incentives, POP material, displays, boots on the ground sales team and a sales support network. None of that exists. And I would also guess that the cost of putting all that together (in the USA) would be astronomical and not justify the return.

You are trying to force Pentax into a sales channel and strategy that is outdated. As many have already said, retail presence these days has very little to do with brick and mortar stores. Want to buy a K-1? Open a browser window, go to the search box, type in "Pentax K-1". Over on the right will be a list of places to buy it and the price. Click on one, give them your credit card number and your K-1 will arrive in 2 to 5 days. That is the reality of shopping today. There aren't enough brick and mortar camera stores left in the country to make any real difference. Why do you want Ricoh to waste a giga-ton of money trying to get into a channel that no longer exists?
05-18-2016, 05:36 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Why do you want Ricoh to waste a giga-ton of money trying to get into a channel that no longer exists
... or, at the very least, is dying out very, very quickly...

Agreed.

05-18-2016, 05:37 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Want to buy a K-1? Open a browser window, go to the search box, type in "Pentax K-1". Over on the right will be a list of places to buy it and the price. Click on one, give them your credit card number and your K-1 will arrive in 2 to 5 days.
True for most things, except as of today it will take you 30+ days to get your K-1.

I'm not one to place pre-orders, but for the first time I am starting to consider it.
05-18-2016, 05:39 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
True for most things, except as of today it will take you 30+ days to get your K-1.

I'm not one to place pre-orders, but for the first time I am starting to consider it.
There's a waiting list for Rolls Royces and Aston Martins too
05-18-2016, 05:43 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
I'm not one to place pre-orders, but for the first time I am starting to consider it.
K-1 is the first thing I ever pre-ordered. Really glad I did.

And I don't think that ordering now would be considered a "pre-order". The item is live and selling. If you want one, place an order and get in line. They might be saying 30 days, but from what I have read inventory is showing up and going right out. So unless you want to sit on the computer hitting the refresh button, just order it.
05-18-2016, 05:45 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
There's a waiting list for Rolls Royces and Aston Martins too
Nice analogy
05-18-2016, 05:48 PM - 1 Like   #58
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I'm one of the rare members who bought the K-1 in a retail camera store, as a walk-in, without pre-ordering, as I posted upthread. My salesperson had a fairly long discussion about what lens I should mount for IMG0001. Now this guy is under 30, and he knows everything there is to know about Pentax, past and present. We talked about Tak's (no, don't have an 85/1.9); K-M-A (K50/1.2 is soft below 2.8, so except as a collector piece it isn't much different than 1.4 - but, rendering!); nope, no FA 85; oh - you have a Hollywood? (K28/2) - well there you go!! The only thing I knew that he didn't is that the battery in the box would have a partial charge (a nice touch by Ricoh, BTW). He recounted that two thoracic surgeons had recently come into the store and bought a 645z and FA55/2.8 as a 70th birthday present for their father.

They have in stock today 2 K-1's, 2 each of the Holy Trinity and a few Limiteds, and a very nice used section. No salesperson in the store was old, and they all think the K-1 is a great camera. They receive stock from Pentax once a month, so in exchange for always pre-ordering - and paying sales tax - I can deal with a photographer salesman who knows my brand and supports my choice.

I could go on and on about how nice it was to buy in a store, where the Manager congratulated me, took my statement of intent for the 24-70 in July as a good way to stage in (she said she'd call when she's making up the July order), where another young guy wants to shoot with me with my K lenses and a couple of the Tak's, because he hasn't seen many of them - what a blast. AFAIC I'll pay sales tax just for the talk! The New York on lines are great, such as they are - but a little personal service is worth a lot.

Interestingly, a Pentax manager tried to cut them off last year. That manager is no longer with Pentax.

IMHO the problem with Pentax in the USA is a few Pentax people - not just Ned Bunnell but those after him - who are gone now. Ricoh can fix that if they choose.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-18-2016 at 06:17 PM.
05-18-2016, 05:51 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I'm one of the rare members who bought the K-1 in a retail camera store, as a walk-in, without pre-ordering, as I posted upthread. My salesperson had a fairly long discussion about what lens I should mount for IMG0001. Now this guy is under 30, and he knows everything there is to know about Pentax, past and present.
That is a store to value and patronize. Wish we had something like that here.
05-18-2016, 05:56 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
That is a store to value and patronize. Wish we had something like that here.
+1... If such a place existed around here, I happily pay slightly higher prices to enjoy that kind of rapport and support...
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