Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Shop-from-home becomes the new norm

Shop-from-home becomes the new norm

769
1
Could we soon see smaller photographic retailers reopening? The signs are looking positive as Germany relaxes rules on small businesses – maybe even Meister Kamera in Berlin will be back in business soon. (Image Mike Evans)

I’ve been impressed by the ways in which photographic retailers and manufacturers have responded to the challenge of closed retail outlets and reduced opportunities for photographers to get out and about as they would be doing at this time of the year.

All the big brands, including Leica, have launched video training courses and photographic challenges. Sigma has just launched its #Sigmashotathome photo and video contest, adopting the stay-at-home flavour of the month. There are some impressive prizes but, unfortunately, the contest is limited to the United States at the moment. If you live there, take a look at the website. Encouragingly, there is no requirement to use a Sigma product.

Retailers – in this country major chains such as London Camera Exchange and Wex Photographic – are producing almost daily updates and interactive opportunities to enable customers to enjoy virtual shopping experiences. I’ve even seen “Not-in-Store” events scheduled to view specific camera and lens ranges.

Could we soon see smaller photographic retailers reopening? The signs are looking positive as Germany relaxes rules on small businesses – maybe even Meister Kamera in Berlin will be back in business soon. (Image Mike Evans)
Could we soon see smaller photographic retailers reopening? The signs are looking positive as Germany relaxes rules on small businesses – maybe even Meister Camera in Berlin will be back in business soon. (Image Mike Evans)

There is no doubt that all sectors of the industry are struggling at the moment. With little prospect of being let out into the wide world for many weeks, most keen photographers will have put off buying decisions and will be feeling that they can soldier on a bit longer with the gear they already own. The fact that we are at the beginning of the summer, a time when thoughts turn to new gear, is particularly worrying for retailers. They will be hoping for a rush once the restrictions are lifted.

Better times will return. Germany is even now experimenting with the re-opening of smaller shops and, presumably, this will include camera outlets such as one of my favourite Leica stores, Meister Camera in Berlin’s elegant Fasanenstrasse.

This could happen here in the UK during May and being able to visit our regular photographic stores will be a welcome relief from weeks of lockdown. While larger shops and department stores will probably remain closed for longer, most camera stores – even the branches of the bigger chains – fall into the “small store” category. Let’s hope they can resume business sooner rather than later.

1 COMMENT

  1. I haven’t been buying much from anywhere, apart from endless bottles of developing chemicals, from Germany, apparently the only source of Farbentwickler 4 in the world!
    The reason for this is that I am fed up with buying bottles of readymix C41 chemicals that in mixed form are reliably unstable, they last for a few weeks and then fail. The only way to use them is to save up one’s colour film and then spend a day or so developing and drying multiple rolls.

    By buying the dry chemicals, one can dvelop films as and when required, I am told also that once made up, they are more stable (more than 6 months), since they haven’t been laying around (mixed) in a store’s stock room.

    On another note, and probably more interesting to Macfilos readers are the webinars hosted by Robin Sinha and the Leica Alademie , they are really impressive and absorbing. This week was on “natural light portraiture” and was presented by a photographer called Cat Garcia. It was most excellent.

    The participants seem to come from all over the world and we meet via Zoom (which is slightly worrying), but nevertheless, the whole experience is a brilliant way to waste some time whilst staying in Loch Down.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.