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Hi Pentaxian friends.
A few days ago, while I was logged on a Pentax forum, I came across an article that was talking about UK's Jessops camera store that has recently dropped Pentax. Someone else posed the question as to what if Pentax actually dropped them instead. It goes on to talk about how Pentax has gotten rid of most of the sales reps and how Pentax is leaning toward Internet sales, advertisement and communications.
Here is a possible scenario about what might be going on. Remember that this is just my opinion and does not reflect the Pentax's opinion.
I think Pentax's approach is a sign of things to come. Time will tell. I can't remember the last time I purchase something big from a brick and mortar store. I usually purchase small stuff and try their cameras and lenses to get a feel, then turn around and buy online. It's my money and I spend it carefully.
I believe that it's true that Pentax got rid of most of their sales reps, as I read that on several forums. Unfortunately, sales reps really don't do much in this day and age but decreasing the profits. There are camera stores that don't want to change and keep up with technology, and stay the way they always were. There are those stores that follow technology and utilize all of the modern approaches. The ones that follow technology may already have a brick and mortar store, but also sell through EBay or on their own websites. i.e. B&H, Adorama, Cameta Camera, Henry's in Canada, and many more. Those are the stores that will survive.
Pentax did initiate the Pentax Photo Gallery which is an on-line album.
You don't need the advises of so called "camera experts" in brick and mortar stores anymore. They usually push the brand they like and let's face it, the real experts are out in the world making a living with their photographic skills. The Internet provides all the information one would need.
The idea of selling advance amateur and Pro-cameras at Best Buy, Circuit City, Wall mart, Costco, and other general stores diminishes the value of DSLRs brands, in my opinion. If Pentax can continue surviving while this transition takes place, they will be the biggest winners. The reason Canon and Nikon are ahead is:
* First, they switched to DSLR about 3 or 4 years before Pentax.
* Second, since they had time to capture most of the market, their advertising budget is big. The more one advertises the more one sells, and the more one sells the more money one has for advertisement. It's the old chicken and the egg syndrome.
Pentax has to pierce deeper into the current market and I think going toward the Internet is the future, but timing is everything. If they are too early, they might loose. If they are too late they might loose. If the timing is just right, they will recapture the position and glory they once enjoyed. There are no question that they make good products. Ask Michael Dell if he was wrong in making Dell computers available mostly through the Internet? We all know the asnwer to that!
Thank you for reading,