Many of the retailers interviewed—both large and small—have only recently felt a noticeable shift in service. Mike Woodland of Dan's Camera of Allentown, Pa., says most of the change really occurred in the last year. "Things were moving along nicely," he says. "Certainly when digital was just beginning, companies were being even more supportive, while jockeying for position within the new developing market."
But all that has changed. "It seems a lot of companies that are traditional to the photo industry are having a bit of a challenge adapting to the new marketplace in terms of patterns consumers are using to make purchases, and also the brands they are choosing," he says. "It wasn't long ago there were only a few different brands of cameras out there; now you have companies such as Sony, HP and Casio producing cameras."
Woodland notes that as digital cameras become more of a computer accessory for some consumers, and retailers like Staples and Office Depot jump on the bandwagon, the dynamic of the imaging marketplace will continue to alter.