Imaging Industry Roundtable
Araujo: I'm sure these inequities occur, but also believe that many manufacturers try their best to allocate new products in proportion to what their retailers committed to. If you limit product to only a select few, you will quickly discover that you have eroded your broader base of medium-sized retailers.
Cutting: When inventory is tight, manufacturers may allocate product to those who they perceive to be most productive. Where possible, retailers should partner with vendors to demonstrate their productivity and potential. While retailers can't control the allocation, they can work with vendors who they perceive to be the best partners.
The imaging retailer consistently has the well-merited honor of best customer satisfaction in salesperson knowledge, making the customer feel valued, and even offering a good price compared to any other retail channel. Photo specialty retailer brand recommendations carry much more weight than in other retail channels. The reliance that photo specialty consumers, particularly new DSLR buyers who are in need of solutions, have on a sales consultant translates into power to recommend products that satisfy customers and simultaneously deliver great margin. While not all retailers get the fastest allocation of the hottest product, they should find new avenues of expansion among other quality products that deliver better margins and long-term growth.