Kevin Harayda

From his mezzanine office, Concord Camera Store owner Michael St. Germain has a bird’s eye view of his sales floor. Last November, it was hopping. Customers were checking out a wide selection of the latest sub-$1,000 digital SLR’s and the ever more affordable point-and-shoots, pleased to be getting a lot more camera for their money than the year before. St. Germain’s staff had good offers for customers that day, showing an 8 megapixel Kodak 875 for $199. The year before, he said, a comparable camera would have sold for about $700. Surveying the busy registers from his desk chair, St. Germain could cross off

“I’m the worrier in the business, that’s what I do. You don’t get to have a store with 65 employees without realizing our industry is constantly changing. We try to keep our employees as long as we can. The technology is so complex, it can take us six to nine months just to get an employee up to speed. We pay half of their health care, even though it increases every year. We pay way above minimum wage, and we underwrite the cost of computers for the staff. We want long-term employees, and we’re learning to do many different things to make that

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