Michael St. Germain

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

If retail is a strategy game, profit is often the result of a thousand small moves. Michael St. Germain, a photo specialty retailer who’s owned Concord Camera Store in Concord, NH, since 1980, has a reputation for coming up with small tweaks in marketing or merchandising that keep business in the black. Take frames, for instance. Camera retailers often try to add on higher-margin picture frames to print sales, but St. Germain came up with the idea to create customer demand for more personalized frames. “Ready-made frames don’t come with non-glare glass, so we put little post-it notes on all our frames

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