I'm not in the loop of CE management as far as what gets purchased. And I'm not in the loop of CE management about what gets sold, either. Frankly I'm grateful that they still let me in the front door and I get the occasional cup of coffee...
Which means I was delighted to see the presence of an official CE coffee machine at the new Murray/Queen St. shop. Note the We Love Photography mugs.
In my first visit to the new shop I noted carefully the choices that had been made regarding some lines of equipment. Of course you will always get the big players - the Nikon, Leica, Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, etc - but it is the choices of what to stock for the other bits that is interesting. I looked at what was there and tried to see into the minds of the management - why was something chosen for the shelf?
a. Tripods. You'll see from the quick shot that we have essentially three shelves of tripods and monopods. I see Gitzo, Manfrotto, and one Velbon. The Gitzos are the high-priced ones, the Manfrotto more economical and the Velbon the low end. They are ALL not big tripods - in fact three of them would qualify as traveller tripoids. There is a sprinkling of video gear there, including one video moonopod. Here's how I read it:
The shop caters to pros as well as amateurs - and some of the pros need big things like that video monopod. They can get that at Stirling Street but they might need it at a time when Stirling St. is closed - hence it is wise to keep one unit in the city. The Gitzo gear is expensive traveller or high-end customer...and some of these may work all hours on St. Georges Tce. and can't get out to Stirling St.
Manfrotto tripods are a standard of the industry as far as design so nearly everyone else from tourists to city workers can be accommodated with one model or the other. Manfrotto are a no-question sale.
And the little plastic one at the bottom? Well, you never can tell when a traveller's luggage will disappear and if their tripod goes with it they need a fast, cheap replacement here in Perth. That could well be the emergency pack for photographers right there.
b. Bags. I see the in two divisions - style and utility. The various hanging leather and canvas ones in the first photograph are intended to look good as well as protect the cameras - in some circumstances the appearance of the camera case is more important that the gear it contains - people have been judged on externals more than you'd think.
The Lowepro bags in the second shot are the workhorses of transport - people can load a whole holiday's worth of equipment in them and haul it through the world with some hope of geting it home in one piece. I know - I've got a ratty old Lowepro Nova1 that did just that and it was precisely the right blue nylon choice for the job. It looked like exactly what it was but it rounded the world twice.
c. The Hahnel rack. When you want to control flashes or cameras remotely and you need to do it with radio signals rather than light pulses, Hahnel should be one of the first brands you look at. The designs are sturdy, use standard AA batteries, and do not depend on you having WiFi, apps, passwords, or strange computer commands. They are a simple as they can be and they work every time. Good choice for the trigger market.
Okay, so far I think the management has thought it all out well. You may agree, but then you may have also different needs. I didn't get to see all of the shelves - perhaps you should pop in there one day this coming week and see for yourself. I'm going back when they have a bag of coffee beans.
The new Murray St store is now open at 2/324 Murray St, Perth.
The Stirling St store remains open at 230 Stirling St, Perth.
For opening hours, see here
Labels: accessories, bags, Camera bags, Gitzo, Hahnel, Lowepro, Manfrotto, messenger bag, monopod, Ona, Tripod, Velbon