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Victoria retail thread: retailer news, comings and goings


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#5081 Cassidy

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 07:47 AM

It would appear that Lens and Shutter is gone entirely, everywhere in B.C.

For photographers, this is huge and not terribly unexpected news.

As Rob pointed out above, L&S were the Goliath of B.C. camera stores in the 80's ... it would seem then to be impossible that they wouldn't always be around in the future.

 

It's not all Amazon though, at least in the photography field. Stores like Best Buy maintain a large inventory of camera equipment, from basic to professional. I know quite a few photographers who shop there.

But interestingly, in the field of photography, there is also B&H Cameras in New York City. B&H have turned into a world wide camera shipping machine. If the web site determines you're in Canada, it will automatically offer Canadian pricing, INCLUDING all shipping and customs charges (one flat rate to your door) ... and frequently that final price will be far less than what you would pay anywhere in Canada.

I order from B&H all the time. It's painless.

 

Lens & Shutter was having a hard time keeping up. It seemed almost like they didn't know what to stock in a bricks and mortar store. They had lost their way entirely. Their online offerings were way behind the times, their online store software was never updated at all ... years too late, and 10 years behind the times when they introduced it, their online efforts never amounted to anything at all.

I'll give Henry's a fair shake though, as they're definitely a fixture in the Canadian photography scene. 

It remains to be seen if they'll be able to make a go of a bricks and mortar store in Victoria ... in light of the huge online photography successes like Amazon, Best Buy, and places like B&H.

 

A far cry from the 70's, when we had multiple downtown camera stores, City Photo on Government Street (your local Leica store), the photography store in the 700 block Yates (whose name escapes me) beside The Bank of Nova Scotia (where I bought my Olympus OM-1 and 3 accompanying lenses) and a few more in malls around town.

Interestingly, it was Lens and Shutter that brought an end to these camera stores when they showed up in town, their new and huge store stocked to the rafters and offering far more inventory than any of the other photo stores could even dream of having on their shelves.

 

I'm sure there's a marketing lesson in all of the above, as dedicated bricks and mortar camera stores permanently close up shop around the world. I don't know specifically what that lesson is, but I presume it's got something to do with the internets :)



#5082 spanky123

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:53 AM

^ Thanks for the insight Cassidy.



#5083 Langford Rat

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 12:20 PM

"and a few more in malls around town."

 

Kits, Black's, Japan Camera Centre



#5084 grantpalin

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 12:46 PM

We've still got Kerrisdale, the camera store in Market Square (forget the name, but was in there for a browse recently), and even London Drugs which has a decent selection and sometimes good prices.



#5085 Cassidy

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 01:18 PM

We've still got Kerrisdale, the camera store in Market Square (forget the name, but was in there for a browse recently), and even London Drugs which has a decent selection and sometimes good prices.

Indeed, my reference was primarily towards "dedicated bricks and mortar", with the presumption of selling new equipment.

Add the ever increasing photo quality available from smart phones (often more than enough for the average user), and one has to wonder if any of the bricks and mortar camera stores still around today (those without a HUGE online presence) can survive more than another few years.

 

As a side-note, the store in Market Square is Camera Traders, who are almost 100% used, and despite serving a niche market, also have a substantial online presence in addition to their bricks and mortar facility - https://www.camera-traders.com/ 



#5086 Rob Randall

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 01:37 PM

I understand that Lens & Shutter suffered three ownership changes over the last two years and had coasted for so long on their past glory that when they were faced with modernizing it was far too late. 

 

A shame. That's where I got my Pentax K-1000 back in 1980.


"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

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#5087 On the Level

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 01:52 PM

I understand that Lens & Shutter suffered three ownership changes over the last two years and had coasted for so long on their past glory that when they were faced with modernizing it was far too late. 

 

A shame. That's where I got my Pentax K-1000 back in 1980.

That's also where I purchased my Pentax ME Super.  There was a wave of camera purchases in the 1980s, followed up with another wave for DSLRs over the past 10 years. 

 

Unless they can make a camera with the same dynamic range as the human eye, I just don't see technology changing enough for everyone to give up the gear they have for something new.  Hopefully Kerrisdale can stay in business now that there is only one B&M in town.



#5088 Cassidy

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 04:41 PM

When Lens & Shutter rolled into town, the concept of a huge downtown store full to the rafters with stock, super-knowledgable staff behind the counter, and professional film developing for only pennies more than drugstore film developing was unheard of ... and very quickly served notice to the Mom and Pop camera stores in Victoria - most of which closed permanently a short time later. 

 

Lens & Shutter was the 1000 pound gorilla when it rolled into town, only to be done in a few decades later by the latest 1000 pound gorilla (a combination of Big Box and online retail).

 

As with all businesses, you have to change with the tide ... but you have to change with the tide, not years after the tide has already changed a few thousand times.



#5089 Rob Randall

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 04:58 PM

According to social media posts there are several people that left camera equipment at L&S to be sold on consignment and despite the items being sold the sellers have nothing to show for it. They contacted Henry's but were told they merely bought the store lease, not L&S itself. There is no connection between Henry's and L&S so the sellers are out of luck.


"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

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#5090 laconic

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 06:51 PM

Zydeco is closing. There is a for lease sign in the window.



#5091 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:04 PM

that’s been there forever. at least 25 years. not sure if it’s been relevant for the past 10 or 15 years.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 05 January 2019 - 07:09 PM.


#5092 Nparker

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:13 PM

Zydeco is closing...

that’s been there forever. at least 25 years. not sure if it’s been relevant for the past 10 or 15 years.

I am not sure it's the kind of store that was ever relevant, but it was always fun to poke around. I blame its demise on millennials having no sense of humour*  -_- 

*hairstyles and body art notwithstanding



#5093 gstc84

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:23 PM

Just strolling through Bastion Square and I see that the Utopia t-shirt store is gone and the space is for lease.

#5094 Mike K.

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 01:29 PM

Right! It's been gone since October-ish.


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#5095 qv

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 03:09 PM

Just strolling through Bastion Square and I see that the Utopia t-shirt store is gone and the space is for lease.


I bet the owner turned off a few customers with his political comments.

#5096 Rob Randall

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:07 PM

Arctic Spas in opening in the former Philippine grocery on Quadra near Tolmie.

 

Another Quadra retirement: skate/bike store One Six Boardshop near the Quadra Keg is closing.


"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#5097 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 11:13 AM

Fawcett Mattress will temporarily operate a pop up shop at 536 herald whilst their showroom and factory in Rock Bay is renovated and expanded.
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#5098 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 11:22 AM

Fawcett Mattress will temporarily operate a pop up shop at 536 herald whilst their showroom and factory in Rock Bay is renovated and expanded.

 

people will pay a top dollar for a mattress that they believe helps with sleep. 

 

good on them that they are expanding their stuff is not cheap.

 

some prices:  https://fawcettmattr...uct/model-nine/

 

 

Single $2,149.00 Single XL $2,199.00 Double $2,749.00 Double XL $2,799.00 Queen $3,299.00 King $3,949.00 Californian King $4,049.00

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 19 January 2019 - 11:23 AM.


#5099 Nparker

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 11:42 AM

people will pay a top dollar for a mattress that they believe helps with sleep...their stuff is not cheap...

You can purchase a lot of chemical sleep aids for these prices.


Edited by Nparker, 19 January 2019 - 11:43 AM.

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