Industry Associations and Buying Groups
You don't have to go it alone. You don't have to invent the entire photo retail industry by yourself. There are several organizations that can help you.
Buying groups make sense. Doesn't it stand to reason that a group of 450 stores will be able to negotiate a better price than you, as an independent, can do? Here's what one member said:
Here's what one of the most successful independents in the industry had to say:
Cooperative buying groups:
Stores which operate a minilab will almost certainly benefit from joining a lab-oriented group such as Town and Country or Independent Photo Imagers. Because of their group strength, they've been able to negotiate special pricing for paper and chemistry that it's tough to match - pricing that will usually more than pay for the cost of membership.
Specialty camera stores without a lab should be members of their local PMA division, Photofair or other local associations. Larger specialty stores may benefit from membership in PRO.
The Photographic Research Organization (PRO) is extremely strong. Membership is only offered to well-established firms with high sales volume, excellent reputation in the industry, and a willingness to make a substantial investment.
PRO stores are, in general, more hardware oriented than lab oriented. The organization imports its own private-label lenses, flashguns and other accessories. New members must buy an equity share of the corporation.
"The Co-Operative Organization of Independent Photo Imagers"
Over 800 outlets, predominantly labs and minilabs. When it comes to the free and open exchange of tips and ideas, their Forum on the password-protected sections of the website is worth the price of admission alone. IPI has also developed a true buying cooperative that assures its members of great deals and better-than-average relationships with their preferred vendors.
2510 Anthem Village Parkway, Suite 110
Foto Source of Canada has about 225 member stores http://www.fotosource.com/dealer_info.html
|3000 Picture Place
Jackson, MI 49201 USA
Phone (517) 788-8100 FAX (517) 788-8371
|PRESIDENT||Allen Showalter, King Photo, Harrisonburg VA, USA|
|PRESIDENT-ELECT||Rainer Th. Schorcht, Foto Schorcht GmbH, Germany|
|VICE-PRESIDENT||Brian Wood, Photovision, Salem, OR, USA|
|TREASURER||Mark Klostermeyer, Design Frames, LLC, Falls Church, VA, USA|
|EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/SECRETARY||Ted Fox, Photo Marketing Association International, Jackson, MI, USA|
About PMA – The Worldwide
Community of Imaging Associations
As a professional trade association, PMA helps the worldwide photo imaging community achieve business success and adapt to new technologies. PMA continues its 83-year legacy of connecting photo imaging businesses to a network of knowledge and support.
PMA represents 20,000 members in 100-plus countries who actively contribute to the expanding $83 billion imaging industry. As photo imaging continues to evolve, this association has grown to represent the diversity in imaging: photo retailers and processors, manufacturers, commercial imaging labs, sports and event photography, custom picture frame shops, and scrapbook retailers. PMA is committed to helping these segments increase their profitability and expand their consumer, commercial and industrial markets.
Through the dedication of its membership, the guidance of its board of directors, and willingness of its staff, PMA gives the industry the ability to see, understand, and act on new opportunities. This purpose directs the development of PMA educational programs, business services, marketing research, industry publications, and trade shows. As a nonprofit organization, any success enjoyed by PMA in its endeavors directly benefits the photo imaging industry and allows PMA to provide continual services and activities for members.
Much has changed in the photo imaging industry since PMA first began in 1924. At its inception, what is now PMA was called Photo Finishers Association of America – a group of 273 members started in Iowa by competitors Paul Burgess and T.R. Philips. The purpose of the group, then and today, was to promote the growth of the industry.
In the 1940s, the association took on a new name, the Master Photo Dealers and Finishers’ Association, as the group expanded to include photographic dealers.
The association adopted a new identity in 1974, Photo Marketing Association International, to reflect the importance of marketing photofinishing and retailing services.
In 2006, Photo Marketing Association International became PMA – The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations to reflect the diversity of its membership, which now includes a range of memory-making entrepreneurs: school photographers, commercial imaging labs, custom frame shops, scrapbook retailers, and sports and event photographers.
An association for manufacturers and distributors is the Photoimaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA).