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.
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:
I just got my "credit memo" from ******* for my June paper
purchases - $ 360.49 !!! wow, I didn't even ask for this. It just came
because I am a *** member. This represents a 6.5˘ per foot savings.
what one of the most successful independents in the industry had to say:
lot of our long term survival is due to boring bookwork. Using some of the
PMA resources, we learned to identify where we are making money and where
we spend too much money for our size. We were able to identify a lot of
small problems before they became life threatening.
"And by far the most important asset has been our fellow
remember visiting a camera store across from the hotel when PMA was in
Atlanta. The owner wasn't going to the PMA meeting because he already knew
what he was doing.
"They were out of business before the next year's PMA Atlanta show.
"That's why it's so important to participate in great organizations
like IPI, PMA, POW and PRO."
The Photo Express (S. Dakota)
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
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.
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
Henderson, NV 89052
|Chairman of the Board
|Vice- Chairman of the
Foto Source of Canada has about 225 member stores
oldest cooperative buying group for
specialty dealers, the Photofair Stores are primarily located in Northern
Founders of Photofair banded together right after the second World War to
pool their buying power. At that time most were small, "Mom and
Pop" stores who might not need three Kodak Retina cameras, but wanted
the lower pricing that came with a 3-piece order.
found it was advantageous to be friendly with their competitors, so they
could exchange merchandise as needed - maybe pick up that needed Kalart
Focuspot from the dealer in the next town over.
they found even greater value in the exchange of ideas, as opposed to
products. Industry trends were, and are, a topic of discussion at our
monthly dinner meetings.
membership information contact
Madison Photo Plus
40 Main Street
Madison NJ 07940
Telephone: 973 966-2900
Photo and Imaging Association
in 1992 under the leadership of Gordon Archambault, who brought together a
group of associates from the defunct American Fast Photo and Camera
they changed the name from American Fast Photo and Camera Owners Association to
SouthEastern Photo and Imaging Association to recognize the expanding base
of membership and the changing nature of the business.
must have majority control of a retail photo lab located in Virginia,
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Eastern Tennessee, Alabama, or
Archambault - President
George Nixon - Vice President
information contact Gordon Archambault at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (919) 847-4436
Country Photo Dealer Buyers Group
In 2008 Town
and Country merged into Independent Photo Imagers
National Photofinishers Group
This group of photofinishers was
created from the merger of two industry organizations:
The Buck Rogers Group was formed
in 1923 by a small group of photo industry leaders. Since then, the group
has been strongly influenced industry trends.
The National Photofinishers
Group was founded in 1963 by a leading group of wholesale photofinishers. As
the industry changed, membership in the group evolved to include large and
small photofinishers and minilab/camera store operations.
Membership is by invitation
For further information contact:
Michael Worswick, Wolfe Camera, Topeka KS.
There are informal, on-line
communities of lab operators who use the same brand equipment and thus share
some of the same opportunities and the same frustrations. Go to www.yahoogroups.com,
type in the name of your photofinishing equipment and you can sign up for a
mailing list that will bring you the rants and raves of your professional
Foremost among the
professional associations is PMA. Nobody offers more training materials, and their annual
convention in February or March is a must for anyone in the industry.
||3000 Picture Place
Jackson, MI 49201 USA
Phone (517) 788-8100 FAX (517) 788-8371
Allen Showalter, King Photo,
Harrisonburg VA, USA
Rainer Th. Schorcht, Foto Schorcht
Brian Wood, Photovision, Salem, OR, USA
Mark Klostermeyer, Design Frames, LLC,
Falls Church, VA, USA
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
The association adopted a new identity in 1974, Photo Marketing Association
International, to reflect the importance of marketing photofinishing and
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.
association for manufacturers and distributors is the Photoimaging
Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA).