Remember a while back when I wrote about the difference between a Custom Photographer and a Mall Photographer? By doing some number crunching I found that it actually wasn’t always less expensive for a family to go to a Mall Photographer for their family portraits. I also found out that the services you receive from a Custom Photographer are much more personalized and extensive than the Mall Photographers.
I’ve also discussed elsewhere the costs of doing business and what goes into the price your Custom Photographer quotes to you. It can be confusing to try and figure out why Sears, or Picture People or Walmart can offer a $9.99 sitting fee when most Custom Photographers start at $200.
As it turns out the big companies can learn something from your local small business Custom Photographer. The company that owns the portrait studios in Sears and Walmart stores in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky announced this week that they are shutting down its U.S. operations. The Sears Portrait Studio website and PictureMe Portrait Studios, appeared to be no longer active this morning. And news reports indicate that they are seeking a buyer for all Canadian studio locations as well.
It turns out that their business model does not work. The super -low price to get clients in the door is not a sustainable business practice and now this formidable 60 year old company is closing as a result. I’m reassured to know that so many of our local small businesses are doing the smart thing and not following this particular business model.