Monday, July 15, 2013

Leica Stores - When Camera Stores Are Disappearing, Leica Stores Are Multiplying

I've written a few times about how much I enjoy having a new Leica store in DC. I've taken a couple of Leica Akademie classes there, and always enjoy dropping in for a chat with the experts, and to view the latest equipment.
BusinessWeek has posted a brief article about the stores. (Click Here) to read it.
Apparently, the plan is to increase from the current number of 37 stores worldwide to over 200 by March 2013 2016. That's a business I'd actually consider running.
The Leica stores include retail space (obviously), studio space, which is also used for lectures in the Leica Akademie workshop series, and a gallery.
My experience in the Leica Store DC is that this is no snobby jewelry store atmosphere. The staff are true enthusiastics (which reminds me of Aziz, who proudly brings his early Barnack Leica IIIF and Summaron 50mm lens to work). They're intent on sharing Leica camera capabilities and unique features, not on getting your wallet out of your pocket.
The gallery space is always interesting, inspiring.
You've perhaps already read my thoughts on the Leica Akademie. It's really quite good. I've just finished a three day workshop there, "The Truth About Photographs." You'll see a review on that very soon.
So, in a time when brick and mortar camera stores are disappearing, Leica stores are expanding. I hope this is a good direction for the company. Apparently, something is going right. According to the BusinessWeek article, Leica's revenue increased 57% last year ($310M). I'm not sure exactly what this means, but the article also says that income increased 10X. Income can be defined in more than one way, but regardless, this sounds pretty good to me.
Welcome to the neighborhood, Leica Store!