If you follow the photography industry you have likely already heard that popular magazine Popular Photography, aka Pop Photo, has ended its print service and is no longer updating their website. I have been a subscriber for years, and while it is a bit of a bummer, to be honest, I really don’t care. I absolutely love paper magazine subscriptions, but I think the quality they have been offering me as a consumer over the years has dwindled. While I love all things photography related, I also have a business degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and I am continually intrigued with the operations of businesses.
I think my last subscription update was about $12 for the year. I often wondered how in the world they could run a magazine with a price structure such as that. The plot thickens when you roll back the layers and read that American Photo Magazine, which was owned by the same parent company as Popular Photography, Bonnier Corporation, discontinued their service just two years earlier and rolled all their subscribers into Popular Photography magazine. As of this writing Bonnier still has American Photo as well as Pop Photo listed as part of their brands.
A letter from Bonnier CEO Eric Zinczenko on PetaPixel read:
“I spoke of how the pace of disruption through digital and technological advancements is unprecedented. Unfortunately, the photo industry is an example of where this disruption has forever altered the market. The rise of smartphone-camera technology and its increasing ability to capture quality photos and video and instantly share them socially has dealt the photo industry formidable challenges. For our brands, these industry challenges have left us with insurmountable losses in advertising and audience support.”
Uhhh…... ?? Where has this guy been the past decade? Failure to adapt your business model to the changing marketplace will do you in.
Point of all this is that it got me thinking more about something I genuinely believe in, you may have even heard of it at some point: the law of supply and demand. It does not discriminate, and applies to all areas of every business, to include magazines. To paraphrase in my own words: if no one wants what you’re selling, you’re going to go out of businesses. Simple as that.
Now to my real point… YOU need to support your local brick and mortar shops. If you are lucky enough to have a local camera store in your area, you must buy things from them. Simply “really liking” the store is not enough- you have to give them your money.
My rule is simple, if I go into a local shop, regardless if it is my camera shop- Camera Craft at 301 N. Perryville Rd in Rockford, IL, or any other local store, I buy something. Anything. Doesn’t have to be a high dollar item, just buy something. As consumers we need to realize a business not not exists to talk to us. If everyone in town went to the store and asked for advice and left, they would not be able to cover their costs. And you know what happens then… they will not be able to stay in business. Next then would will be news reports about another local business closing, similar to when Lundgrens Camera closed their doors after 100 years of business. That would be followed by loyal fans of the store being bummed and everyone else will go about their business shopping online or at box stores. The end. Another local business gone because everyone simply "really liked" it.
Don’t just really like your local businesses- GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY!