Nick from Auckland Camera Centre talks to D-Photo about the history of the business, and what it’s working on throughout 2015
D-Photo: Auckland Camera Centre is 100-per-cent independent, family owned and operated. Can you tell us about its history and the people involved?
Yes, there’s myself as manager, my brother Rod as assistant manager, with mum, dad and my sister-in-law all working here. For this reason we are very motivated to provide the best possible service to our customers, and develop meaningful long-term relationships with them. We are in it for the long haul, and are prepared to do anything possible to be the very best photographic store in New Zealand.
As many are aware, local photographic stores have similar competitive pricing. What makes Auckland Camera Centre stand out from the competition?
It is a very competitive market, and keeping up with our competitors’ pricing on a day-to-day basis is an almost full-time task. However, our main point of difference is definitely our service and the overall purchasing experience we provide. The management team and all our staff are passionate, active photographers with an objective to provide the best gear suited to our customers’ requirements. Our store has a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere away from the buzz of the CBD where customers can come in, relax, and have a professional consultation about what may suit them best — as an added bonus we generally provide the best price overall. These are attributes that have been instilled naturally into the business from our family foundation and values.
Over the last few years there have been many changes with regards to consumer trends in the photographic market, both locally and internationally. What are some of the trends that have affected Auckland Camera Centre, and how do you go about meeting these changes?
The photographic world is ever-changing: cameras and lenses are getting better and smaller, and for this reason people’s needs are altering. We are very up-to-date with industry trends, and cater for them as best as we can. A few things that we have done to handle these changes are expanding our range across accessories and video-related products which are not immediately available in New Zealand, and stocking a larger range of mirrorless cameras and lens adapters, which is definitely an area of growth. Listening to the interests of our customers helps us source new products — if they want it and we don’t have it, we will stock it.
With the success of the Auckland Camera Centre Photo Competition 2014, can we look forward to one this year also? Yes, very much so, our competition last year was a huge success, and we had hundreds of wonderful entries. We wanted to do something a little bit different from other store-hosted competitions that run year round, and are used to dump old stock as prize winnings. We used it as a great opportunity to have some of our professional NZIPP customers as judges, specializing in each field that they were judging. This also enabled judging to be done fairly. This September we will have an even larger competition with more fantastic prizes, so keep an eye out in D-Photo for information and announcements.