Editor's Note: At the Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, The PMA Pharmacy Group recently held their Annual Convention under the headline “Photo Kiosks – is there anything else for Pharmacy.”
The speakers were Phil Gresham of Fotofast in Brisbane, who also sits on the DIMA (Digital Imaging Association) international board, Terry Herfort of Herfort’s Chemist, Avalon, Jeff Hume of Berwick Amcal Pharmacy in Victoria (twice a winner of Kodak Express awards) and Keith Shipton, a consultant and editor , well known in the photographic industry.
The chairperson was pioneer minilab pharmacist James Delahunty, of Fotofun and Delahunty’s in Brisbane.
The PMA Convention ran multiple photographic sessions of interest to retailers each morning from April 28th to 30th, 2006.
There were a number of topics on each day of the Photographic Convention which were of interest to pharmacists.
The Photo Imaging World Trade Exhibition ran until 6 pm each day with well over 100 major photo and imaging companies represented.
James Delauhunty sent us a snapshot of the event.
PMA Pharmacy SIG 2006 Sunday April 30th 2006
"Times...They are a changing" and "All we need is HELP"
Beside the three great speakers giving three different viewpoints, there was a good general discussion of the problems and worries that have stopped the pharmacy photo category "stone dead" in many shops.
From 5+% of turnover to less than 0.5%.........or worse still NIL !!!!
What is emerging is that many pharmacists "love" photography both personally and from a businesses point of view, and this has coloured their business plans.
But like the chairman (James Delahunty) they have hung in waiting and waiting, losing both money and interest!.
Phil Gresham (Fotofun Brisbane with 18 kiosks!! - a world leader in the industry ) showed us the way forward with multi-kiosks.
If the pharmacist wants to be in it he or she have to be active themselves as there is no help from either our business organisation, the Pharmacy Guild or the suppliers and wholesalers.
This was so starkly pointed out by Keith Shipton (Editor of Photo and Imaging ) whose intelligent dissection of where pharmacy photos are, in the time scale of the now passing digital revolution, and what opportunities lie ahead .
The market is maturing into the "conservative little guy" who has waited in the wings.
He will bring the home penetration in Australia from 50% to 80% by 2010 as the price of a digital camera drops and become as simple as the Box Brownie priced under $200.
Will pharmacy get a slice of this?
Keith went on to point out the Harvey Normans of the world in the Australian market place have been fed by the suppliers who have neglected pharmacy.
This market is only price driven and only some of the bigger retailer have made dollars, while the manufacturers either starve or go out of business!!!
If they don't change direction, they too will go the way of Agfa and Konica!
But how ?
And will they involve Pharmacy?
Terry Herfort (Sydney Pharmacist with nine shops ), gave proof positive with the aid of his Point of Sale system, that one or two kiosks in a prime site with prints at one price e.g. 49c a competitive (but not the cheapest print) price, produces superior Net Profit and Return on Investment, than many other categories in the pharmacy.(e.g. $15 000 pa from 0.5 M2)
The general vigorous discussion that followed helped clarify for the many pharmacists and manufacturers who attended, the way forward for those that still had analogue labs (as the figures didn't add up to buy a "wet digital" lab costing $100 000+) was a dry print micro lab.
The new "dry" print micro labs that make 300 prints per hour (i.e. not the Silver Halide photos, and costing up to $50 000) that had up to four kiosks hanging off them, seemed the way to go.
Others saw an improved supplier-backed wholesaler, like QFL, offering a three-way solution, with promotions that meet present market price expectations, as the go.
The Pharmacy PMA SIG would like to recognise the huge and continuing efforts of Les Brener AM for keeping this group focused and going.
James A Delahunty