Fotoriesel- The Wrap Up

Over the last few years traditional models of photo retailing have become challenged buy the following-
  • Lower margins due to manufacturers discounting to selected retailers based on volume deals
  • Overseas imports or grey market
  • Mobile phones taking over the day to day imaging  chores for most people
  • Increasing costs in rent, wages and compliance
This has led some to reinvent and rework businesses that were locked in a pre phone world and attempt to bring them into the reality of today- this is what we attempted at Fotoriesel. What Worked-
  • Specialised products that others stores did not do
  • Product knowledge at counter level
  • Accessories that enhanced the photography experience
  • High quality film printing and processing
  • The new range of mirror-less cameras
What Failed-
  • Attempting to compete with Canon, Nikon and Leica
  • Stocking large ranges of low margin cameras
  • Listening to the marketing spin from manufacturers
  • Not capitalising on your core strengths
  • Deviating from the business plan
In the end the debt from the previous years trading loss got us in the end and the restructured profitable business could not cover it quick enough- lesson for everyone there. The ideal future store would be-
  • Printing & processing
  • Film, paper chem
  • Accessories
  • Travel and trekking
  • Second hand
  • Mirrorless
If anyone have the funds to do this and needs some help give me a call, if not just buy Fotoriesel because its already there.

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8 comments

  • family has been a customer of Foto Riesel for years, father bought an SRT-303 with lenses when it was released. I’ve been buying all my cameras and gear there for years as well, latest only a month ago.
    Good luck

    • rhoehne
  • Hi John, really sad to hear what has happened. I have done a few courses, bought a couple of lenses & a lot of film from you guys over the last few years. Always very helpful. Thanks for all the tips & help.

    I was actually planning to come in today to buy a sprocket rocket, tried to get on to your website & then found this. :(

    Hope something works out. All the very best.

    • Puneet Mathur
  • Cheers sir, you are a great guy- hope you keep up the photography

    • Johnnyshoots
  • Foto Riesel, go to place in Sydney for advice and good gear. People who seems to care about what I wanted to do. Seems a real shame that you had to compete with the likes of Canon or Nikon especially given the possibility that gear can be bought directly from them and others thus cutting out the specialist. Over the counter service cannot be replaced by shopping on line. I’d dearly love to believe that someone could save what is and has always been a great place to go.

    • Wolf von Kehler
  • John, reading this news made my stomach drop, honestly.
    I’m entirely devastated that this has happened, and so out of the blue for me.
    I’m gonna miss coming into the store and having a quick chat with all of you guys, it felt more like a community than a store.
    I honestly hope something works out in the end and all you guys are happy.

    • Andreas