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Fotofast move reflects change in retailing

Having not long ago moved from Brisbane’s Myer Centre to nearby Adelaide Street, Phil Gresham’s Fotofast has now quit the city altogether to set up shop a few kilometres away in Taringa, which Phil describes as ‘the gateway to the affluent western suburbs of Brisbane’.

Not only has Fotofast changed its address – it has undergone a subtle name change – to ‘Fotofast Photo Design Centre’.

From a financial point of view, the new premises represent a massive saving on rent – a staggering 90 percent reduction, according to Phil.

It also reflects a change in the nature of photo retailing – online orders have become more important, ‘walk-ins’ generated in part by heavy city foot traffic, less so.

He mentioned that just this week the largest ever online order came in – from Mt Isa.

‘The value of the average order online is increasing considerably, while the value of walk-ins has dropped, while still requiring the same amount of service,’ said Phil.

So as well as a game-changing saving on rent, Fotofast has been able to reduce staffing levels.

There have also been some lifestyle benefits. ‘It’s just enjoyable being here. You can see the sky and there’s a bit of greenery and some trees, rather than noise and smelly buses.’

And another lifestyle benefit is that Fotofast will no longer open the doors on Sundays!

He said that quite a few of his customers from the city had found their way out to the new store. ‘The free parking is a big deal,’ he noted. (There’s off-street parking under the store.) ‘Film orders this week have been as large as ever,’ he said.

The move was completed over the weekend, with Fotofast closing over the weekend and opening up in the new premises on Tuesday. By the end of the week all kiosks and printing equipment were fully up and running. He singled out Ian McEllister (IPS) for special mention in helping with the move.

Fotofast will be focussing on providing a faster turnaround in the new store – moving from a four-hour turnaround for photo gifts to a more while-you-wait one hour, for instance.

There is room in the new store to run some customer classes and Fotofast intends to offer courses in ‘iPhonography’ based on the course materials supplied as part of the IPI Marketing Solutions Program.

He also sees a big opportunity in offering scanning services to the baby boomer rich (and rich baby boomer!) demographic in and around Taringa.

10 Comments

  1. Peter Michael Peter Michael 25/07/2014

    Lots of luck with your new store Phil … a combination of a massive rent reduction + your never ending drive is bound to reap well earned substantial rewards. All the best.

    • PG PG 30/07/2014

      Thanks Peter your offer to come north and assist was most appreciated.

  2. Judi Weber Judi Weber 25/07/2014

    Congrats on the fast move Phil. We love the new name. Much success in your new location. Mike & Judi

    • PG PG 30/07/2014

      Thanks Judi, the name was “stolen” from Gaby Mullinax, it was all to obvious. There are kitchen, bathroom, garden designers out there and what we do is the same. Much of what we offer is unique and with our customers it is not “one size fits all” we leave this to the no service, no changes to the menu, big box stores.

  3. […] Our friend and past DIMA President Phil Gresham‘s been quite busy lately, moving his business to what he calls “the gateway to the affluent western suburbs of Brisbane” — and in doing so, achieving a staggering 90 percent reduction in rent. Look for more on this story coming from us soon, but in the mean time, be sure to read more about Phil and his shifting business in the new issue of Photo Counter. […]

  4. Bill McCurry Bill McCurry 27/07/2014

    Congratulations Phil – can’t wait to see pictures of your always creative displays and signage . . . don’t keep us in suspense. Great Success To You And The Team!

    • PG PG 30/07/2014

      Bill still lots to do internally and externally, now we are lean and mean we need to find the time. It will happen just takes time. We have already gone from no frames to three metres of slatwall display for frames keeping the top sellers, mainly black & white.

  5. Stuart Holmes Stuart Holmes 28/07/2014

    Hi Phil & Will, A new Photo Specialty Destination Store, with a New IPI Mkting Group Inspired name “Fotofast Photo Design Centre” – Great move Guys!
    Like all great businesses you have continue to ‘Change but remain the Same’, that is, move with (and generally ahead of the times) whilst remaining true to your etho’s of providing great service and range of meaningful Photo Specialty Products to your customers. Congratulations again from all your friends at Independent Photographic Supplies (IPS).

    • PG PG 30/07/2014

      Thanks Stuart, make all the more easier with the assistance of Ian McEllister of IPS our “Agfa” rep since 1990!

  6. PG PG 30/07/2014

    Thanks guys, it has been an experience to say the least, we were up and going just three days after moving. The lessons learnt are customers will follow you and there are new customers who would never go into the CBD because of the cost of parking and inconvenience.

    1 hour film processing is up, remember that category, and the GenY and GenZ have no problems travelling to get to you.

    Online our website, the new Yellow Pages, is making us visible in all categories, the phones are ringing.

    Now to attack those baby boomers who are downsizing to get the scanning business. We can now use footpath signs, we have those water filled bases with taller than A frame signs, changing the message daily on what we do. Our visibility is actually higher than in the premium CBD location, much more road traffic.

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