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An Imaging Biz Snapshot

6/20/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

This is the third consecutive issue of TWICE
that features one or more of our lists of top
retailers for calendar year 2010.

We started with the granddaddy of all of them,
the TWICE Top 100 CE Retailers Report on May
23, followed that with our Top 25 Personal Computer
Retailers Report, and in this issue we have
the venerable Top 100 Major
Appliance Retailers Report and
— a new kid on the block — the
TWICE Top 25 Digicam & Camcorder
Retailers Report.

When we came up with the
idea a while ago for a camera
retail list, it seemed like a natural.
In the days leading up to
the deadline for our first Top 25
for this category, I finally said to
myself, “What took us so long?”

After all, still cameras have
been a staple of many retailers
long before digital cameras
arrived on the scene. In fact,
when I joined TWICE in the early
1990s, we had a quarterly report on cameras,
which were then film cameras.

CE retailers were drawn to cameras because
margins were good and you could sell profitable
accessories along with them. That’s what the late
Irwin Diamond, founder of Sima Products, urged
me to report to retailers when he first took his company
to Winter CES more than 20 years ago.

It took a while, but CE retailers got the accessories
message, and Sima, still going strong today,
diversified into several CE accessories categories.

Twenty years ago the camera business was
dominated by specialty retailers (sound familiar?),
with upstart CE retailers and mass merchants
gradually getting into the mix.

Of course, all that has changed now. As you can
see by our inaugural effort, the top five U.S. retailers
are (starting with No. 1): Best Buy, Amazon.com, Walmart, Costco and RadioShack. B&H and
Ritz Camera are in the top 10, but the market is far
different today.

CE retailers — and CE manufacturers — were
able to become mainstays in the camera (and
camcorder) markets as technology
turned digital and pointand-
shoot cameras created a
decade’s worth of growth.

As executive editor Greg
Tarr points out in his analysis
of the list, smartphones with
digital cameras have undercut
point-and-shoots. But the market
remains a relatively healthy
one as the industry is turning
to more fully featured products
for growth.

As I mentioned, this is the third
consecutive issue of TWICE
Top Retailer lists. If you missed
an issue or need digital copies, go to www.twice.com/article/250004-TWICE_Online_Store.php
to find out how to order one or all of these four
reports.

I would be remiss if I did not thank senior editor
Alan Wolf, who was the point person on the two
biggest lists, the Top 100 CE and Top 100 Major
Appliance projects, senior editor Doug Olenick
who handled the Top 25 PC list, the aforementioned
Mr. Tarr for his work on the Top 25 Digicam
& Camorder list, and managing editor John
Laposky who headed design and copy editing of
all four projects.

And a big thank you for our research partner for
these four projects, Bob Tancula and his team at
The Stevenson Company for their great work.