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Top 25 Camera Retailers See 6.5% Gain


Although the consumer
electronics industry is subject to constant
change and upheaval, few segments experienced
a more pronounced evolutionary
change than digital cameras and camcorders
in 2010.

Retailers are now faced with competition
from smartphones incorporated into
digital cameras as never before, eating
into the point-and-shoot business that had
sustained industry growth for years. This
placed more emphasis on selling betterfeatured
products, such as d-SLRs.

What a year to launch TWICE’s first annual
listing of the Top 25 Digital Camera
and Camcorder Retailers.

For our first-ever dealer rankings in
the category, The Stevenson Company,
TWICE’s retail research partner, counted
only the retail dollar volume generated by
sales of digital camera and camcorder
hardware, minus non-camera-specific integrated
devices such as smartphones and
cellphones. Accessories, including lenses,
flashes, tripods and bags, and photo-finishing
services were also omitted.

With that said,

Best Buy

– the nation’s
leading CE retail chain — stood as the
leader in retail dollar volume for combined
camera and camcorder sales, with almost
$2.9 billion. And that was down an estimated
0.2 percent from 2009.

The chain has long carried a wide assortment
of cameras and camcorders.

The store augmented its 1,099 retail
sales floors with a growing e-commerce

But it was online challengers, including
the venerable

, that gave
Best Buy some of its greatest competition
in the year. Amazon ranked second on this
year’s list, at $1.43 billion in camera and
camcorder sales, up a whopping 29.8
percent – the highest growth percentage
among all camera retailers in 2010.

Just behind Amazon at $1.4 billion was
leading discount store chain


The Bentonville behemoth saw its digital
camera/camcorder business climb 13.2
percent as it continued to heavily promote
value-oriented point-and-shoot cameras
and even further expanded its mix into
better-performing models such as entry
and mid-range d-SLRs and mirrorless
compact cameras.

Costco Wholesale

, No. 4, reaped
the rewards of its strong relationship
with camera vendors, including Canon,
Nikon, Sony and Olympus, to help boost
category revenue 9 percent to $637
million. The chain had 421 stores and a
strong online presence.

No. 5-ranked


offers a
large assortment of cameras online to
augment a tailored selection for its storefronts.
The chain’s 4,426 stores saw camera
revenue rise 5 percent in the year to
$460 million.


, at No. 6, was one of few retailers
to see sales declines in 2010, with
camera revenue slipping 3.3 percent to
$349 million.

Operating from a single brick-and-mortar
location in New York City,

B&H Photo

managed to generate $253 million in
camera/camcorder sales in 2010, up 4.3
percent from 2009, operating a massive
online and catalog retail business.

Ritz Camera

opened six additional locations
in 2010, but its camera hardware
sales were down 3 percent in the year to
$184 million.

Sam’s Club

, which is the warehouse
club sibling of discount store giant
Walmart, continued to grow its camera
business in 2010 to $182 million, up 5.8
percent from 2009. Business was helped
slightly by the opening of four new stores
in the year.


tallied a 2 percent bump in its
hardware imaging business on sales of
$176 million.


, which is an intra-city rival to
seventh-ranked B&H, used a similar selling
strategy leveraging the Wweb, catalog and
brick-and-mortar location to garner $144
million in camera/camcorder sales, down
2.5 percent from a year earlier, good for
11th place on the photo dealer rankings.


managed to eke out 1.1 percent
revenue growth in 2010 at $114 million.
Business was undoubtedly helped by the
opening of 20 additional stores in the year.


, which suffered sales declines in
multiple product sectors in 2010, took
one of the hardest hits in camera/camcorder
sales of any vendor on the top 25
camera retailers’ list, with a 7 percent decline
to $102 million.

Sony Style Retail Stores

an 8 percent gain in camera and camcorder
sales at the locations themselves.
Ranking 14th with $102 million in sales,
the chain was helped by the launch of
new advancements in its d-SLR line, and
the premiere of its first NEX mirrorless

One of the mainstays of TV retailing,


enjoyed a 3.4 percent bump in camera/
camcorder business to rank 15th at
an even $100 million as manufacturers
leveraged the national stage to promote
their products – that’s a lot of operators
standing by.

Army-Air Force Exchange

has a
great audience for cameras, but sales
were off 5 percent in 2010 at $98 million,
according to TWICE’s estimates for the
160-store chain.

Beach Trading

benefitted from a significant
online presence to grow its camera/
camcorder business 2.3 percent to
$90 million.

Fry’s Electronics

, at No. 18, saw a
3.9 percent decline in camera business
to $84 million in 2010 as its store count
held firm at 34.

J&R Musicworld

, No. 3 among camera
retailers in the city that never sleeps,
was the 19th-ranked camera/camcorder
retailer in the nation for 2010, with sales of
$79 million, down 3 percent from 2009,
according to TWICE estimates.

Office Depot

managed to keep camera/
camcorder revenue flat in 2010 at
$77 million with 1,125 stores.

Ritz Interactive

saw camera business
tumble 7.9 percent in 2010 to $72 million,
good for No. 21 on the retail scorecard.
The company is a network of e-commerce
websites, including



, that is run separately from Ritz Camera
& Image.

Home Shopping Network

, another
TV-commerce retailer, took the 22nd position,
at $71 million, as sales nudged up
a scant 1.5 percent from 2009.

Despite having 25 fewer stores than a
year earlier,


managed to show a
better growth performance in cameras
than its bigger sister Sears. The discount
chain ranked 23rd in the camera/camcorder
category, with $69 million in sales.

Cameta Camera

, noted as a leading
Ebay retail partner, made the list at No. 24
with $64 million in sales of new camera
products. The company also does a significant
business in used and refurbished
merchandise that was not included in the
tabulations for dealer rankings.


is a rapidly growing A/V electronics
chain perhaps best known for its
home-theater expertise. But the dealer
boosted its camera/camcorder sales an
impressive 18.4 percent to to $58 million
as its outlets grew by 46 stores to 173.