20 Feb Boxing Clever – The Retail Package Jungle
If you are in retail or wholesale trade you’ll get what I am about very quickly – if you’re just a customer, read on gently and you’ll understand at the end.
Warehouses, storerooms, stock rooms…call them what you will…the magazines of the ready-to-sell stock are one of the most important compartments in the retail battleship. Camera Electronic is no different in this – we have shelves, lockers, compacters, and even a shell hoist near the receivals desk. There is good lighting, but lighting is never quite good enough when you have to peer into deep compacters to find a particular item. This is when you learn more about the photographic manufacturers and whether they are going to be a help or not.
The customer downstairs gets to see a display model of a digital camera lens. They decide to buy it and the staff member hares off up the stairs to get a fresh, boxed example. The deal is on and the shop is full and a quick response is needed. Heaven bless the Olympus people who make a box that has a bright colour, a clear logo, big letters and numbers identifying the lens, and a picture of it!
Atsa smart thinking! The staff member can see it, grab it, and be down the stairs before the customer can gnaw through the lasso and escape. Also kudos to the Sony people for a bright orange box and the Sigma factory for super-clear labelling.
Note that it pays to know the codes for the different sensor sizes, but by the time you can run up the CE stairs, you should have learned them.
Now to the next level – Fujifilm and Panasonic. Adequate labelling, but dark packaging. The shelves can be grope and peer territory some days and while I appreciate the need for corporate styling, spare a thought for the older eye.
Nikon and Canon do better- there’s style but at least there is a little colour or a picture of the contents to relieve the gloom.
But the last in this race is a firm that is foremost in many others. Dear Old Leica.
Here’s a perfectly fresh Leica box, sealed and labelled. There is a bar code, a product code number, and a serial number. Und all in Deutsch, so there…Whatever is inside it is bound to be wonderful and likely to be expensive – this is Leica we’re looking at – but whether the package contains a lens or a pound of liver is a mystery.
No help at all, gentlemen, when it comes to us finding and delivering a product quickly. Remember that Leica customers may have their Lamborghini triple-parked and be in a tearing hurry – but they want their goods untouched by human hands and sealed like the Pharoah’s tomb. It would not hurt your corporate dignity to put a label on the outside that can be read by a human. Even battleship shells are labelled.