So Who Listened To Ken Rockwell?


Apparently none of the people I saw in the camera shop yesterday morning when I went in for my weekly browse. They were lined up and waiting – and waiting patiently – for the staff to serve them.

The staff did a great job of it. They were tasked with implementing a 45 hour 45% sale on the second trading day after New Year’s Day and that was no easy thing to do. I went in at 10:00 and they were still in good humour – I should not like to have tried them about 4:30 with a cranky complaint. They are only human and not even a lot of that at 4:30.

Rockwell has always told people that retail is dead. Indeed, more than that – he has denigrated it and the staff who serve in the retail stores. At the same time he has championed the big on-line sales organisations in the USA. He’s boasted about purchasing goods from them and then returning the goods when he has decided he is done with them. I think he is telling the truth, and is telling it as much about himself as about the on-line trade. I cannot begin to guess what affiliation he may have with the outlets he supports…

But not down here in Perth. Here we want to see the goods in the store and feel them in the hand. We want to talk to knowledgeable sales staff and tell our story to them. We want to deal with the same people on subsequent occasions. And I’ll bet it is the same in other trades.

Ken is fine as far as he goes. If you want superlatives and lists of specials from the on-line stores, he is the man to read. If your taste in pictures is over saturated petrol stations with no humans visible…bring a water bucket and fill it up. But if you want to actually find out if a camera or lens is good for you…well, turn off the computer and drive to the shop.

Yes, I did buy something. At 45% off it was a very good deal.


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