I miss my local camera store!
For most of the time we spent in Christchurch, from late 2005 through to a year ago, we lived in a suburb called Merivale, only 400 metres or so from New Zealand’s best camera store.
Photo & Video International have a strong web presence, but their store is a real delight with good stocks of new stuff and a great, ever-changing collection of used photo gear. Living so close, I was usually able to get there on the weekend at their quiet times. Otherwise I would be rubbing shoulders with other enthusiasts, all suffering from the same disease. It’s called “lens lust”.
Most of the staff greeted me by my first name when I entered the store, which felt good (unless my wife was with me). They know their stuff too, so one can have a sensible conversation about technical stuff and not feel frustrated. The shop is perfectly located, right opposite a rather expensive shop selling the latest in women’s fashion. This ensured that family trips to the mall did allow me sufficient time in the camera store, but did require self-discipline from both parties.
It’s their 21st birthday this week. Oh, and the shop does have one sales trick: a special anti-aging mist they spray into the air. For customers, who experience it for only a few minutes (or hours) at a time, the effect is small but significant. But for the staff that work there all day it is a huge bonus. Just look at these pictures of Greg to see how good it is! )
Now we have moved to Nelson I am stuck with using their website, not nearly as emotionally satisfying, so I still try to call in there whenever I get to Christchurch.