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"Patterns are Changing"--in Art World News

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by tnframer408, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. tnframer408

    tnframer408 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Just got Feb issue of Art World News in which publisher John Haffey--In Our Opinion--opines that we as a nation of "undeniable spenders" are not spending where apparently he wishes--namely art--and that galleries and framers aren't getting a "fair share", whatever that means.

    OK here's my story as a retired gallery/frame shop owner. We have a condo on a lake here in tennessee. We have a hallway I want four black and white, lake-oriented pieces. They'll go down the hallway, be about 22 x 20 when framed, nothing fancy 'cause it's a second home. Love Michael Kahn and a couple others in that black and white or sepia-type foggy lakey stuff.

    Off I go to my local Knoxville shops

    1) No one has poster bins anymore
    2) If they do have poster bins, nothin' with lake-oriented art (and this in a community that has six lakes and second homes on them
    3) No one has a Lieberman's-type Art Explorer kinda offering

    So home I go, look on the web and VOILA--discover all of Michael Kahn and a couple others. Free shipping/30% discounts on framing, etc etc.

    Wind up buying four Michael Kahn's, simple black frames, double matted, about 23 X 23 finished size for about $130 each.

    Moral of story, if there is one:

    I wasn't able to get what I wanted from local sources. I DID get what I wanted from the internet. Yeah, it isn't archival this and archival that and I wouldn't use this as a source for anythig really higher-end. But all that said, the internet served my need

    Ys, Mr. Haffey, patterns ARE changing. And the reason perhaps galleries and framers aren't getting their "fair share" is because that fair share isn't being offered locally.

    Just a thought or two
     
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  2. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Mr Haffey spits out that tired "stupid consumer" theory where it might be the stupid retailer theory

    Mike is correct with one exception; he actually made the attempt to patronize a local merchant. How many Gen-Xers don't even bother? Where the first option is the only option-that being of conveinence and implied value

    This ties in perfectly with Cornel's question of what are we doing differently?
     
  3. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I believe this is similar to several other threads going on in the main Grumble arena right know, Cornels Are you willing to be different. Your single experience may or may not be true to every community. Can a frame shop carry it all? For rock botom prices. A lot of shops are geared differently, not ever one is a discount framer where "Just good enough" is the standard. Not every shop is a poster shop, I do know that it's much easier today to search the internet for posters. Why would anyone want to make an extra trip to the frame shop. For me personally I don't want to be a poster shop, there plenty of them in town already, but I'm in a town with about 15 shops versus 4. Do I know the answer, heck no, but it's not a perfect world and we all have to adapt as can. Is the framing community going to be the next Video Store like decline I hope not. I think for most it is still a tactile hands on experience. I think your thought also speak to the differnces between a one person frame shop versus a larger framing production shop. While a larger operation is capable of mass producing and using technology to its advantages, a small shop may be a little more stuck in it's ways, but I believe can have a little more flexability in a changing economy.
     
  4. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    There really isn't much excuse for not having a Liebermans Art Explorer type of program in one's shop. It's not expensive, and it gives you and your customer access to tons of prints that it just isn't cost-effective to carry as inventory.
     
  5. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

  6. tnframer408

    tnframer408 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    My point was simply this: Knoxville has a plethora of places, ranging from higher end art galleries, single-operator stores, and big boxes. I knew exactly what I wanted---several pictures of the same type, same size, same mats/mouldings. sounds to me this wouldn't be too hard to find. It was.

    Now as I recall Lieberman's program was cheap--around 100 bux. Plus you got a little plastic-coated sign thingy to hang above your computer. Now how many "extra sales" could be generated simply by asking the customer either during the sales process or after the sale process if they needed additional art, that you had this sexy little program that gave you more retail space and the customer wider variety of print selection, etc etc.

    I think Bob is correct--it's the lazy retailer. And not just small operations, but everyone in this industry. Last I looked, Michael's, JoAnn, and the rest of them didn't feature this program either.

    And while I'm comfortable ordering off the websites knowing I'm not getting top quality, I'm getting exactly what I paid for--decent looking framed art for a second home, or a guest bedroom, or a little-used room. In other words, decent quality looks at a reasonable price.

    Will still go to my custom framer, though, for those originals, limiteds, etc. that I love to look at more than ten times daily.
     
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