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Meredith Reinker

Roberts is Moving...Now What?!


If you haven't heard the news by now, we hope this will find it's way to you one way or another!

ROBERTS IS MOVING!  ROBERTS IS MOVING! ROBERTS IS MOVING!

This is a big deal for many reasons, but let me start with the some of the logistics and how it might impact you:

- We will be closed starting at 5:00pm on Thursday October 2nd.  Our Downtown store will be closed October 3rd, 4th and 5th...and the PLAN (let me really emphasize the word plan) is to reopen for business in our new location (220 E. St. Clair Street in Indianapolis) on Monday October 6th.

- During these days, the Carmel location will still be operating with normal business hours and can help you with anything that you need!

- For our wonderful on-line customers...unfortunately this move will delay our shipping for a few days.  Therefore, please place your orders no later than 2pm on Thursday, October 2nd to ensure that your order gets out that day.  Our website will still be accepting orders, but anything placed after October 2nd may not be shipped until Tuesday October 7th at the latest.  We are VERY sorry for this inconvenience because the last thing we ever want to do is miss out on an opportunity to help you out, but we will make every effort to get your goods to you as soon as we are operating effectively!

Are you going to make a ridiculously big deal out of the new store?

Ummm...Yes!  Save the date for our Grand Opening weekend, November 6th - November 8th!  It is going to be big! We are going to have amazing speakers, tons of seminars, tons of deals and tons of give-aways.  Trust me...you don't want to miss it.  We will release all the details soon!

Why are we moving?

There are MANY answers to this question, but the most concise one is that we need room to grow and adapt and change with this new on-line retail market place.  My dad has always been a huge proponent of change.  It is the reason that Roberts has stayed relevant for as long as it has.  We want room to bring in more product lines and more variety.  We want to offer our retail customers an experience vs. just a showroom.  Try out the camera, try out that lens, test out some studio equipment.  Photography should be an experience and we hope to bring that to our new store.  We need a better warehouse and shipping area to help grow our on-line offerings and processes.  We are making a big splash in the used camera business and what better way to bring people this great gear (at really great prices) than to have a big used camera showroom and tons of inventory to choose from!  The Midwest has a large and vibrant photography community and you deserve a place with an extensive selection of used gear and we want to be the ones to deliver it to you.  We also know that not everyone can buy the latest and greatest...you might just need to rent something for a few days?  Well, we can help you there too!  We are going to be expanding our rental offerings (this will happen over time) with some of the hottest new lenses, video gear, audio gear and more.  And, we will finally have a lovely on-site classroom to help bring more amazing seminars and workshops to Indy!  Oh yeah...the parking is better too!  We can't promise a parking lot like you would see at Target - I mean we are still downtown, but we can promise it's better than what we have!  This is just a small teaser...

New Store Build Out

While change is great and necessary (more emphasis on necessary), let me tell you what is not going to change:

Our commitment to the customer and to providing a great experience.  We will continue to do whatever we can to make sure that you get what you need, we will listen to you and your needs and give you our best opinions.  We will work to continue to give you the best pricing, and we will continue to educate you so that you can get the most out of your equipment.  AND, we will continue to have a staff that is as passionate and knowledgable about photography as you are.

In short - we never have and never want to be a transactional business where we see you once every 5 years when your camera breaks and you come into get a new one.  We like relationships, we like friends. We want to focus on the lifecycle of your camera and you as a photographer.  We hope you get your first camera here, take some great classes to learn how to use it, buy some cheap used gear as you make your way through life, trade in your old camera for cash when you get your first job and buy the hot new camera, take some more classes to master lighting, Lightroom, and light painting, let us help you with the repair process when you drop it, buy some new lenses when you get ready to go on your honeymoon, get your trip pictures printed here, trade up your camera when that perfect job comes along, get a new camera with a great lens to capture every moment of your child's first years, probably get some pictures printed on canvas, take some classes on portrait photography and sports photography, buy some BIG lenses to capture every second of every sports game, trade in your camera to help pay for college, college is over - time to get the hottest new camera with the best lens because your are finally taking that trip of your dreams!  That was not short at all was it?  You get the point.  We want to be there for everything.  Let us help you achieve your vision and capture every memory...because it goes fast right?

Why else is this move a BIG deal?

Well, for starters we have been in this building (yep, the one below) at 255 S. Meridian Street since 1970.  That is 44 years of history, inventory, paperwork, pictures, cameras, clocks, jewelry, weird figurines and more that we have to sort through.  We want to make sure that we are bringing only the best to our new store location.

Roberts Building

This move is a pretty big deal to me personally as well.  My grandparents started Roberts in 1957 and truly put everything they had on the line to buy this building and make this business work.  I learned a lot from them about character, loyalty and hard work.  But for me, it is more about my relationship with my dad.   read more



Derek

Behind The Scenes At Used Photo Pro


It's coming up on seven months now since we launched our new used division, Used Photo Pro, and the truth is we have grown in absolute leaps and bounds so far. What started out as a week of banging around to put up some empty shelves is now taking over nearly an entire floor of Roberts, with boxes of new gear coming in all the time and spilling out everywhere. Boxes of used gear are starting to feel a bit like blue hand prints in the second season of Arrested Development.  Don't believe us? Well, here's a few rare glimpses into the magic that's fueling our ever-expanding new used effort.

Do note that if you work in an office that doesn't take velociraptor attacks seriously that you should really address that issue with your immediate manager, and dream of working somewhere as magical as Used Photo Pro, where predatory dinosaur attacks are treated as seriously as they deserve.

 



Derek

How Often Do You Foursquare?


We're just curious, because we're thinking about trying some new things to engage with you guys. So, we want to know, just how often do you use Foursquare?

How Often Do You Foursquare?



View Results
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Derek

Canon Day 2011


It's time once again for Canon Days here at Roberts. If you haven't checked, we have a bunch of highlighted products in the promos section over on our site (including a special starter accessory kit for just $99.97 with any Canon DSLR purchase).

But, if that's not enough for you, and you can make it out to Indy or Carmel this Saturday, Nov 19th, you'll find we have even more in store (get it? in store? oh, I slay me...) In both our brick-and-mortar stores this Saturday you'll be able to meet the Canon reps, try all the cool toys, ask questions, get answers, and enter a few special promotional giveaways for prizes like a free PowerShot ELPH 300 HS (both stores), or a photo contest to win a Galaxy Tab Android tablet (made possible thanks to Canon's new PIXMA Pro 1 inkjet printer, Carmel store only).

So, make sure to schedule some time this weekend to come out and see us, if you can. The festivities will happen from 10am-3pm at both stores here in Indiana. How about it? You going to come out and see us?

Are you coming out for Canon Day 2011?

  • You betcha! (73%, 8 Votes)
  • But... I don't shoot Canon! (27%, 3 Votes)
  • Sadly, I can't make it. (0%, 0 Votes)
  • I don't live close enough and wish the website had more specials instead. (0%, 0 Votes)
total voters: 11
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Derek

Roberts Online Photo Lab Now Powered By Life Pics


So, perhaps you've already noticed, but recently our Online Photo Lab switched service providers. Our online uploader and album service is now provided through a lovely company called Life Pics. Ddon't worry, as always all the photos are printed by us, but thanks to a partnership with Life Pics we can offer you even more things, more on that in a bit.

So, this new service has a lot of exciting new things to offer, and a few nice changes in addition. How about a quick overview?

  1. Not Silverlight. It's not that Microsoft's Silverlight technology is bad, per se, but it's still a new technology and very much a Windows-oriented one. Our new uploader and management system is powered by Java, which is much more universal, and means that Mac and Linux users should now get the same experience as everyone else.
  2. Apps. This is truly the age of apps, and we're ready for you. Life Pics has apps for both iPhone and Android where you can log into your account, manage and add and share pictures, and order prints from us without ever booting up a computer. Prefer a computer? They provide plug-ins for Picasa, Lightroom, Kodak EasyShare, and Microsoft Photo Gallery (in Vista/7). Upload pictures direct to your account and order prints without having to leave your favorite photo manager. You can check out all those apps here: http://www.lifepics.com/apps/
  3. More Printable Things. Sure, pictures are excellent. They're flat and easy to store. But, sometimes what you really need is a mug. Or a mousepad. Or a dog food bowl. Or a keychain. Or a gift bag. Or lots of things. We can now make that happen for you, and you'll find there's not a whole lot we can't get your photos printed onto for you. There's so many, in fact, we'll just point you here to see them all: http://robertsimaging.lifepics.com/net/Gifts/
  4. Multiple Upload Speeds. Only ever intend to print 4x6s and don't want to wait a jillion years while your full-size pictures upload? Our new system offers three upload speeds, and what sizes they're good for, so you don't have to wait around forever to get printing.
  5. Picture Editing. Picture need rotated? Cropped maybe? No worries, you can do all that once uploaded. You can also remove red eye, adjust gamma, brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, or even make it black-and-white or sepia toned. All online, no software needed.

So, as you can see, we're still working hard to be the best online lab you can come to, and we hope you'll all find our new system much more friendly and feature-packed. I believe the lab dudes mentioned that your accounts have been moved over (mine was) for you, so you should be able to just keep moving along. Just in case anything's missing, we're running the old service still until October 1st (and you can find that here).

Haven't tried our lab before? Now's a good time to start. Just hit the link below to get started.



Derek

Don't Forget Our North Store's Grand Opening!


Quick reminder everybody: our north store is celebrating it's grand opening tomorrow and Saturday. That'd be August 6th and 7th, for those in THE FUTURE reading this in the archives (ha! you missed it!). For those of you reading it live, in the present, we hope to see you tomorrow or Saturday. It's being catered by MBP Catering, and there'll be prizes. We mentioned those before, yeah?

So, don't forget to swing out and see us. What's that? You need the address? Why, sure!

Roberts North Store
12761 Old Meridian
Carmel, IN 46032
317-818-9800

Alright, so, you got the address, you know we're giving away free things (including one of those hot Kodak Zi8 Pocket Camcorders we've been talking about, and a Nikon D3000 kit), so, there's no reason for us to not see you there, right?



Derek

Roberts' New North Store Grand Opening


You still got your calendars marked for August 6th and 7th to come see us in Carmel, Indiana for the grand opening of our new north store? Good! Great, even! Perhaps, dare we say (dare! dare!)... fabulous?

Wait, you didn't mark your calendar? Tch. That'll never do. Let's see if we can motivate you to do so. Did we mention there'll be prizes? You know, nifty things for free?

Ah, I see you perking up now. So, let's see what's in the bag, yes?

Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm VR

GRAND PRIZES:

Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm VR
Canon SX120 IS

DOOR PRIZES:

AUGUST 6
  • 12pm • TAMRAC Zip Shot Tripod
  • 2pm • KODAK Zi8 Video Camera
  • 4pm • WESTCOTT 417 Green Screen Kit
  • 6pm • SLIK 700DX Tripod
  • 7pm •  TOKINA 35mm Macro Lens

Kodak Zi8 Pocket Camcorder

AUGUST 7

  • 12pm • TAMRON 70-300mm Zoom Lens
  • 2pm • CANON PowerShot SD1300 IS Digital Camera
  • 4pm • LOWEPRO Pro Runner 400AW Back Pack
  • 6pm • TAMRAC Evolution 6 Back Pack
  • 7pm •  CANON PowerShot SX210 IS

Now are you marking your calendar? We bet you are, and we look forward to celebrating this momentous occasion in our company's history with the people who matter most: you all.



Derek

New Carmel Store: Grand Opening August 6 - 7


Hey everyone! Roberts wants to welcome you all to the grand opening of our gorgeous new store in Carmel. What'll be going on, you may ask? Well, we'll have more details about all the festivities in the weeks to come (just keep your eyes peeled for posts adorned with that good-looking logo up there), but for now, why not just go ahead and pencil that into your calendar. And, if you haven't been out to it yet, take a look at our new building in the gallery below.



Derek

Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) Luffles on Roberts


ibj IBJ (The Indianapolis Business Journal) recently published an article about us kooky kids over at Roberts, since we're getting to work on opening a new store in Carmel (a 'burb town to the north of Indy). It was actually pretty good, we dug up the link here: http://www.ibj.com/camera-retailer-roberts-adjusts-to-the-times-plans-new-store/PARAMS/article/7388

What, you want a highlight? Fine, how about this quote from industry professional Gary Pageau?

“Best Buy can carry some basics, but not everything,” Pageau said. “The most successful small retailers have been the ones that have the finger on the pulse of the local market and have adapted to that. Some stores are getting into the portrait or rental market, serving professional customers or the mom market.”

Now shoo, you've got an article to read, don't ya?



Chuck

What do you want your camera to do?


What do you want your camera to do?

I’ve asked this question thousands of times. The answers back are interesting as are the answerers. Some people know exactly what the want when they come into a camera shop, some act as if mystical forces drew them in and they are unwitting participants in the experience.

My least favorite answer to that question is the one most often replied. “Take pictures.”

Usually the answerer is not being intentionally obtuse, they just want guidance, and information and don’t know the options or how to express their needs.. The next few questions the salesperson asks are supposed to narrow down the buyers desires, and intentions. “What do you like to take pictures of?” or “Do you have kids or pets?” “Do they play sports?” “Do you already have (or, did you have) a camera?” Is this your first camera?” Your first digital camera?

I’m reminded of an old joke.

A man walks into a Doctor’s office and says, “Somethings wrong with me Doc. I hurt all over.”The Doctor asks a few questions to narrow down the information, but the patient doesn’t know what may have happened to him. Eventually the patient demonstrates by touching his forehead and immediately grimaces in pain, then he touches his knee to the same results, then his chest again the terrible pain. “The Doctor says that’s enough I know how to treat you.” “Whats wrong with me Doc?” says the patient. The Doctor answers, “You have a broken finger.”

The process of narrowing down a persons needs versus their preconceptions can be an enlightening experience for both seller and buyer. Because we listen and have experience here at Roberts they almost always leave with the camera that best suits their needs. If you are new to the process remember the we offer a free class with nearly every camera we sell.

Remember, if it hurts to push your shutter button you may have a broken finger.