Photo & Go is a new photo-making concept retail store that launched in Las Vegas in August 2015. The store was launched by Polaroid Fotobar’s founders to take the idea of liberating digital photos to the next level. We spoke to co-founder Dov Quint about the store and the industry.
PetaPixel: Can you tell us about yourself and your background?
Dov Quint: I previously worked with the predecessor to Photo & Go, a company called Polaroid Fotobar. Similar in concept, and founded by the same entrepreneur, Warren Struhl, we are no longer associated with that brand.
In just a sentence or two, can you explain what Photo & Go is?
Photo & Go is a multi-channel retailer disrupting the $5 billion+ photo making industry. With two retail locations (Las Vegas + Boca Raton) and many more planned in the coming years, we provide rich, fun and engaging world-class retail and digital shopping experiences that inspire customers to create quality, physical photo artifacts.
Why did you decide to open Photo & Go?
Because today everyone is a photographer. Picture taking is going up but picture making is going the other direction. And the reason is because the existing solutions are not easy or fun. So we set out to solve that problem by offering a retail experience which helps and inspires the customer to do something special with their favorite photos.
What are the different products and services you offer in your store, and which have been most popular so far?
We have a very wide and diverse range of products. It starts with our core product – the GoPrint. Available in 3 sizes (small – $1, medium – $5, large – $10) and 8x thicker than photo paper, GoPrints don’t bend. They are our answer to the antiquated commodity which is the 4×6 photo.
We offer a host of fun accessories for the GoPrint – many of which are available on our website and more in-store. Our main accessory is the FlipFrame (available in different colors, finishes and sizes) which allows you to flip your photos in and out of the frame with magnets – but again there are many more we offer including photo blocks, bars, clotheslines, etc.
We also of course offer instant cameras – Fujis, Polaroid – both current and refurbished – and Lomography.
Our most exciting new product category is called Art & Go. Comprised of metal, acrylic, glass, natural wood and wood mounted prints, you can take your favorite picture and have it printed on any of those substrates up to 16×20 within minutes. The ability for customers to walk out of the store with any of those products within minutes has been revolutionary for us and our customers…
Have you seen any increasing interest in the printing of digital photos?
There is no question people today are looking for a way to very easily do something special with their favorite photos. I don’t need to tell you that people are taking more photos than they ever have before, but they’re printing less. And our belief is that’s because the solutions that exist (either online or at retail) are either not easy enough, don’t offer enough assistance/guidance, don’t allow the customer to see/touch/feel, don’t offer an innovative and creative mix of products. That’s why we’re here.
What are the advantages of printing a photo in your physical store rather than using an online photo printing service?
I started to outline this above but it’s really about the experience – like most arguments today for brick and mortar retail.
Online might be too intimidating, download this, upload that, etc. Our stores offer an easy and straightforward process and real people to help you with your product selection, etc. Think Genius Bar. Online you can’t see/feel/touch the custom product you’re about to make. Our stores you can.
Photos are social, right? So even for the people who don’t need the technical assistance, they end up interacting and sharing the photos they’re about to make/ask for advice from our Phototenders on what to print on, etc.
Do you think your store’s model will work in many other cities as well? Could it exist in smaller towns, or does it require the heavy foot traffic like what you see outside your Vegas location?
Certainly. Photos are ubiquitous and everyone is a photographer today so if given the opportunity to do something special with those photos in an easy, fun and inspirational setting, we’ve seen how the customer responds – they love it! Of course, the retail footprint could vary from location to location, but the concept and the need we are filling is applicable anywhere people are taking photos… which is pretty much everywhere today.
Do you have any specific ideas and strategies for avoiding the decline/demise of so many of the brick-and-mortar brands out there?
The oft-used term every retailer must be considering in today’s environment is “omni-channel” – in our case, allowing customers to create and purchase from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop device, and have their order shipped or ready for pick up at one of our retail locations.
The strategy for us on how to get there is to provide rich, fun, and engaging world-class retail and digital shopping experiences
that inspire customers to create high quality, physical artifacts that can be shared and talked about for the life of the product. If we can do that, we will have accomplished our mission.
Anything else you’d like to say to PetaPixel readers?
Don’t allow your photos to languish on your phone or social media page! Do something special with them – make them real – so that you can continue to relive the moments that mean the most to you in your life instead of leaving them trapped in the digital world.