RIT Photo Store expands its definition of imaging – and its business
by Kevin Marks
Very few Universities have a photography store right on their campus but RIT does. The RIT Photo Store faces similar challenges to any brick and mortar retail business. It does have the advantage of being located in the heart of a vibrant campus where the core curriculum of many programs incorporates some form of imaging. With smartphones and social media becoming a major part of everyone’s daily routines, almost everyone uses some form of digital imaging.
After consulting with faculty and staff from the entire University, the store team realized it could better support the RIT community by moving beyond the 19th Century definition of imaging: photography. Bringing in new products, we hope to increase our relevancy to students, programs, and staff outside of our traditional customer base from the Gannett building.
Diversifying our offerings also helps us to accomplish another secondary mission for the Photo Store and that is to showcase imaging technology, art, and applications found around the campus. Prospective students and alumni visit the RIT every day. Both groups of visitors need to be impressed by the vital, innovative, and unique resources available on campus. Our goal is to have the RIT Photo Store deliver a condensed overview of what’s cool about imaging at RIT in a brief stroll through the store.
Of course, photography remains our core business going forward. We are proud to carry the largest and broadest selection of photographic products of any store in Western NY. Local professional photographers and related studios still get their 12’ seamless backgrounds from us. Our incredible selection of premium inkjet paper is a great resource for students and pros alike.
We are also setting up an exciting Photo Store Gallery at the entrance to the store. We will feature a series of exhibitions of digital imaging work from RIT students, faculty, and alumni. In addition to traditional printed work, we have a 60” display to show video and animation work. If you have an idea for a show, please feel free to reach out to us.
So, what products will expand our future offerings? Our 3D printer department has products from MakerBot and others. Our educational pricing beats most of our big online competition. We also carry the filament to feed your machines that are busy making your design prototypes, jewelry, or GoPro handles. Soon, we’ll add 3D scanning to the mix.
We’re working on a photo kiosk system to allow anyone on campus to print photos from their cameras, phones, or online accounts and pick them up in the store. We’ll have a photo scanner to digitize that shoebox of old family photos. And, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of premium products to create gifts for friends and family.
Due to popular demand, we’re also adding GoPro’s and accessories, video drones, creativity and brainstorming tools, and more. We’ll have an in-store mini-studio for passport photos and for quick rentals for students to shoot small projects.
We plan to leverage RIT’s very positive brand recognition for imaging to build a community of customers beyond the RIT campus. We started a series of “Imaging Talks” in May, and will continue to grow this into a recognizable knowledge sharing resource with experts presenting on diverse fields and applications of imaging.
A new website for the store will be ready in time for the new school year. We’ll have ecommerce capability and a complete list of all the great products and promotions. For copies and prints of your reports, projects, thesis, etc., you can visit the HUB Express conveniently co-located at the front of the store.
As you can see, there is a lot happening at the on-campus store for all of your imaging needs: The RIT Photo Store. Please stop in some time soon and get acquainted with the “new” store and our friendly imaging experts.
Please feel free to contact us at 585-475-2505