The new-look Downing Street branch has doubled in size to 4,000 sq ft and now includes specialist seminar/training and exhibition facilities and an expanded rental department.
Said manager Leon Britton: “We had a queue of people waiting to get in at 8:30 in the morning and image makers were still buying and browsing late into the evening.”
Key manufacturers reported excellent sales and interest all-day long as big name photographers like Mark Cleghorn, Annabel Williams, Charlie Waite and event photography guru Keith Trainor mingled with visitors.
Landscape specialist and guest seminar speaker Charlie Waite said: “What a makeover. This new-look Calumet branch is without doubt the photographers’ new focal point in the north of England. It has got the lot.”
Canon’s John Ingram added: “Calumet is clearly demonstrating its determination to provide real added value to its customer base.”
Nikon’s Mark Fury said: “There is now a wealth of stock in this store. The company has followed up on its Drummond Street, London lead. The directors know that people will shop here if the range is both comprehensive and available.”
Hasselblad’s Simon Barnard commented: “Compared to what it was before this is an absolute transformation. It’s so good for the industry to see this sort of investment going on – and it’s good for Calumet staff to see it too.”
Top social shooter Mark Cleghorn, who had travelled to Manchester from Cardiff to give seminars on Photoshop and creative lighting techniques said: “The relaunch day was a tremendous crowd-puller. I didn’t stop talking photography to people all day long.”
David Drew Calumet’s President and CEO who flew in from the States for the Manchester relaunch added: “The investment we have made in Manchester underscores our total commitment to this industry. Now photographers in the north have their own outstanding one-stop photo-shopping experience with the added benefits of high-class, in-house seminar facilities and cutting edge digital bureaux services. I think the group has made a strong statement here today about where it sees the future direction of the imaging business.”