MENOMINEE, Mich. -- Angeli Foods Co.'s unit here is refocusing attention on a photo portrait business it's been running for the last several years.
An aggressive promotional program is being initiated to make Angeli's portrait studio a more highly visible section and viable department, said Joe Beyer, photo manager.
"We do 15 portrait sittings a week," said Beyer, who is confident that figure easily can be pushed up to 30 to 35 sittings. The profit Angeli makes on portraits, between 60% to 70%, is extremely good, especially with average sales running $50 to $75 per customer. Presently, the portrait business represents between 5% and 10% of photo-processing business at the Menominee store. Angeli will support its portrait business through radio ads. Plans also are to hang sample portraits throughout the store, with signs pointing out the in-store service.
During the Christmas season, Angeli highlighted photo greeting cards, which Beyer said "went over very big with quite a number of family photos." Most portraits are of children and families, he added.
Rather than offering a package of several different size prints, Angeli has opted for customers "to create their own packages," said Beyer.
The studio offers for $14.95 an 8 x 10 color portrait, or two 5 x 7, four 3 x 5 or eight wallet-size prints. An 11 x 14 print is priced at $29, while passport photos retail at $9.95.
Using its in-store photo minilab, Angeli produces quick proofs for customers before they choose the final selections. "As soon as we've taken a portrait we run it through our one-hour photo-processing minilab and the customer has proofs the same day or at the latest the next day."
In the past year, the retailer has raised its portrait prices by $4 to cover the cost of retouching, which is now done on all finished work. Angeli Food Co. is based in Iron River, Mich.
"We retouch every job, whether it's needed or not. We found out a lot of people wouldn't ask for retouching, but when the orders came back the customer was very disappointed and we wound up sending orders back to be retouched. So we now include the retouching fee." Angeli sends out all retouching work to a professional lab. The major competition for portraits in the same price range is from a local camera shop that also has one-hour photo processing.
Beyer said, "At Kmart, portraits are on an in-and-out basis. Somebody comes in to take the photos for a particular week and then they are gone. We are doing it seven days a week."
Group or family portraits are limited to six to seven people. To outfit its portrait studio Angeli purchased the equipment of a photo studio going out of business. Beyer estimated that the cost to outfit a portrait studio would run about $3,000.