Friday, October 9, 2009

Sears Portrait Studio has a Deathwish [updated]

From the comments, here's a rumored price change:
"Just when you thought it was hard enough to get people into collections or out of the $7.99 package SPS announces new pricing starting 10/21.

Sheets = $9.99
Enhancements = $9.99
CDs = $229.99 !!!!!
Greeting cards - get this... now there's a $10 fee to add text to the cards!
Cheapest collection with a CD = $179.99 (Same bronze cd collection as before... only now $50 more.)

Are they trying to put themselves out of business?"
Edit: someone in comments uploaded a 2 page PDF of all the price changes.

I'll see you in the comments for continued discussion. I would love if this price increase were coupled with SPS appointments getting more time and care (since appts are so low anyhow) to justify the price increase. But instead this is just going to make life harder for SPS people and make customers angry (what are you going to do? Tell them before the session "hey, everything is the same except now the price is more"?

On the positive side though, at least it would seem that the customer has the option of doing the $99 collection (without CD) that is definitly really now a better deal than individual sheets (barring any coupons they print). And we all know a $99 sale is better than a 9.99 sale. Of course, at least at my studio, the CD was a major motivation for buying the 129.99 collection. I'm not sure the CD is motivation enough to pay $40 more for the same thing. I think that that's motivation to get in the phone book and look up "Photographers"

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just, WoW

Anonymous said...

Theory 1: Someone posted this just to get a rise out of us (ie: a DM or RM)

Theory 2: The really will raise our prices, thus pissing off the customers and making them go to other studios.... cheaper studios. The cheapest studios i know of, Picture Me. Which, ironically are CPI owned. So they are just making sure all Sears customers start going to wally world, which means they actually will NOT lose any customers. Even tho, it is widely known they own both places so they would still lose clientele.

Anonymous said...

Theory 1: you could be right. maybe seeing who is on here by posting something like that and then when we start questioning it they will know we participate on this board. (FYI: don't question this to DM/RM)

Theory 2: It wouldn't surprise me if it this was true just to chase customers to pmps as they see sps is a dying brand name.

Frustrated Manager said...

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=BYCH2Y2R

The new price list.

Anonymous said...

did u also see that 20x20 & 10x30 are now $199.99?

Anonymous said...

If the price increases are for real, it wouldn't surprise me. Someone quoted some numbers on this blog concerning recent quarterly earnings. Based on those numbers, the company was down to about 80% of last year. They've cut just about everything to the bone, so I'm sure some numbers guys sat down, looked at the mix of products purchased, and then calculated the prices necessary to meet or exceed last year's 4th quarter numbers. I'm sure they didn't want to increase prices, but the guys at the top have jobs and bonuses based on meeting goals, and stockholders often care more about this quarter's earnings than the long-term viability of the company. It's also possible these price adjustments are being made with the understanding that the competition will be doing likewise. Just think of all those Christmas regulars who will be very pissed off by being ambushed with significantly higher prices. We may make some decent numbers for the quarter, but what about next year?

SPS said...

Wow, thanks so much for the confirmation.

SPS said...

Updated the original entry.

Anonymous said...

WOW..as if customers didn't get irate about how expensive things were before...just imagine how mad they'll be now. Good thing you all can show them the prices..cause I know when the enhancements went up....we had to show them it came from corporate.

Anonymous said...

I think Theory 2 is correct: rumor has it that Sears is filing for bankruptcy at the end of the fiscal year, and CPI is investing in opening portrait studios inside Linens n' Things. Although, I'm not sure how that will pan out for my area because our Linens n' Things closed and they shut down the Picture Me studios in both the Wal Marts in our county....perhaps we will just be screwed.

- Irate Manager

Anonymous said...

When do the $3.99 per sheet coupons expire? Because with these prices, ALL of the customers will be using that coupon!

Anonymous said...

From what I've heard and understand- the only options for sears holdings is to either file for bankruptcy or to close and liquidate. For this reason, CPI is setting SPS to get as much out of the customers as possible and for us to refer customers to Go Portraits and for those who can't afford the SPS/GP prices- they will go to PMPS. SPS is a liability to CPI- it is costing them a lot of money (labor is way too high all around and sales have been lagging for quite awhile). CPI purchasing PMPS was (from a business stand point) an excellent idea because it gives them a future in this field by being in the highest traffic location. I predict that we will see more Sears/Kmart closures after christmas when it will become a critical monetary situation for the business.

Anonymous said...

well thats just great seeing as im starting in a new studio in a new district this week. looking forward to not knowing all the customers you should look out for while introducing higher prices in a studio that has been bleeding out already. well i know how secure my job is....

Anonymous said...

The new studios are in buy buy baby stores. SHOOTING STARS

http://www.buybuybaby.com/PortraitStudio.asp?order_num=3&

Anonymous said...

After 12 years here at SPS will I be able to transfer to a PMPS since they are a CPI company? I just hate to start all over again. I know I can run the numbers at Wal-Mart since they don't have to do a lot of the stuff we do now. Who knows they get us SPS people in the Wal-Marts they might be surprised how well we can do compared to who they have now.

Anonymous said...

DM has confirmed price changes. I still haven't "officially" got a copy of the changes yet. It was hard to pretend not to know. LOL. Thanks for posting the changes for the rest of us! Does anyone know if prices at pmps is being changed or is this strictly sps?

Anonymous said...

Our DM confirmed this this morning as well =(

Anonymous said...

WTF? (NO, thats not "WHY THE FACE?"
Holy s%#$!
That burden on my shoulders feels alot heavier now... just when I was HOPING THE 4TH QUARTER WOULD PULL ME OUT OF THE RED LIKE IT DID LAST YEAR!
OMG... Am I too young to have a heart attack?

Anonymous said...

We got the confirmation from our DM this morning. All of us, DM & District Trainers included, are now fearing for our jobs.... I brought the price list home. It goes live on 10/21 & as far as we've been told, will not have a transition period for the regulars. Here are the most obvious price hikes:
1) Original CD was 99.99. Now 199.99
2) Enhanced CD was 119.99. Now 229.99
3) 20x20 & 10x30 Fine Art was 179.99. Now 199.99
4) Gold Collection was 179.99. Now 209.98
5) Silver Collection was 159.99. Now 189.98
6) Bronze Collection was 129.99. Now 169.98
7) Premium Wallet Fee was 3.99. Now 9.99
8) Greeting Cards with personalization was 39.99 & 10.00 for 10 afterwards. Now 49.99 & 20.00 for every 10 afterwards.
Not to mention the "greater discounts" for employees that have yet to be disclosed! Figures!
Are they TRYING to scare their regulars away??

Anonymous said...

My DM is really scared about this stuff that is going on. She reinforced that we have to have a good 4th quarter if we want to stay at CPI. She even said that for herself as well. I did not ask her if she meant a future with Sears, Wal-Mart or Baby. I guess I will have to make the best of it and ride the ship down here at SPS and see what bottom I hit.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully if sps does go down there may be room for some of us at the other cpi places. C'mon they have to have some poor performers that we can replace there.

Anonymous said...

Not a rumor...a few of my friends were talking about the increase in prices..they are quite upset about it....

Anonymous said...

I really think that corp should at least tell the field staff why the price increase. If they want us to buy into it and believe in it then shouldn't they give us some reason? It's another stresser for us SM's. I'm already fearful for my job because of the current threats to raise prs/sit (that's a battle of its own). There's so much added pressure on all of us and the paper work and I'm about at my wits end!

Our customers are going to be very upset with the price increase. I look for a lot of decreases with sits. prs my go up because of the lack of sits.

Anonymous said...

*flush*

down the toilet it goes....wow.

Anonymous said...

Promise number one 2nd side of 360 PROMISE Card. "Surprisingly great photography at great prices"... SURPRISE!!! ... The prices just increased

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you have people running the business that doesn't understand the portrait industry. SPS is a sinking ship and the signs have been there. 1.) BOGO 2.) Desperate telemarketing that doesn't result in high dollar amounts 3.) Getting rid of high paid/ tenured employees 4.) The constant back & forth battle with sits vs. prs 5.) Threatening employees daily with every activity performed 6.) Raising prices is the last step. All the above mentioned will chase customers away and send them to JCP studios and PMPS.

Anonymous said...

CPI must really be in trouble more then we realize! A few posters on this blog have mentioned that their local Picture Me Studios have closed, the same thing is happanning where I live. Three years ago there where 7 studios within an hour from my house, today there are only 3 still open. With this huge increase in prices and closing of Picture Me studios, CPI is slowly dying.....

Anonymous said...

Here's something funny- cpi's stock is worth one of their newly priced sheet ($9.99)

Anonymous said...

Everybody start sending their resumes to Lifetouch... ;)

Anonymous said...

i expect to see many of us out on the sidewalks with signs in hand. will take portraits for food.

Anonymous said...

Go to Lifetouch...its a great company to work for! After many years at CPI, I now work for them and I never knew a company could actually treat you like a human and show you respect!

Anonymous said...

Get ready for new PRS requirements with the price increase. They haven't released the expectations yet, but I imagine they will be higher than $120.

Anonymous said...

Rumor about the PRS jump and other expectations as well.

Anonymous said...

what the heck? $120 PRS? My district is $200 but since no one hits that $150 is "acceptable" Cant wait to be fired! Im ready for unemployment.

Anonymous said...

They will be lucky if everyones PRS isnt 9.99 after this.

And, what if their coupons say "Buy 6 @ 7.99" thats not our reg price anymore, so is it not valid? Or will this be an "Ask assosciate for details" thing? Way to get us our asses ripped by customers.

I hope a MASS E-mail is going out to customers about this, wehn enhancements were raised all we heard for weeks was "WHY WASNT I NOTIFIED ABOUT A PRICE CHANGE??" and would then say they arent coming back.

Anonymous said...

What a huge leap to get a customer out of the 9.99 pkg to $170.
Not only do alot of people NOT have that amount of $ to spend as they are not working, but they have all the time in the world to come back every few days to do the 1 pose pkg as they are flooded with coupons OR can print them out daily. (OOOPS forgot there for a second, they don't ACTUALLY have to print it and bring it in as it's on the website and customer service will tell them they just have to ask about it.. it is in every store and the store has the code!) And charging for text... you can't even sign them with most pens.. but maybe that will encourage them to buy more wallets to send out? And when they find out we aren't able to sell blank Xmas cards, they will do the "free 10 cards" and expect that to work. Better to just quote the price with the text included!

Anonymous said...

i am a manager for a picture me studios and they just raised all of our prices too. same deal, we have to convince them to jump from a 7.99 to our lowest collection which is 179.99. INSANE! our cd price went from 49.99 to 79.99 with the bronze. i feel like i am ripping people off!

Anonymous said...

Well I wish I could simpathize with you all.. I was "term'd" today after my shift was over ... My Dm watched me take 2 requests in a row. Not to mention the 5 before that, Watched as I took the very first group I ever shot at my studio and also the last.. Sometimes life throws you a curveball. You have to roll with the punches, get up, dust yourself off and move on. I guess it was my time.

Anonymous said...

Our studio is doing very well thanks, prs 185... very few customers notice the price increases. If you don't like your job or the company you work for quit...this is a company trying to make a profit, prices go up...and yes they expect people to work and try to get more sits. What a bunch of babies!

Anonymous said...

I work at sears portrait studio and it really is so very stressful!! I have 7 years of photography and this place is over priced and Customers are just always upset when they are spending to much money on stuff. They don't let you take their pictures for no more then 15 minutes! That is hard to do with Children who do not want to listen!!!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that Sears Portrait Studio Sucks, The Photographers don't care, they want you out as fast as they can, you pay an arm and a leg for crappy pic's, I will never ever go there again, I used to get my kids pics 3 to 4 times a year!!! Just went there Last week and It will be the last!

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is Sears is a rip off!!!!! I should of just bought the damn cd and purchased the same pictures we wanted from Walmart for more than 80% of the price we paid there, it probably would have been cheaper if we did it that way. For 13 sheets and 2 collages, and a sells rep that was completely pushy and rude we paid over $300! I was trying to convince my family to take our portraits with a professional photographer that we used back in April she was $250 for a 2 hr. session at any location we wanted and the quality of the pictures are significantly better, there are more shots that are candid and not so cheezy (pose and smile), the photographer is way friendlier, and for the price we paid, we got the rights to the pictures. I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, go to Sears again and I think after that experience my family now agrees with me that they'll take pictures with our photographer in the future. Sears is but a thing of the past and the quality of the pictures I received from my photographer blows Sears out of the water!!!!! If you had the same experience as us at Sears and you live in Hawaii, I would recommend to please check out the photographer I used, at www.terraphotography.com, you won't be disappointed when you compare her to Sears!!!! And, the money is well worth it!

Anonymous said...

The photo quality of their 10x30 pictures is very bad and NOT clear at all. My son had his taken in 2007 and his was very clear but now it seems they might have a different printer or something and it doesn't produce professional quality prints at all.

Anonymous said...

I think the prices are actually really good for a whole session, plus they also have at least 20% off. I love sears portrait studio!

Anonymous said...

I hate sears the bought out kiddie kandids i can imagine the change they are the same now that wrong!Kiddie Kandids was great because they gave the same day pictures and they highest package with a cd was 150 and 16x20 with the package sears charges for everything and lie and say if you do not buy anything that day they will be eraced what a lie i took pictures .they charge dubble for everytging

Anonymous said...

i Hate 10x30 !!!!worst size ever and hard to frame what about 11x14

Anonymous said...

Can we say "inflation?" Come one, say it together, in-fla-tion! When the economy is bad and things start going up companies are forced to raise their prices. As a seasoned CPI employee I understand how frustrating this is, especially working in a low volume studio in an area where everyone is on food stamps and welfare. But not everything the company does is out of selfishness. I mean hell, when they changed the collections they added to the Buy and Save program so now customers can get 25-40% off items added to their collection. They can add collages for $5 a pop--that's pretty damn good. And honestly, as an SPS employee, if you have a customer that's not willing to spend at least $100, are you really gonna jump for joy the next time they come in? No, you're not, and don't even sit there and lie and say that you would because you'd be full of shit. We all know that there are customers we love, but we love ourselves more and we all know that without good numbers, none of us would have a job. Sooo yeah, there is a silver lining to everything. Maybe you should think before you speak.

Anonymous said...

well its even higher now i hate working for this company they do nothing but rip people off and treat the employees like shit!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just another reason to go to JC Penney Portraits where they always have sheets for 3.99 without buying all the extra sheets first. 7.99*8=63.92 -- at JCP 63.92 will get you 16 sheets!!