What do you think

Started Feb 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
sroute
Senior MemberPosts: 2,459
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Re: What do you think
In reply to Tom Caldwell, Mar 1, 2013

Tom Caldwell wrote:

I think we can all agree that the potential market for the GXR is relatively small even at the best of times, for instance when a new product is released. these are not the best of times.

There is a sort of in-between model that Ricoh actively follows at least for their premium lines. Relying on word of mouth and the internet these hard to find items can be tracked down world wide by a dedicated small bunch of followers. I think that I petsonally have been responsible for a reasonable number of sales despite the product being relatibely invisible around these parts.

Perhaps using the word "actively" to describe their sales strategy for premium cameras like the GXR, at least outside of the home market, is not quite right. Their approach in most of the world is to do the absolute minimum, or nothing, to market, sell, and support the cameras. Laisser faire, ou ne pas faire attention.

In Canada it wasn't until fairly recently that you could even buy a GXR. Too little too late!

more than the report from Japan, what seems indicative to me as to what really maybe going on, pop flash not having an effective lineup of GXR and Ricoh cameras suggests something significant is afoot.

I would suspect that as the model line matures the chances of a big stock purchase going off in the storeroom increases. Whether or not any indications come out of Ricoh Inc a prudent buyer would not be wishing to get caught short with a discontinued line. Of course stockists turning conservative doesn't help either.

My impression of Popflash is they are quite astute and sell what sells. GXR was good to them for a while as it was a very economical alternative to the M8 and the affordable alternative to the M9 for those that could not or would not choose to afford a M9. Popflash sells a broad selection of rangefinder-friendly products including Leica and Zeiss optics and Leica digital M cameras; they are a natural outlet in the U.S. if ever there was one for Ricoh. I've never seen their selection of Ricoh products dwindle to almost zero.

Maybe selling them just isn't worth the bother any more, or maybe they have information we don't but some of us suspect.

Despite all this corner store attitude by some alluding to the drama of Ricoh's immenently predicted failure as a camera company

More likely, I see them ceasing production of Ricoh camera products. Everything will be Pentax going forward, which is neither good nor bad. The unknown is whether some of the good ideas in various Ricoh cameras live on in detectable fashion.

In a short rough explore of Ricoh's presence in China I found one smaller factory, one of at least a dozen in China alone, that had an assembly line staff greater than the entire 100% staffing of Leica camera.

Yes, but how many of these plants make cameras? The majority make office equipment. I'm not sure I've even seen one factory brief where they specifically state they make cameras.

if Ricoh camera ceased to function for a few years then it would hardly be a blip on Ricoh's economic radar as a company.

Agreed.

We might not like it for various reasons and threaten to take our love and money elsewhere but all that Ricoh might do is have a quiet laugh to themselves and do just as they please.

They may, but ticking off customers, loyal customers, is not a great long term strategy. Ricoh might have been looking for an exit but an exit with some potential; Pentax seemed like a good opportunity.

I'm not merely musing about Ricoh but also the new larger entity - Pentax-Ricoh needs to do some interesting things or it too will fade away in time.

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