What's wrong with Fujifilm?

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noyo
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What's wrong with Fujifilm?
4 months ago

On a trip south of Hadrian's Wall, I was talking with a UK retailer today. They are a well known and reputable on-line stockist and they also have a public counter in their warehouse.

He said that the X-M1 has not been selling very well, hence the recent reduction in price and generous cashback offers from Fujifilm UK.

To put this into context for non-UK readers, at the latest price & including the cashback, the X-M1 with kit lens can be purchased for a net price of £399 GBP. Five weeks ago it would have cost around £680 GBP. That's a massive reduction for a camera so soon after release to the market.

It got me thinking. I live in central Scotland and I don't know a single retailer in Scotland where I can go to see and handle the X-M1, X-A1, X-E1 or X-E2. Probably if I requested, they would get one in for me to look at. But they don't have any on display nor even in stock. The only exception is, according to their website, Calumet has stock in Scotland for the X-Pro1, but that is all. I guess they aim at a more 'pro' market.

The 'sheds' have never stocked these sort of cameras, certainly not in depth, and with the demise of Jacobs & Jessops there aren't very many camera stores left in Scotland. But someone walking into these stores would need to be an enthusiast with specific interest in Fujifilm to even ask about them.

If Fujifilm X products are not on display, nor even in stock to see for the asking, how can that be good for Fujifilm's business?

Of course the trend is to buy on-line. But does that mean the high street and sheds are completely dead? You can still look at a whole range cameras across other brands, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, etc,, so stores are still viable to some extent. You can see Fujifilm consumer point and shoots in these places, but the X Series cameras are simply not there.

I know in some countries (I'm primarily thinking of the USA) people buy things on-line and if they don't like them, send them back. We don't have that psyche in this country. We don't return things unless they are defective. So that doesn't work here, yet.

Or is this uniquely a Scottish problem? Does it apply to the UK or beyond too? Is the X Series only for a niche market? Is the X Series too expensive relative to direct competitors, e.g. Sony NEX, etc.?

Of course this isn't a new thing. When I bought my Fujifilm S2 DSLR in 2003, it had to be ordered in to Jessops main Glasgow shop. Even back then, one of the largest, specialist camera shops in Scotland didn't stock Fujifilm apart from cheap PAS.

I believe there is something wrong with the Fujifilm X Series marketing mix and perhaps their relationship with the retailers.

Most people on this forum wouldn't deny Fujifilm have great Products. But when it comes to the Price, the Promotion and the Places they are available, I think they need to rethink.

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Norman Young
www.noyo.co.uk

 noyo's gear list:noyo's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-M1 Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS +2 more
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm X-M1 Fujifilm X-Pro1
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