Ricoh announces major restructuring of their camera business

Ricoh released a press release with several new strategies that will be implemented on April 1st:

  • Ricoh will stop mass-producing cameras and will concentrate on “workshop-like” manufacturing process
  • Ricoh will implement a new digital camera sales system in Japan
  • Ricoh Imaging will announce a new business structure
  • Ricoh will concentrate on Web sales

Update from Ricoh US – “Ricoh will continue mass production and sales but will be adding more direct-to-consumer approaches to its distribution in Japan”:

Correction from Ricoh US: “Ricoh will continue mass production and sales but will be adding more direct-to-consumer approaches to its distribution in Japan”

Read the full press release for more details (translated):

Ricoh Imaging will be reborn -Making full use of “digital” methods to connect directly with customers and “workshop-like” manufacturing to become a brand that is valuable in the future

Ricoh Imaging Co., Ltd. (President: Noboru Akahane) will renew the manufacturing and sales system in Japan for the digital camera business on April 1, 2022. We will build a new business structure that enhances the two brand values ​​of PENTAX and GR, connects directly with customers by making full use of “digital” methods, and further sharpens and deepens the attractiveness of both brands through “workshop-like” manufacturing. ..

Message from Noboru Akahane, President and CEO

Until now, we have been doing business while feeling the strong feelings of our customers for the PENTAX and GR brands. While I would like to respond to that desire as much as possible, I feel that the conventional method based on mass production and mass sales is becoming less accustomed to the recent changes in the market environment.
But the activity of people taking pictures, sharing them, and having fun is rather endless. We will take on new paths together with our customers while politely responding to such diversified needs of our customers.
Ricoh Imaging takes on “two challenges”.

  1. Get close to customers by making full use of “digital” methods
  2. Realize “workshop-like” manufacturing

Beyond the conventional wisdom, we believe in the strong feelings of our customers for both PENTAX and GR brands, and will develop as a manufacturer that walks together and creates together.

Concrete efforts for “two challenges”

  1. Strengthening relationships with customers by making full use of “digital” methods and “workshop-like” manufacturing
    (delivering what you want to those who want it. Enhancing user communication)

    We will strengthen the online / offline contact points between Ricoh Imaging and our customers more than ever, and build a co-creation community that connects with each customer and activates mutual communication.
    In the future, we will expand opportunities for customers all over Japan to experience a wide range of PENTAX / GR cameras and products.

    [PENTAX brand]
    PENTAX has gained the support of customers, mainly single-lens reflex cameras. We will expand the range of various customizations to further reflect the needs of our customers and provide workshop value. In addition, we will build a system that enables manufacturing together with customers from the product planning stage through communication through online fan meetings.

    [GR brand]
    GR sticks to the concept of “the strongest snap shooter” and pursues the universal value of snaps. We will make a clear distinction from the spec competition, thoroughly pursue optimization for snapshot shooting, and propose cameras that are particular about high image quality, operability, and portability. In order to connect directly with customers and create a snap culture, we will focus on revitalizing the fan community through social media and interacting through offline events to strengthen two-way relationships.

  2.  Shift to “digital” sales methods and “workshop-like” production (strengthening Ricoh imaging stores, opening directly managed malls in major marketplaces)

    We will shift from a sales method centered on the distribution network via retail stores to sales via the Internet to improve the efficiency of business operations. In addition to our own EC direct sales site, we will develop directly managed malls in major marketplaces to expand opportunities and places where Ricoh Imaging and customers can directly connect. In addition, by utilizing digital sales methods, we can grasp the demand of the market in more detail and realize the optimum production that is different from the conventional mass production / mass sales model. At the same time, by directly contacting customers, we aim to reflect customer feedback in manufacturing more than ever and provide products that are more attractive to customers.

    ■ Strengthening the Ricoh Imaging Store (EC direct sales site) As the
    brand value of PENTAX and GR deepens, we will enhance independent content and utilize it as a place for two-way communication with customers.

    ■ Opening directly managed malls
    in major marketplaces We will open directly managed malls for PENTAX and GR in major marketplaces on the Internet. By doing so, we will increase the points of contact with our customers and expand their purchasing opportunities and opportunities for communication.

Source: Ricoh Japan

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