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Replace: Questioning the worth of ‘mass manufacturing and mass gross sales,’ Ricoh is trying to take a extra direct-to-consumer strategy in Japan: Digital Images Evaluate


Replace (January 22, 2022 8am EST): The unique model of this text (and its headline ‘Ricoh to stop mass manufacturing and gross sales in Japan, choosing a extra direct-to-consumer and ‘workshop-like’ strategy) acknowledged Ricoh would ‘stop mass manufacturing and mass gross sales of its Pentax and GR digital camera lineups in Japan.’ This assertion was derived from an inaccurate machine-translated model of the press launch.

In an announcement to DPReview, Ricoh Imaging Americas says ‘Ricoh is not going to be ceasing mass manufacturing and gross sales, however as a substitute extending its present distribution in Japan with extra direct-to-consumer approaches.’ This, nevertheless, seems to be in some battle with Ricoh’s unique announcement, which states ‘[Ricoh] will shift from a gross sales technique primarily primarily based on a distribution community by way of sellers to gross sales by way of the Web to enhance the effectivity of enterprise operations’ and says the corporate hopes to ‘obtain optimum manufacturing that differs from the traditional mannequin of mass manufacturing and mass gross sales.’ We’ve additional inquired for extra particulars on how precisely the manufacturing and gross sales course of can be dealt with in Japan beginning April 1, 2022.

Replace (January 23, 2022 7am EST): Ricoh Imaging America has shared with DPReview that, ‘Whereas over time, [the North America sales approach] might, certainly, shift extra gross sales towards the brand new direct channel, that continues to be to be seen. For now, the direct channel is an addition, and solely in Japan.’


Ricoh Japan has introduced that it’s it is planning to take a brand new strategy to manufacturing and promoting its Pentax and GR digital camera lineups in Japan beginning April 1, 2022. In response to the announcement, Ricoh ‘will shift from a gross sales technique primarily primarily based on a distribution community by way of sellers to gross sales by way of the Web to enhance the effectivity of enterprise operations.’

In an announcement posted to Ricoh Japan’s web site, Ricoh president, Noboru Akabane, says the corporate ‘will renew its manufacturing and gross sales construction in Japan on April 1, 2022, to boost the worth of its two manufacturers, PENTAX and GR.’ He additional elaborates on the choice within the following message to customers (and presumably shareholders as effectively):

‘Up till now, we’ve got carried out our enterprise whereas sensing the sturdy emotions of our prospects towards the PENTAX and GR manufacturers. Whereas we want to reply to their needs as a lot as attainable, we really feel that the traditional method of doing enterprise, which is predicated on mass manufacturing and mass gross sales, is turning into unfriendly to the latest adjustments out there setting.’

This transition from a extra mass-production and mass gross sales strategy consists of two distinct challenges, in line with the announcement. The primary is constructing a digital platform to ‘keep near prospects’ with out a bodily presence. The second is to rethink manufacturing, taking a look at product growth and manufacturing as extra of a ‘studio-style’ expertise.

Ricoh’s GR IIIx compact digital camera.

Ricoh elaborates on the way it plans to strategy each of those challenges, beginning first with its buyer relations by means of digital platforms. Ricoh says its plan is to ‘Strengthen relationships with prospects utilizing “digital” strategies and “studio-style” manufacturing.’ The announcement additionally says it plans to ‘develop alternatives for patrons all through Japan to expertise a variety of PENTAX/GR cameras and merchandise.,’ which sounds extra like Ricoh can be providing pop-up type experiences for patrons to check out Ricoh’s newest choices.

Ricoh’s new Ok-3 III DSLR.

As for its manufacturing plans, Ricoh says it ‘will shift from a gross sales technique primarily primarily based on a distribution community by way of sellers to gross sales by way of the Web to enhance the effectivity of enterprise operations. Along with our personal direct gross sales websites, we’ll open straight managed malls in main marketplaces to develop alternatives and venues for direct connection between Ricoh Imaging and prospects.’ If this sounds a bit of acquainted, that’s as a result of it’s just like the strategy Leica takes, as PetaPixel identified, in that almost all Leica gross sales both occur by means of Leica’s official on-line store or by means of one in every of its many world shops, every of which presents a singular expertise with loads of tools, each new and historic, to have a look at and spend some hands-on time with.

By interacting with prospects in a extra direct, private method, Ricoh says it ‘will replicate their voices in our manufacturing greater than ever earlier than, aiming to offer merchandise which are extra enticing to prospects.’

Ricoh Imaging America confirmed these adjustments are restricted to the Japanese market.

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