Early in 2018 Fujifilm did something unprecedented for the brand within in New Zealand – they opened their first store within a store. Based at Photogear in Ponsonby, it offers the full retail experience you could expect from a Fujifilm store overseas, but without the pressure for the brand of maintaining real estate.
“Fujifilm approached us with the idea and asked us to be their partner,” says Jeff Shen, co-owner of Photogear. “It made sense, as Photogear is known for video but we wanted to break into the still photography market, and Fujifilm have expanded their hardware to take into account the growing video market. It’s a good balance.”
Shen admits it was a big investment for them, as the Fujifilm mini-store takes up a prime position within their retail offering.
“But it’s a big investment for Fujifilm too,” says Shen. “In New Zealand, we don’t have the size to support a lone store, but they wanted a premium location where the customer can have a total experience.”
As well as the full product range, galleries and video showing Fujifilm’s capability, Photogear also offer a rent to buy scheme. As they stock a wide range of accessories from other manufacturers, there is a knock-on benefit to sales across the board.
Shen says the mini store has strengthened their relationship with Fujifilm, and they hold events and demonstrations for the company in their store.
“It’s a community hub.”
Peter Bonisch, general manager imaging solutions said: “FujifilmX and GFX Series are premium photographic products, offering users the highest photographic quality. It's important for FujifilmNZ to position the product and the brand with a retail partner that reflects this and has the space and scope to tell the X Series story.”
Bonisch notes that for Fujifilm, it’s an essential part of their retail story to give customers the chance to touch, play and try the product.
“With Photogear we have produced an environment that offers the space, expertise and product to do this,” he says. “Also important is showing users beautiful imagery highlighting what can be produced on the cameras and our X Gallery in Photogear shot by some our X Photographers [brand ambassadors] provides inspiration for anyone visiting the store.”
In the new store concept, customers can take a photo on any of the X Series products, immediately upload to a PC on site and even print a 6x4 photo all within minutes so they can see for themselves what the product is capable of.
“Fujifilmaims to change the game for photography, moving away from a traditional retail environment into a new generation where a premium product is showcased in an inspiring, inviting environment that encourages users to have their own experience with X Series,” says Bonisch.