MANILA, Philippines Photography and imaging company Fujifilm is looking to sustain its double-digit sales growth in the Philippines as it seeks to revive Filipinos' fading photo printing habits.
In an interview, Fujifilm Philippines assistant to the president and division head for electronic and photo imaging Takuya Maeda told The STAR the company remains bullish on one of its strongest markets in Southeast Asia as reflected by its continued introduction of new products and innovative solutions and concepts.
"We are seriously considering expanding the market even though the people's mindset is that the printing market is shrinking because of smartphones and digital cameras. Printing market is shrinking and only Fujifilm is thinking of how to grow the market," Maeda said.
Fujifilm in Tokyo pioneered the conversion of traditional photo shops into stores that cater to the new needs and lifestyle demands of customers through the introduction of the Wonder Photo Shop.
In its bid to also revolutionize the Filipinos' photo printing habits similar in Japan, Fujifilm has brought to the Philippines the trendy photography and printing store.
To date, Fujifilm has set up three Wonder Photo Shops in the country located at the Ayala-UP Town Center, Nuvali in Laguna and Tacloban.
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"Filipinos love taking photos but surprisingly, the ratio of keeping the photo is very low. Based on our analysis of the Philippine market, Filipinos print less than Japanese do, not because printing is expensive but because the current process of printing photos is not interesting enough. The key factor to the success of Wonder Photo Shop is the improvement of the printing process," Maeda said.
Maeda said with the continued robust sales of its film and camera products plus the expected resurgence of the local photo printing business, Fujifilm's Philippine operations is expected to maintain its double-digit growth in the coming years.
"At present, we are increasing 30 to 40 percent every year," he said.
"The Philippines is growing and one of the most promising economy. Philippines has a huge population and average income every year is increasing. Most of Filipinos love taking photo that is why we're focusing and bullish on the Philippine market," added Yoshitaka Nakamura, Fujifilm Malaysia managing director.
Fujifilm was established in 1934 as the first Japanese producer of photographic films. The company diversified into other markets to include camera products and printing solutions.
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