Ricoh moves to direct camera sales in Japan

Ricoh Imaging Co., Ltd. released a statement where Ricoh Imaging’s President and CEO, Noboru Akabane, addressed the market challenges faced by the camera company and how outlined the restructuring of its business operations, including incorporating a more direct-to-consumer approach in the home market:

“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.”

The company will continue to develop its Pentax branded SLRs, GR compacts, and Theta 360-degree cameras.

So far, the move seems to be exclusive to Japan. In a statement, Kazumichi Eguchi, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp., said:

“Ricoh/Pentax will not change its distribution structure in North America, and the company has significant plans and goals for the North America market this year that will utilize mass production of its products. Customers in North America can continue to purchase Ricoh and Pentax cameras through our authorized dealers and directly via our website:”