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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 2 months ago



 see also:  market entry

 and MBA notes by Brian (password needed)




Based in Tokyo, Fuji Photo Film Company (Fuji Photo) is a leading global producer of photographic imaging products. The company develops, manufactures, and markets traditional and digital imaging products. In addition, Fuji Photo provides services and solutions for consumers, professionals, healthcare providers, and commercial customers.


International sales


Sales of the company's products and services in fiscal year 2007 were split 47% / 53% between Japan and the rest of the world, respectively.



FUJIFILM Holdings (formerly Fuji Photo Film) is Japan's top photographic film and paper maker, FUJIFILM leads the film market on its home turf. It has hammered away at rival Eastman Kodak's lead in the US. The two are virtually tied globally. Additionally, FUJIFILM understands the changes wrought by digital technology. It makes a range of digital imaging products, medical imaging products, office automation systems, and industrial films and chemicals. FUJIFILM Holdings operates in Europe, Australia, Asia, and North and South America, although most of its sales come from Japan. It adopted a holding company structure and changed its name to FUJIFILM Holdings in late 2006.


FUJIFILM, like Kodak, is also expanding into medical sales.


Through a joint venture with Xerox , Fuji generates some 40% of its revenues from sales of printers and office copiers.






In the 1980's  ...To decrease dependence on Japanese film sales, he built sales in the US (agreeing to sponsor the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, after Eastman Kodak refused to, was key) and pumped money into the production of videotapes, floppy disks, and medical diagnostic equipment. Fuji introduced Fujicolor Quicksnap, the world's first 35mm disposable camera, in 1986. It began establishing manufacturing operations in the US two years later.


The company created the FUJIFILM Micro-devices subsidiary to produce image-processing semiconductors in 1990. In 1992 Fuji scientists completed a crude artificial "eye" (a possible forerunner of more efficient eyes for robots). The following year it launched the Pictrostat instant print system, which produces color prints in one minute from photos, slides, and objects.  (fast enough for minilab!!)



Profit Margins:


1996: " Paper is a higher-margin business than photofinishing




Business Strategy


MiniLabs as market entry strategy:


That may be true now, but Konica's initial entry into the Indochina market seemed to come about more as a reaction to circumstances than as a carefully planned move. Vietnam began to open up its formerly communist economy to foreign investment and Vietnamese private sector investment in 1987-88. Among the first investments made, both by foreign and local entrepreneurs, were photolabs.


As the mini-labs boomed there was a parallel surge in demand for film, paper, chemicals and equipment. Traders from Hong Kong and Singapore met the market with supplies from their local Konica and Fuji suppliers.


Konica says it sends more technicians to Indochina than any other film distributor. As a result, its 'final product', the prints, are of a quality at least as good as those of its competitors.


'As far as the marketing goes for j Konica it was just a coincidence,' says Anh Man Dien Tu, who runs several mini-labs in Hanoi. 'We wanted to decorate our shops so Konica supplied us with their billboards and signs. When people were opening up their mini-labs Konica was just quicker about getting in.'


Konica's multi-colour logo is so popular in Vietnam that it has almost become the generic sign for a photo shop


Both Kodak and Konica are using the mini-lab package as a marketing tool. Kodak plans to set up two mini-labs in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) before year-end, using its RA4 system, which enables prints to be developed in less than 30 minutes.


Konica, which already has mini-labs throughout Indochina/Myanmar, is taking the concept a step further by setting up 'Konica Centres' in each capital. These centres display Konica products and minilab equipment and provide technical training for distributors. It opened its first in Yangon two years ago, and planned to open a Konica Plaza in Ho Chi Minh in October. The centres should reinforce Konica's already strong reputation for technical follow-up.



In 1988:  store-operated labs that can develop pictures in about an hour. Minilabs have captured an estimated 36% of the $5 billion-a-year U.S. photofinishing market, up from just 5% five years ago. He expects that share to reach 50% in the next five years as the fully automated film-developing machines begin appearing in such places as dry cleaners and liquor stores -- "the future potential locations for minilabs,"


The major income of a minilab is to sell film, papers and chemicals. Formerly, the same number of ordinary and professional film was sold on the local market with a profit rate of 8% of selling prices. Everything has changed now: 70% of film sold is professional, and the profit rate is just 4%.


Because of low profits from film selling, minilabs depend mainly on manipulating paper size and chemical usage. Photo sizes are never as large as regulated standards. It is estimated that, with a paper roll, such a small shrinkage in photo sizes can be enough for an additional 1,600 photos. As for chemicals, some minilabs managed to dilute for more profits. Thanks to these tricks, some minilabs can cut the processing price of a 9cm x12cm photo


2004: "Fuji remains the number one player in the digital minilab market, while Kodak is still the leading photo kiosk vendor in terms of market share of the installed base. " (USA)



Too much competition at the minilab level...


One of the consequences of floating the photographic market is the surplus of photo processing devices, drastically reducing sales (40% of that in its heyday). In 1996, Kodak attained sales of US$12 million; the figure is just US$1.3 million so far this year. As a result, these giants have to limit the amount of advertising and promotion campaigns. Many minilabs have to be closed due to losses. No matter how fierce the competition is, distributors and customers are the factors to determine film makers' success.  ('99 Vietnam)



Focus on professional-grade photographers (heavy users)


Fuji Photo Film (Thailand) Ltd, the country's second biggest film distributor, hopes to pass top-ranked Kodak by concentrating on the fast-growing market for Advanced Photo System (APS) film and accessories.  As the first company to introduce APS in Thailand, the Japanese company aims to strengthen its brand by educating specific target groups.  Those groups include professionals, with plans to introduce APS at photographic exhibitions and department stores, as well as seminars for university faculties that deal with imaging.  As we go on educating, in the first stage the APS market will be created among the key accounts.  Then we will go deeper into the mass market.  That stage will start at the beginning of 1998, said Manus Kanokpaipipat, senior division manager for Fuji's photographic division.   By next year, it is estimated that APS will account for 5% of the total Thai film market of 23m rolls a year.  Fuji hopes for a 60% share of the new market.  It now has 40% compared with 50% for Kodak and 5% each for Konica and Agfa.


It is predicted that APS will account for 50% of all film sold within 10 years.






Inventory level is important


Explaining the farewell, shops and minilabs under the Konica Photo Express system said in their letters to Konica Japan and the Konica Rep Office in Vietnam that they lost their reputation and incurred losses, because Konica did not supply enough papers, chemicals and films for them during the 1999 Lunar New Year holidays. Therefore, in order to stay in business, they had to manage by using products other than Konica's.




Price war


Distributors in Vietnam admit that most consumers are very price-conscious, buying Konica or Fuji film because it is a dollar cheaper than the black market Kodak film.


But as the market increases in sophistication they will look to other factors as well--that's where brand image begins to come in.





Disposible cameras:


Boom in early 1990's: "The hottest photography product this recession is a bit of a splurge: cardboard cameras that can shoot only one roll of film. While high-tech cameras languish on shelves, consumers are snapping up the $9 to $17 cardboard models faster than some retailers can stock them. A clerk at San Francisco International Airport, explaining why a display case is empty, says the cameras are sold "as soon as we get them."  The attraction: Cardboard cameras can save a vacation for tourists who forget their own at home and -- as Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc.'s ads put it -- they are the "perfect second camera" for those who don't want to risk ruining their expensive models at the beach or on the slopes.  (good for S.A??)


later replaced by digital:  "Tourists aren't the only buyers. Wedding planners are plopping cardboard cameras on reception tables so guests can take their own shots and then drop off the cameras with the bride and groom, who develop the pictures for their wedding album. Truck drivers are putting them in glove compartments so they can take pictures in case of accidents on the road. Sports buffs are toting them to games. And parents are buying them for children."






Battle with Kodak


Fuji was forced to temporarily raise US prices in 1994 after Kodak accused it of illegally dumping its photographic paper exported to the US. But Fuji skirted the problem in 1995 by making the paper at its US plant. That year Kodak asked for economic sanctions against Fuji and the Japanese government, saying that the government encouraged Fuji to use exclusive contracts to control film distribution, thus keeping Kodak from selling film in many stores. (The case was rejected by the World Trade Organization in 1997.)



Wholesale Photo Finishing


In 1996,  Fuji Photo Film Co., scoring a coup against rival Eastman Kodak Co., agreed to acquire the photofinishing operations of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest provider of photofinishing services.  The purchase price includes six Wal-Mart-operated off-site photofinishing laboratories as well as a 10-year photofinishing contract naming Fuji the sole supplier of photographic paper and chemicals for all of Wal-Mart's 2,252 stores. Some of that business had previously been handled by Kodak's Qualex Inc. photofinishing arm.  Until yesterday's agreement, Kodak controlled about 80% of the nation's wholesale photofinishing business and has recently taken important accounts from both Fuji and Konica Corp. of Japan.


Wholesale photofinishers, which handle about three-quarters of the nation's photofinishing, operate big labs around the country for retailers who outsource developing. Losing the Wal-Mart business to Kodak "would have been the nail in the coffin for Fuji," said Daniel Porter, an attorney with Fuji.



Advertising then and now...


back in 1989....Each film maker is spending nearly half of its multimillion-dollar annual advertising budget this month in hopes of luring holiday consumers. "Now is the time," says Richard Carter, a vice president of Konica USA Inc., the American arm of Konica Corp. of Japan. "If you're not on the store shelf and selling out, you aren't going to be successful."



Digital age:


In 1999 Fuji introduced a high-quality image sensor for digital cameras (Super CCD) and Instax, an instant picture camera. Fuji and Sony launched HiFD, a floppy disk with 140 times the storage capacity of traditional disks, in early 2000. Fuji later announced plans to develop more efficient, low-cost ink jet printers through an alliance with Xerox and Sharp Corp.


With the advent of digital photography, Fuji has been left behind as brands such as Sony, Canon and Panasonic proved faster on the uptake with the phasing out of film. In short, the boom in digital cameras has left traditional film manufacturers such as Fuji, Konica, Minolta and Kodak struggling to catch up. Fuji has not given up the fight easily. In past ad campaigns, it enlisted Asian superstars like Aaron Kwok, Miriam Yeung and Norika Fujiwara to market the product to a new generation of young photographers.






Kodak (US)

Konica (Japanese)







1.  Imaging Solutions

The company's imaging solutions segment, which accounted for 22% of fiscal year 2007 revenue (ending March 2007),

color films,

digital cameras,

photofinishing equipment,

and color paper, chemicals, and services for photofinishing.


2.  Information Solutions

The company's information solutions segment, which accounted for 37% of fiscal year 2007 revenue, manufactures and markets system devices for graphic arts, medical imaging and information systems, flat panel display materials, and recording media.


3.  Document Solutions

The company's document solutions segment, which accounted for 41% of fiscal year 2007 revenue, manufactures and markets printers and production systems and provides paper and document services to its customers.






retail photofinishing business


ad: "Since the initial launch of the Digital Minilab Frontier series in May 2000, the Frontier name has become synonymous with high-quality, high-speed print processing. Now, the Digital Minilab Frontier lineup is extended with the introduction of the new entry-level Frontier 500 and the top-of-the-line Frontier 590."




Main Products


  • Fujichrome color reversal (slide) films.
    • Velvia: one of the most saturated and fine-grained slide films, valued by nature and landscape photographers.
    • Provia: a slide film giving more natural colors than Velvia.
    • Astia: a fined grained, low contrast slide film often used for studio or portrait applications.
    • Sensia: consumer slide film, generally considered to be comparable to Provia in the professional line.
  • Fujicolor color negative (print) films.
    • Pro 400H (formerly NPH): a professional portrait film with exceedingly accurate color.
    • Pro 800Z (formerly NPZ): high-speed film used primarily by photojournalists.
    • Pro 160C and Pro 160S (formerly NPC and NPS): include a fourth cyan-sensitive color layer not found in other film.
    • Superia: as of 2005, their most widely available film, intended for snapshots.
    • Press: Cut from the same emulsion stock as Superia, but cold stored and sold as a professional film.
  • The FinePix series of F-mount compatible digital cameras, some of which employ Fujifilm's Super CCD technology.
  • Fujinon lenses: including the most widely used television lenses in the world.
  • Photographic paper.
  • Inkjet printer paper.
  • Magnetic media, including audiotape, videotape, and floppy disks.
  • Optical media, such as DVDs and CDs, mostly produced by Ritek and Taiyo Yuden; some by Philips.
  • Photostimulable Phosphor Plate - X-ray film.
  • Base material for LCD displays.
  • The Fujifilm GX680 6x8cm medium format camera, various Fujifilm medium format rangefinder cameras, and older Fujica film cameras.
  • Fuji Instant film packs and backs for sheet film cameras.
  • Motion picture film stock, known for its smooth grain and vibrant color rendition. Most Steven Spielberg films are shot on Fuji stock.
  • Minilab equipments, announced in 2006 a global alliance with Noritsu Kokoi, together holding a market share of more than 80% of the global market.
  • Digital X-Ray, Digital mammography and Computed radiography devices.
  • Synapse PACS.













  1. ^ a b Fujifilm annual report 2006 (PDF). Fujifilm holdings corporation.
  2. ^ FUJIFILM Australia
  3. ^ FUJIFILM Global | About Fujifilm | News Releases
  4. ^ Fuji Photo to diversify, shift to holding company system | The Japan Times Online






















































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