GfK findings on the European photo market – first half of 2014
Nuremberg, 11 September 2014 – In the photographic business, for quite some time a process of trading up has been visible – consumers are increasingly wanting to get their hands on higher quality products. In addition to single lens reflex cameras with full-format sensor, high quality fixed lens cameras have also proved successful. The growing demand for compact system cameras and their lenses continues without interruption. The main beneficiary of this was the specialist photo-trade, which continues to be an important channel of distribution and driver of innovation in the business. These are GfK’s findings which are published to coincide with the photokina 2014 trade fair in Cologne, Germany.
Initially, the results for the first half of the year in the European photo-market, with a decline in sales of 14.2 percent, seems very poor compared with the previous year. If we examine just the sales trends of digital cameras, the drop in value in the Western and Eastern European countries monitored by GfK, amounted to as much as 28 percent. The main reason for this is declining sales of simple compact cameras, which increasingly consumers are replacing with smartphones. They accounted for the largest proportion of all volume camera sales, but in fact represented only 13.1 percent of value sales within the photo-market.
There were though positive trends in this segment and potential opportunities for innovative products. For this reason, high-value cameras, which offer to the user clear benefits, for instance a large sensor or a powerful optical zoom of 20X or more, became increasingly important. Their share of the camera market had already risen to 27.2 percent. Cameras with a large sensor (1/1,7 Inches and more) succeeded in achieving at 431 Euros the highest average prices.
Potential for high-value interchangeable lens cameras and their accessories
Single lens reflex cameras (SLR cameras) with their share amounting to a third of the market still represented the most important segment of the photo-market in terms of turnover. The values of the previous year though could not be repeated and one of the reasons was that in 2013 many new models were launched onto the market and provided a stimulus to sales. In particular, sales by value of SLR cameras with a full-format sensor fell during the first half of the year by 28 percent, i.e. faster than sales of SLR cameras with a smaller sensor. But at an average price of 2,098 Euros, they still comprised a profitable segment.
Among the interchangeable lens cameras, during June compact system cameras achieved a share by value of 17.3 percent. In Germany, they accounted for almost a quarter of the market. The sharp growth in sales of 18 percent was associated with a significant growth in average prices – by 40 Euros up to 426 Euros. Within the specialist photo-trade, such cameras were even sold at an average price of 708 Euros. That demonstrates the willingness of the consumers to pay for high quality.
The trend to high-value products also had a positive impact on photo-accessories. Consumers were equipping themselves with high quality lenses at an average price of 474 Euros, which is significantly higher than the price of a lens in a kit (i.e. in a set with a camera). So around 75 percent of total turnover on lenses was achieved with stand-alone lenses. Value sales of lenses for SLR cameras in the countries where lens sales are monitored declined by 14 percent. But in contrast, lenses for compact system cameras demonstrated, with a 34 percent growth a double-digit increase in value sales and they accounted for 14 percent of the market of single sold lenses. Additionally, consumers were spending on further additional accessories such as bags for interchangeable lens cameras, tripods and flash.
With a share of sales amounting to 28.8 percent, the specialist photo-trade continued to be one of the most important channels of distribution. In terms of lenses which are sold individually and not as part of sets, their share amounted even to as much as 53.3 percent in the first half of 2014. This makes it clear that consumers are looking for good, well-informed advice and are willing to spend a lot of money for good quality products.
The whole world of photography is now waiting eagerly for the photokina trade fair to open, where manufacturers will present their latest models with improved features and innovative functions. It is natural that until then, the market appears to be stagnating because high quality and new products are being held back for introduction at the fair.
Within the framework of its retail panels in more than 60 countries, GfK collects data at regular intervals on a worldwide basis relating to digital cameras, interchangeable lenses and other photo-accessories. This analysis is based on information on market trends from 32 European countries in terms of cameras and 14 on lenses during the first half of 2014.
Further information: Maria Irmscher, +49 911 395 2375
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