May 13, 2022

Ricoh set to stop mass camera production

January 21, 2022

Ricoh Japan issued a press release outlining several new business strategies and structures, which will be implemented on April 1, 2022, including the statement that it ‘stop mass camera production and will focus on the “workshop-like” manufacturing process. The release also promises that the new structure will be ‘promote the two values ​​of the Pentax brand and [Ricoh] GR‘, with an emphasis on online product sales rather than in-store sales.

The main takeaways from this post are that Ricoh will stop mass camera production, set up a new digital camera sales system in Japan, announce a new business structure, and focus on sales in the website. At this time, it is unknown to what extent these new strategies will apply outside of Japan with respect to the production, sourcing and sales of Ricoh and Pentax branded products, but we will update you as soon as possible. that we will have confirmation regarding the situation in the UK and Europe.

In October 2011, Ricoh officially entered into a $124.2 million deal to buy Pentax camera division from Hoya. The deal included the Pentax camera manufacturing subsidiary in Vietnam. At the time, Hoya explained that Ricoh was looking to build a consumer camera business and wanted Pentax’s interchangeable lens camera technology, lens technology and sales channels. His plans for the company specifically include the interchangeable lens camera market.

Ricoh Japan press release (translated):

Ricoh Imaging will be reborn – Fully utilizing ‘digital’ methods to connect directly with customers and ‘shop-like’ manufacturing to become a valuable brand in the future.

Ricoh Imaging Co., Ltd. (Chairman: Noboru Akahane) will renew the Japan manufacturing and sales system for the digital camera industry on April 1, 2022. We will build a new business structure that reinforces both PENTAX and GR brand values, directly connects with customers by making full use of “digital” methods, and further sharpens and deepens the appeal of both brands through “workshop-like” manufacturing…

Message from Noboru Akahane, President and CEO

So far, we have done business while feeling our customers’ strong feelings for PENTAX and GR brands. Although I want to fulfill this wish as much as possible, I feel that the conventional method based on mass production and sale is less accustomed to recent changes in the market environment.

But the activity of people taking pictures, sharing them and having fun is pretty endless. We will tread new paths with our customers while politely responding to such diverse customer needs.
Ricoh Imaging takes on “two challenges”.

  1. Get closer to customers by making full use of “digital” methods
  2. Achieve “workshop-like” manufacturing

Beyond conventional wisdom, we believe in our customers’ strong feelings for the PENTAX and GR brands, and we will grow as a manufacturer that walks together and creates together.

Concrete efforts for “two challenges”

  1. Strengthen customer relationships by making full use of “digital” methods and “shop-style” manufacturing
    (offer what you want to those who want it. Improve communication with users)

We will strengthen the online/offline touchpoints between Ricoh Imaging and our customers more than ever, and build a co-creation community that connects with each customer and enables mutual communication.

In the future, we will expand the opportunities for customers across Japan to experience a wide range of PENTAX/GR cameras and products.


The Pentax K-3 III flagship DSLR in APS-C format was announced in March 2021

Brand Pentax
Pentax has won support from customers, mostly single-lens reflex cameras. We will expand the range of various customizations to better reflect our customers’ needs and provide workshop value. Additionally, we will build a system that enables manufacturing with customers from the product planning phase to communication through online fan meetings.

GR brand
GR sticks to the concept of “the strongest shot shooter” and pursues the universal value of shots. We will make a clear distinction from the specification competition, carefully pursue optimization for instantaneous shooting, and offer cameras that stand out with high image quality, operability and portability. In order to directly connect with customers and create an instant culture, we will focus on revitalizing the fan community through social media and interaction through offline events to strengthen bilateral relationships.

2. Shift to “digital” sales methods and “workshop-style” production (strengthening Ricoh imaging stores, opening directly operated shopping malls in major markets)

We will shift from a distribution network-centric selling mode through retail stores to selling through the Internet to improve the efficiency of business operations. In addition to our own EC direct sales site, we will develop directly operated shopping centers in key markets to expand the opportunities and places where Ricoh Imaging and customers can connect directly. In addition, by using digital sales methods, we can understand the market demand in more detail and achieve optimal production that is different from the conventional mass production / mass sale model. At the same time, by directly contacting customers, we aim more than ever to reflect customer feedback in manufacturing and provide more attractive products for customers.

Reinforcement of the Ricoh Imaging Store (CE direct sales site).

As the value of the PENTAX and GR brand deepens, we will improve independent content and use it as a place for two-way communication with customers.

Opening of shopping malls under direct management in the main market places.

We will open shopping malls managed directly for PENTAX and GR on the main marketplaces on the Internet. By doing so, we will increase the touch points with our customers and expand their purchasing and communication opportunities.

Source: Ricoh Japan, (via PentaxRumors).

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