PRESS RELEASE: GfK Market Navigator - Positive Trends in the European photo market
In 2009 there were big differences in the way that Western and Eastern European markets and the Middle East reacted to the economic crisis.
While in Western Europe in general terms, the markets stagnated, in Eastern Europe they suffered a serious set-back. The Baltics and also Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland together with Romania and Bulgaria were badly hit by the poor general economic conditions of 2009. On the other hand, the economic environment had no impact for instance on the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2010, all three regions are clearly moving forwards. Eastern Europe in particular has survived 2009 and is now well ahead of 2008. For the imaging area as a whole, growth rates over the first six months were at 25 per cent in Eastern Europe, 19 per cent in the Middle East, while in Western Europe there was growth of 4 per cent.
Therefore the growth in Eastern Europe can be interpreted as a result of the huge potential that is available flowing from the low levels of household market saturation. This has led to a further increase in demand in 2010. In Western Europe on the other hand, there is already market saturation of between 60 and 80 percent which means that markets will be mainly stimulated by additional and replacement demand, in other words by new technologies.
Even if the trends in the three territories vary, there are certain unifying factors. Digital cameras with built-in lenses are stagnating in Western Europe, but are growing by 8 per cent in volume and 12 per cent in value in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East are growing by as much as 18 per cent in volume and 21 per cent in value. On digital cameras with changeable lenses there have astonishing increases in market size. Even in Western Europe there was volume growth in the first half of the year of 10 per cent, in Eastern Europe as much as 29 per cent and in the Middle East 54 per cent. These figures are actually exceeded by the general growth in value.
We have also observed growth in June, which means that demand for these products is still accelerating. The fastest growth rates are being recorded in the market for system cameras without single-lens reflex technology, even if they were at a very low level in the previous year.
The GfK Retail and Technology 2/2 new product category is enjoying increasing demand and appears to be recruiting its potential customers from both users of zoom cameras with extended zoom and also from the SLR market. This segment has in recent months been stimulated yet again by a new competitive situation and products announced at photokina indicate that further growth in the system camera market can be expected. The average price for these system cameras lies in Western and in Eastern Europe at the same level or higher than for single-lens reflex cameras. A second generation of these products suggests that the structure of average prices will in the medium term drop below those of single-lens reflex products. This situation already clearly exists in Japan, China and Asia, which will result in positive growth in these markets.
Selling via the internet will continue its success. In Western Europe, 16 per cent of all digital cameras are sold on the internet. The demand is for higher-priced cameras, so the value share amounts to 18 per cent. This means that the internet share within the Western European framework is higher than in the other regions of the world. There is also rapid growth in Eastern Europe with shares of 8 per cent in volume and 12 per cent in value. Short life-cycles, a wealth of new products as well as new technologies have an influence on the structure of distribution and trends within it.
GfK at photokina: GfK will make further information available within the framework of its worldwide Market Briefings at photokina and at the GfK facilities (stand A1 in the passage between Halls 2 and 4) between September 21 and 26.
(First posted on Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 18:46 EDT)