Hasselblad to open its first retail store — and it’s in Tokyo


posted Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 2:20 PM EST


Somehow, despite being one of the most prestigious names in all of photography, Hasselblad has never had a dedicated storefront. That's about to change, with the first ever Hasselblad store set to open on September 14th, in the Harajuku area of Tokyo.

Hasseblad is a Swedish company, but with divisions across the globe. This appears to be part of a move to make Hasselblad cameras more accessible for most people. As the press release puts it:

"The new store launch in Japan is the latest move in Hasselblad CEO Dr. Larry Hansen's extensive new investment programme aimed at making it easier for more people across the globe to own a Hasselblad camera. Dr. Hansen said: 'This is a landmark day for us and to celebrate we will be throwing an all-day party at the new store on September 14.'"

The store is located in the Hasselblad Japan offices, and is in one of the most famed fashion neighborhoods in the world. What's interesting is that this seems to be part of Hasselblad's push away from being a brand associated with extremely high-end professional work, and more into a luxury, lifestyle label. The controversial but certainly eye-catching Hasselblad Lunar and Stellar cameras are obviously part of that, and with that in mind, the location in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo makes sense. Japan is also, in general, more accepting of limited edition and fashion piece cameras than many other markets. For example, there was the limited edition white Leica M9-P that went for $31,000, the $2800 Leica X2 Yokohama Edition, and a whole raft of things from Pentax.

If Hasselblad wants to become known more as a luxury brand than the cameras that went to the moon, then selling extremely expensive redesigns of affordable cameras in a fashionable neighborhood could be one way to do it.