In a bid to realise imaging industry potential in India, Canon India has been expanding its retail outreach across the country with ‘Canon Image Squares’, i.e. CIS. These stores do not just take products to the customers but also aim to give them a holistic input to output experience in imaging before they buy the product. The expansion has taken place nationally, across geographies - from in metros to tier II, III and tier IV cities. Having launched 253 CIS stores so far across 120 cities in India, Canon India has now further consolidated its position in the imaging industry by redefining the concept of retail. In an exclusive conversation with Indianretailer.com, Eddie Udagawa sheds light on the growth strategy of the brand..
How do you see the retail market of digital imagining products is growing in India? Also, what would be the estimated size of canon in the overall market?
The camera business in Indian is primarily ruled by handful brands including Soni, Nikon etc. If we talk about imaging products India has huge potential. However, off late we have seen a growing trend of Smartphones which are enabled with high pixilated cameras which are capable to generate high resolution image. Though, camera as the device is dedicated to images only.
If we talk about the market share Canon holds more than 50% market share.
So are you referring that Smartphones have start creating a disruption in the camera business? Have you also experience overall sale decline due to this trend?
No, not at all! Smartphone can never compete with camera devices when it comes to image quality. Smartphones are primarily used for capturing the quick photos may be because of convenience. Smartphones cameras have its own restrictions, for example, it cannot film moving objects, which is very easy with professional DSLR cameras. High end camera devices are very much in demand and people continue to scout for better products.
If you talk about sales, we have seen a substantial increase in the sales of IDS cameras. There is absolutely no sign decline in sales; however, few models may be obsolete now which were very much in the demand decade back.
Also tell us about your retail distribution and CIS stores? Also, going forward what are the plans to scale up the distribution?
Currently, Canon is using 360 degree channels of distribution including exclusive CIS stores, multi brand outlets and online. If we talk about point of sales, it would be more than 2000 including online and offline.
The current total store count of CIS stands at 253, and by the year end this count should at 280. Though these are franchised stores but these are Canon exclusive stores; hence, it is very important for us. In fact, CIS are our experience stores where focus is on product service and not just retailing.
As far as distribution scale up is concerned, it will be primarily depended upon customer, region and the demand. As the strategy, we will continue to explore all channels equally.
Can you give us sales spilt between online and offline? Which is channel is getting more traction as far as camera sales are concerned?
Well, I cannot give you exact numbers. But, in last couple of years online is generating better traction. However, online is the preferred channel for entry level devices and highend expensive cameras are still largely sold by the offline channel.