Fujifilm's announced plans to open a ‘concept experience centre’ (aka a big store and product showcase) in London’s Covent Garden this winter. Spread over three floors, the centre is designed to promote the full range Fujifilm’s photography and imaging brands, with lots of chances to get hands on with the products or get creative inspiration. We caught up with Fujifilm UK’s Theo Gheorghiades to find out more.
Why open this now, considering how tough times are on the high street, and the ongoing economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit?
TG: As you can imagine, this was not an overnight decision and we have been planning the new centre for quite some time. Yes the market is tough, both in the camera market and for retail generally, but we want to bolster the Fujifilm brand and show our key strengths to competitors. Also, the economy in London itself is pretty resilient, and it’s a huge tourist destination. The new centre is about brand building but it’s also about educating visitors about Fujifilm and letting them experience our products. It’s feeling like the right time to be doing this.
Is the store aimed at any particular type of customer, eg beginners or general shoppers attracted by the Instax instant camera range or enthusiasts or pros attracted by the medium-format GFX line-up (shown above)?
No, it’s not aimed at a particular demographic, and people can try a lot of different products and services over three floors. There will be something to suit everyone.
Have you got the staff team together yet?
TG: We are still recruiting, but have a manager. Obviously we need to understand the likely footfall and recruit accordingly. I have noticed for example that Covent Garden tends to be quiet in the morning but very busy in the afternoons.
Will there be a camera service and repair centre there, too?
TG: I can’t comment on this now, but all will be revealed in the official announcement, which will also confirm the opening date.