The joining together of Noritsu and Lucidiom is now complete as the two companies shared the same booth at the 2010 PMA. While last year's show produced the announcement of the merger, this year's PMA truly displayed the two companies strength as one.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Yukihiko Chayama, President and CEO, of Noritsu to chat about the company's vision as a new entity interested in offering more of a “total solutions” package moving forward.
Noritsu has spent the better part of the last two years changing its business model, trying to better understand the needs of customers and looking at developing its own software services. Their rollout at PMA spoke directly to this vision and the addition of the Lucidiom product and service portfolio showcased an impressive line-up for retailers who made the trek to Anaheim.
Picture Business & Mobile Lifestyle: How important a part of the retail print equation is the creative photo gift market?
Mr. Chayama: It is where the real profit lies for retailers today. While 85 percent of the this market is still photo prints and only 15 percent is creative products, that 15 percent is responsible for 80 percent of the profits. Our new product portfolio is allowing retailers to realize this profit potential. The D1005, for example, allows retailers to deliver amazing quality, reduce cost and increase the number of consumer products provided in less space, one square meter, than any other dry duplex minilab on the market.
PB&ML: Noritsu has been very active with regard to partnerships in the last year. Can you tell us more about the recent news involving IPI and Sony.
Mr. Chayama: We have announced a printing solution working with IPI and Sony that allows customers to easily and quickly print out their Intelligent Sweep Panorama photos—a feature found on select Sony Cybershot cameras. This created a need for a convenient printing solution that could create the high-quality prints worthy of this new photo format. IPI understood the need and partnered with Noritsu to deliver this solution.
Our vision today is to focus on innovation so new services can be introduced that improve retailer margins and encourage consumer creativity and social expression. Panorama prints can be produced on many of the existing Noritsu machines in operation at IPI member stores and other retailers around the world. Noritsu machines that can produce magnificent panoramic prints include our new D1005. In addition, retailers with the following models in operation can also produce panoramic prints: D703, D701, QSS-37HD, QSS-35PLUS, QSS-35, QSS-34, QSS-32, LPS-24 PRO, dDP-421/621, DP-100.
PB&ML: Consumer awareness remains a key driver with regard to the creative photo product category. What steps is Noritsu/Lucidiom taking to help retailers improve this part of the equation in this market?
Mr. Chayama: We feel strongly that our product portfolio, together with Lucidiom, is bringing solutions to this space that are making it easier and more convenient for consumers to order and create these products. The flexibility of allowing them to create these products at the retail location or to create them at home and send to retail for pick up later should help decrease the high abandonment rates that have existed. We continue to improve the user experience with regard to creating these products as well as expand on the creative possibilities. These factors, along with the increased placement we are enjoying with our products should go along way to helping consumers discover and enjoy these products and services.