Are Fujifilm’s stock shortages intentional?

If you wanted to pick up a Fujifilm camera or lens recently, you might have found stock hard to track down. This situation has been going on for some time and some people have begun to ask if this is a deliberate strategy. Fujifilm posted its latest financial results back in May 2024. However, Fuji Rumors recently highlighted some of the comments made during Fujifilm’s corporate presentation of the results.

Fujifilm’s financial results

Teiichi Goto, President and CEO, Representative Director of Fujifilm Holdings responded to a number of questions during the presentation. In particular, Mr. Shimamoto of Okasan Securities, asked, “Although your company performed well from January to March, there were some companies, such as Canon, whose performance was difficult due to inventory adjustments. In your camera business, is there any change in the inventory adjustment and market for digital cameras and INSTAX, respectively, this year? I think you have a reasonably strong plan. Can you tell us about your current situation?”

Goto began his answer by stating that Fujifilm had achieved very good results in 2023. He then went on to say, “The most important point is how much brand strength to create and how to maintain it. Therefore, it would be quite unfortunate to manufacture too much and lower the price. What Fujifilm has been trying to do for a long time is finally coming true now. One is a camera with features. The GFX series, for example, is equipped with the world’s largest CMOS and has earned tremendous trust from professional users and advanced amateurs. The price is quite high, but customers are still waiting for backorders. The lenses accompanying them are also selling well.”

Goto went on to say, “We intend to drive the entire imaging business, including INSTAX, while concentrating on building brand strength and not reducing the value of the properties purchased by our customers. For example, as I say internally, Leica, a well‐known German manufacturer, still maintains a very high value for both their old cameras and the cameras they sell now, and this is our goal. Our goal with mirrorless cameras is to fundamentally change the way Fujifilm has sold cameras in the past.”

What was the concern?

Fuji Rumors drew attention to Goto’s comment that “it would be quite unfortunate to manufacture too much and lower the price.” The website also highlighted Shimamoto’s subsequent question, “Let me confirm one point. Is the inventory situation normal?” In response to this, Goto simply replied, “Yes.” In addition, Fuji Rumors shared a comment from the Japanese digicame-info website. That site posted, “So are you [Fujifilm] intentionally narrowing down the supply of products for that goal [keep prices high]?”

Out of stock

Fuji Rumors disputed Goto’s claim that Fujifilm’s stock levels were normal. The website accepted that preorders for the Fujifilm X100VI were so high that all camera manufacturers would have struggled to meet demand. However, Fuji Rumors listed the Fujinon XF27mm F2.8 lens, the Fujifilm X-E4, and the Fujifilm X-T5 as products that were hard to find. In addition, the website reported that every single Fujifilm X and GFX camera was out of stock at the Japanese Fujifilm store.

PetaPixel contacted Fujifilm to ask whether the company’s stock shortages were part of a marketing strategy. However, Fujifilm’s response was a definitive, “No.” The company went on to say, “Our marketing strategy is to showcase the innovation behind our lineup of digital cameras and lenses to provide creators with a variety of options so they can choose the right tools for their craft.” In addition, PetaPixel confirmed that Fujifilm is making 15,000 X100VI cameras a month to catch up with demand.

What we think

It’s been clear that Fujifilm has been struggling to meet demand for some products for a while. When you add in the comments about inventory levels from Teiichi Goto, it’s no surprise that some people began to wonder if the stock shortages were a deliberate strategy. However, it seems that Fujifilm is doing its best to meet demand.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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