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05-04-2013, 06:26 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Frankly they must not really care what a few frequent posters on an internet Forum think or they wouldn't have done this a third time.
A moment ago you said it was all Americans and now it's just a "few frequent posters". Which is it?

05-04-2013, 06:31 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrickw Quote
A moment ago you said it was all Americans and now it's just a "few frequent posters". Which is it?
WAAA WAA WAA.

Guess you can't read sarcasm.

I'm done here.
05-05-2013, 09:44 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by lukulele Quote
A question. Did Mr. Malcom's abandonment of owner info calls signal/symbolize/anticipate/avoid the amount of flak that has hit the fan?
No, it was useless to continue and receive the same kind of feedback as in the previous calls. So, it's time for the next phases - talk with different people (ex-Pentax owners, for example) and get different feedback.

About lens prices, the most plausible theory seems to be controlling the sales - promote some lenses, slow down others. Why would they do that, I don't know. Maybe - and I'm guessing here - some of the lenses with increased prices are due to replacement, but not soon, and they want to "stretch" the stocks to last. It's just a feeling, but I think new versions of those lenses - mind you, not identical replacements - will be needed; at least 2 of them could be in the lens roadmap.
05-05-2013, 10:25 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
All that and Pentax still has single digit market share...obviously there's markets outside of Japan where pentax must not be doing so hot.
Thank you. And I would add, loosing market share outside the Home Islands. If Pentax-Ricoh wants to be a Japan-only exclusive brand it sure feels like they are making all the right moves to achieve that goal.

05-05-2013, 10:27 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
So PRI-ROTW should give us a better deal just because we're .... Americans?

And actually, some advertised (i.e. internet posted) lens prices were raised between 18% and 50%, while others were reduced by 9% and 23%. As I have surmised before, I think this is inventory management in front of some new product releases.

Frankly they must not really care what a few frequent posters on an internet Forum think or they wouldn't have done this a third time.
Ah, which lenses were reduced? None I can see. The 16-45, among others, was raised, in order to offer a rebate back to its starting point. I dislike Yo-Yos and I dislike unpredictable companies. Most of all I dislike drastic price increases on items. Oh, and on the list of price increases no one seems to have added the Q lineup. The 06 shot up too, but that appears to have flown under the radar.
05-05-2013, 11:09 AM - 3 Likes   #66
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Reading years of laments on this Forum I gather there are two lines of complaint
  1. Those against Pentax the manufacturer and its product shortcomings
  2. Those against Pentax Ricoh Americas Corp.and its handling of marketing the brand in the US
Many have said they want PRAC to do at least the following:

  • Advertise
    • Television
    • Paper Media
    • Online
  • Build a more robust relationship with the Online review community
    • Which takes an investment of time, and will require someone do that instead of something else (or hire to do it)
    • Which requires expensive Full-Time employees
  • Place physical cameras in the market that can be handled (B&M Stores)
    • B&M stores require service by Rep's
      • Rep's earn commissions
      • Rep's have fixed benefit costs like Social Security and ObamaCare
      • Rep's have travel expenses
    • B&M Stores require Support
      • Salesman Training (by the Rep
      • Traffic-generating "Events"
      • Take-Back support
      • In-Store Display support
      • Co-Op advertising support
      • Brand Swag and other gives-away
    • B&M Stores require Dealer Credit Arrangements
      • which are an expense and a risk to PRAC *see Nikon / Ritz Camera
    • B&M Stores require Direct Purchase Agreements
      • At minimum annual volumes that reflect the current environment
      • Which require expensive full-time employees at HQ to track and account
    • B&M Stores require Store Demonstrators
  • Deliver better Telephone Customer Service
    • Which should be brought back In-House for QC
      • Which requires expensive Full-Time employees
  • Deliver better, more up-to-date Website
    • Which should be brought back In-House for QC
      • Which requires expensive Full-Time employees
  • Deliver better, more comprehensive Webstore stocking all Pentax items
    • Which requires Inventory investment
    • Which requires Warehouse space
    • Which requires at least some voice Order-Taking capacity
      • Which requires expensive Full-Time employees
    • Which requires Packing and Shipping capability
      • Which requires expensive Full-Tinme employees
  • Deliver better Repair Service arrangement
    • Which should be brought back In-House for QC
      • Which requires expensive Full-Time employees
  • Deliver more "Customer Affinity Events"
    • Which require Rep's or Trained Demonstrators
      • Which requires expensive Full-Time employees or contract hires
These are just a few things I can think of off the top of my head. I know many here don't need any of these things and are content to buy online without seeing anything first. But these are the sanme people who want a FF and accessories and TC's and third-party lenses in K-mount and all the other things that by definition require more volume and a higher market share.


So I ask you to show me


Where is Jim Malcolm supposed to get the money to do all those things and more over the next 3 - 5 years, to make Pentax once again a full-line, competitive dSLR Brand, without raising the PRAC profit on the lenses he buys from Pentax Japan? His only option is to raise the prices to the level they should have been the entire time Ned Bunnel was blogging Leica and abusing Pentax in the USA. Pentax is perceived in the market as "cheap," like a Japanese car was 40 years ago, because low price is associated with low quality.

So tell me, instead of complaining, tell me how to fix this brand.
And if you want to assign blame, assign it to Ned Bunnell.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-05-2013 at 07:28 PM.
05-05-2013, 12:26 PM   #67
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Well, I had run some numbers from Ricoh's stock performance charts over the past two and a half years but this forum logged me out and I lost it all. Should have used MSWord, then pasted, I know. The actual, real-world, hard numbers are interesting and, I believe, very insightful; I encourage anyone with a real interest to seek them out.

The long and short of it is Ricoh stock had high of somewhere in the mid-60s (had the exact number written in a text box just like this one a few minutes ago, thanks PF) over two years ago and it dropped to the mid-30s just before acquiring Pentax. Immediately after the acquisition stock went up (had the exact number but not anymore) but dipped again, although not to previous the depth. They have still not returned to their previous high. Stock numbers took a hit again last year when Pentax prices were raised but have since slowly but steadily increased to their highest in over two years but, again, still not as high as they once were. At the end of trading this past week their stock took a another dip, however slight. Trading over the next few weeks will be interesting.

I don't put any stock (pun intended) into what anyone says outside a boardroom, most certainly when said to someone unaffiliated with the company; the numbers are the numbers and Ricoh's numbers have been dicey for over two years. The people in the boardroom are running a global Fortune 500 company. We want to take great pix. They have other interests more pressing than taking pretty pictures. We want our affordable lenses back. They want their stock performance back.

I imagine if one looks at Ricoh's other subsidiaries over the past two years there will be similar behavior that seems at odds with so-called common sense (the key word being "common"). Ricoh is doing everything and anything it can to return it's stock to the levels of over two years ago.

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 05-05-2013 at 12:47 PM.
05-05-2013, 12:57 PM   #68
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Ricoh purcahsed US copier maker Ikon Office Solutions in October, 2008 for $1.6B - the largest purchase they had ever made. Their FY 03/2011 was, as a result, their first losing year since becoming a public company, and they embarked on a restructuring and cost-management program that is slated to last through 03/2014 (the stock rose dramatically from 08/2012 - 03/2013).

But that doesn't answer my question. Pentax Ricoh Americas, Company is a division of Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company, Ltd., owned by Ricoh Corp, the 278th largest company in the world.

My question is, given the clear desires of many Pentax users to enjoy the benefits of a full-service camera company in the United States, exactly what should Jim Malcolm do to repair the brand in the Americas and build the services we desire?

My suggestion is - raise lens and camera prices to the level commensurate with their quality that they should have held throughout the Hoya / Bunnell administration. Use the increased profit margin to build out the desired services.

What's yours?

05-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
(the stock rose dramatically from 08/2012 - 03/2013).
That's still 30 points below where they were about three years ago so they're still in recovery mode. All this wonderment about price increases can be assuaged by looking at the numbers which are, to me, an indication of a company still struggling, seemingly flailing, to recover from huge losses that are still haunting them.

http://finance.yahoo.com/charts?s=RICOY#symbol=ricoy;range=20100401,20130401...rce=undefined;

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
My suggestion is - raise lens and camera prices to the level commensurate with their quality that they should have held throughout the Hoya / Bunnell administration. Use the increased profit margin to build out the desired services.

What's yours?

Using the money spent on building watches to mitigate the need to raise prices would be a tiny step in the right direction. Or maybe that's their version of a bake sale in order to raise funds, build a cheap branded watch and sell it for more than it's worth. Hmmm, then extend that pricing strategy to..

Seriously, I don't have any suggestions and my snark is mostly in jest. Snark is the new irony. I can't imagine anyone in the Ricoh boardroom thinking that opinions on a forum, mine especially, are of any significance whatsoever. I'm nothing to those people.

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 05-05-2013 at 03:15 PM.
05-05-2013, 03:14 PM   #70
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Selling great looking watches is a way to get the brand name out there without all that support structure that Mono' was talking about. I think the watches are a brilliant idea also because they highlight the engineering/style possibilities of the brands. If the cameras looked anything line those watches they'd sell a boat load a week.
05-05-2013, 03:19 PM   #71
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Pentax could take over a segment of the market that would outsell everything if they released a B&W camera with no Bayer filter. The Bayer filter rejects 2/3 of the incoming light for starters and lowers the resolution of the image. A dedicated B&W camera (APS-C 16MP to 24MP) would be a killer. A B&W Ricoh GR or MXD maybe? Just one unique product like that with superior resolution could become a really big seller.
05-05-2013, 03:29 PM   #72
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Neither watches nor Ricoh's stock price (which has nothing to do with anything) have one iota of anything to do with Pentax Ricoh Americas Corp and how Jim Malcolm rebiuilds the Pentax brand identity and presence in the United States. Snark is fun and cheap on an internet Forum but it adds nothing and is an acid that strips whatever momentum has built.

I know. You're already typing, "The price increases stopped the momentum." Maybe - but what differently should he do?

Stop complaining. Or go ahead and complain if you must. But show me ideas that are better than what Jim is already doing.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-05-2013 at 03:43 PM.
05-05-2013, 03:29 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
So PRI-ROTW should give us a better deal just because we're .... Americans?
Yes, they should. Most successful international companies do because we're the biggest consumer market. But if Pentax got no market share in the biggest market and doesn't want to increase market share or sales, they charge what ever they want.
05-05-2013, 03:34 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrbrightside Quote
Yes, they should. Most successful international companies do because we're the biggest consumer market. But if Pentax got no market share in the biggest market and doesn't want to increase market share or sales, they charge what ever they want.
Please do tell me.

Which successful International companies give USA better deals than ROTW just because we're Americans? Honda? Toyota? Nikon? Curious minds want to know!!

And you might want to visit Beijing or Hong Kong before you make such claims about consumer markets, post 2008.
05-05-2013, 03:42 PM   #75
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I'm sure you can look it up yourself. Just google why things are cheaper in the US.
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