By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The Photo Marketing Association recently pointed to NPD Group data to show a slowing of camera sales in September and a subsequent impact on the photo printing business.
Largely due to the sustained impact of the economic downturn, NPD said overall digital camera sales were down 9 percent in September 2009 compared with the same month last year.
That followed a 17 percent decline in camera sales in August, according to the market research firm.
Year-to-date sales in September were down 13 percent after being up 4 percent in September 2008.
Meanwhile camera resolution levels continue to improve in digital cameras, even compared to last year.
The majority of camera sales in September were of 10 megapixel or higher models, at 87 percent of cameras, according to NPD data.
Only 8 percent of cameras sold were with fewer than 8 megapixels.
In September 2008, 30 percent of cameras sold were 10 megapixels or higher and 22 percent were fewer than 8 megapixels.
The softening of the digital camera market has started to impact photo printing, the PMA said.
According to PMA market research, some printing methods showed declines in July 2009 when compared to previous years.
Meanwhile, overall printing volumes were down 2 percent in September 2009, compared with being up 17 percent in the same month last year, the PMA said.
Online print ordering activity, which has been a strong growth segment, fell 5 percent, compared with 37 percent growth in 2008.
Printing volumes at retail minilabs fell at a rate of 2 percent; printing volumes on kiosks grew by 6 percent in September 2009, PMA said.
In September 2008, printing volumes at retail minilabs and kiosks grew at much higher rates of 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
PMA research showed printing at home was down 4 percent in September, after enjoying a 5 percent increase last July. Other printing methods, including printing at the workplace, were up 23 percent in September 2009.
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