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Digicam Retail Placements Face Spring Shrink: Gap

SAN DIEGO — Retail placements of digital cameras are experiencing a predictable spring reduction, according to research firm Gap Intelligence, with the loss of TigerDirect helping the drag down.

Although this year’s spring refresh got off to good start, surpassing the 2014 activity during January and early February, at the end of March, new placement activity in the channel dropped 29.8 percent (73 new placements vs. 104). Gap noted the decrease falls in line with the 31.6 percent decline seen between March 2014 and 2013 (104 new placements vs. 152).

During the 2014 spring refresh, activity was reduced by an average of 40 percent vs. the 2013 refresh activity. The 2014 spring retail refresh for digital cameras was milder and somewhat delayed when compared with 2013, as retailers showed a level of hesitation in adding cameras, and key accounts such as Target and Walmart allowed more time to elapse before filling their shelves back up, said Gap.

Because of this similarity, Gap forecast a 35 percent to 40 percent reduction in digital camera activity at the end of the 2015 spring refresh vs. 2014. “Contributing to this expected decline is the loss of TigerDirect stores, which contributed 5 percent to 2014’s refresh, as well as the unsure future of the [office super store] channel’s involvement in selling digital cameras,” said Gap.

Vendors 26 percent reduction in product launches during the first months of 2015 stands to greatly affect the variety of digital cameras offered in the retail channel, it added.

The chart above shows trended retail placements during the first half of the year for 2013, 2014 and through March 30, 2015. The chart only shows items that were newly added into the retail channel during the first months of each year; a “retail placement” is defined as one unique camera at one unique account.