Today I received an e-mail from Fuji Film Ireland that there will be a trade price increase of 20% on all the Fuji films, effective from 1st August.
Further to FUJIFILM Tokyo’s World Wide announcement last Friday (24th June), I would like to explain the reason why FUJIFILM Ireland must announce the following price increases effective 1st August 2011.
The main reason for the following increases is due to the consistent increase in the cost of silver (+106% in the last 18 months). FUJIFILM have absorbed most of these costs up to now, but unfortunately we cannot sustain these increases any further, without passing on some of the increased costs.
The film market in Ireland is already shrinking, for example our own sales of film were down 17% for the first six months this year compared to the same period in 2010. ( c-41 processing is down 37%)
Now I know that the Irish market is very small, we only have a population of 4.5m and my local catchment is 65,000, and while this is not a clear indicator of the overall picture, it does not look well for film nationally.
The price increase will have to be passed on to the customer, who will in turn try and find alternative sources (ie: on line) or else give up on film.
Already this year the main Kodak and Ilford distributor in Ireland went into administration. Two years ago there were 3 one hour labs town, now I am the only one, and over those 2 years the numbers of film for processing has kept declining.
The only area of growth has been sales of black & white film and processing but at an average of 4-5 units a month it hasn't a big effect on the bottom line.
Our biggest income is from digital print sales (RA4) but I like film and would like to keep providing the service and stock for the few film customers that are out there.
I did a simple survey on our film customers, both film sales and processing, and the age group most interested in film is the 20's. Most older customers are glad to get away from film, although a few have said they rediscovered film and are enjoying it. The number of Lomography film we process has increased and while a year a go we did no cross processing now we do it as often as we process b&w, and it's all Lomochrome film.
I don't want this to appear like a film is dead thread, or the end is near, but I would like to hear your opinion on what it is like in your local area.