The conventional wisdom so far seems to have it that overall Black Friday retail sales for 2010 were up only slightly, by .3% (the figure seems to trace back to a Chicago research firm called ShopperTrak). However, online sales were reportedly up by 16% to 19% for the day, depending on who's reporting. ("Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving, when most Americans have a day off, is regarded as the traditional start of the holiday shopping season in the U.S. It usually ranks among the top ten or twelve shopping days of the year.) So people aren't buying more, but they're buying more of what they do buy online.
A big winner in the photography category in 2010, according to PMA Newsline, is Leica Camera AG, which saw sales nearly double from €59.5 million to €110.8 million ($78.8 million to $146.74 million) in the first half of fiscal 2010 compared to the same period in fiscal 2009. "Sales were driven by the Leica M9 rangefinder camera and the Leica S2 professional system," according to the article. Leica's CEO, Alfred Schopf, is quoted saying that Leica has added 30 new manufacturing employees in order to help fulfill its order backlog.
Another winner is Hoya Corp., parent company of Pentax...I think. PMA Newsline says, "Hoya Corp. posted a net profit of 33.9 billion yen (US$842 million), up 139 percent year-on-year, on group total sales of 212.6 billion yen (US$2.62 billion), up 5.4 percent, according to JPEA Photo Electro News." I don't know exactly what that means, because it doesn't specify a sales period—maybe financial people know such things intuitively? (I looked up "year-on-year" and it apparently means a comparison from "the same period" the previous year.) Sounds like good news, anyway.
An apparent loser this year is Olympus, which saw an 80.5% decline in "consolidated net profits" and a 4.2% decline in sales.
The best-selling DSLR continues to be the Canon T2i.
(Thanks to Dean Johnston)
*So where else do you get Stendahl titles with your financial news?
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.