The Western European photo-merchandise market, which includes personalised calendars, wall d้cor, greetings cards and single image gifts, continues to make gains with consumers, on track to grow by 11% this year to hit sales of close to 470m, according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting.
"Within Western Europe, Germany dominates most photo-merchandise segments. Accounting for 127 million of market value it's the largest in the region" says Joanna Wright, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource. "Photo-cards are the exception, where the UK continues to lead the charge and follows Germany as the second largest photo-merchandise market overall, witnessing 35% growth and reaching nearly 70 million."
Market growth has varied significantly across all segments and countries, with wall d้cor - in particular canvas print - and photo-cards pushing through with shares of 80% and 50% respectively in some European countries.
"This growth has been fuelled by increased services offered to consumers and a number of highly effective marketing activities, including promotional offers and prominent TV campaigns," says Wright. "In 2011 the canvas print market is expected to grow a further 32%, reaching 23 million.
"Photobox's recent acquisition of Moonpig has really consolidated the UK market and provided a significant competitive advantage, emerging as a direct result of the two brands combined having a majority share of the photo-card market in 2010.
"While growth for some segments remains constant throughout the year, specific market segments like calendars and photo-cards remain purely seasonal products, with more than 90% of calendar sales and nearly 60% of photo-card sales experienced in the lead up to Christmas."
Competitively, the photo-merchandise market remains highly fragmented with a mixture of traditional photo brands, commercial print houses and photo-merchandise specialists. In terms of the position of photo-merchandise producers in Western Europe, CeWe Color leads each segment, except posters where Fujifilm is the most dominant player.
Online Mail Order is the leading sales channel accounting for more than 84% of sales. However across Western Europe this figure varies significantly by both country and product. With some of the leading UK retailers starting to roll out in-store merchandise equipment, we could see strong growth for in-store channels in the UK market this year and into 2012.
"It is also important to consider the notable shift in Southern Europe, away from online ordering," says Wright,"with 62% of single image gifts taking the Order-in-Store approach in the Spanish market.
Moving forward, the outlook for the photo-merchandise market is positive outlook, with value expected to rise at a steady rate through to 2014. There are many opportunities for key players to contribute to future market growth, and to do this they must focus on the innovation of new products, fresh content designs and strong and targeted marketing activity.
Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments.
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