The future for retail across multiple industries is being challenged not only by the popularity of online shopping but also by the novel conditions posed by 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic.
While some concepts are getting a bit of reinforcement from major companies (such as Canon’s efforts to bolster retail in Australia), other companies are calling it quits on brick-and-mortar locations.
And last month this was somewhat underlined as Fuji announced it would close its Wonder Photo Shop in one of the areas hardest-hit by the novel coronavirus, New York City.
The official message from Fuji read in part:
“We have decided to close the New York City store permanently, effective September 9, 2020. This unprecedented time in our history has allowed us to re-evaluate the Wonder Photo Shop model and while our New York City store is closing, we will be introducing a new omni-channel shopping experience, led by e-commerce, that will begin to roll-out October 2020. From there we intend to bring a new in-store experience to the US market at some point in 2021.”
They did give fans of the Wonder Photo Shop some glimmers of hope, however, discussing plans for future “initiatives” using the branding and general experience promised by the now-shuttered brick-and-mortar store. That seems to have emerged today as the new online storefront.
Indeed the very mission statement on the website reference the former store in NYC.
“Part of a global chain of locations, FUJIFILM's Wonder Photo Shop in the United States was located in the Flatiron District of New York City from 2016-2020. Now, as an on-line only destination, we are still here to inspire our customers while proving the same high-quality Fujifilm products and a robust catalog of prints + gifts. At Wonder Photo Shop, we believe your photos are meant for more,” it reads in part.
You can check out the new website for yourself by clicking this link here.
What do you think of Fuji’s launch of the Wonder Photo Shop as an online storefront concept? Did you ever visit the physical location in New York City when it was open? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below if you like.
Be sure to check out our other photography news articles on Light Stalking by clicking this link right here.