Appropriate for this back-to-the-future concept, the theme is retro, with a main feature being a large blackboard on a prominent wall that changes regularly offering a variety of ideas and continual customer engagement.
“The whole idea behind the Wonder Photoshop is to get people excited about what they can do with their photos and giving them more ideas,” Fujifilm Australia National Sales Manager, Michaela Lawrence, said.
“A key driver behind getting Wondershop to market was how do we, as Fujifilm, engage the younger demographic and get them excited about them printing out their photos.”
Teenagers to the early 20s age group are a major focus for the concept. “People are taking more photos than they’ve ever taken before,” Lawrence observed. “It’s really about creating excitement and getting people to find new ways to use their photos because Instax has shown us that this younger demographic, especially tweens and teens, really love these printed photos, which is obviously very encouraging for Fujifilm.”
As well as a space to create their own photo works and print their photos through photo ordering kiosks, the vintage-inspired décor showcases a fitout with wooden bookshelves and craft tables.
One of the key things about the concept, which launched in Japan, is having these craft table at the store front which is changed regularly to reflect themes such as Christmas, Summer or Back to School.
“We have a lot of pre-made product and that has been driving sales. They look so inspiring and exciting when you actually see it made up rather than just seeing it in a packet, hanging on the shelf,” Lawrence explained. “So that’s also been key– how we display and how we get the customers to see how they visualise and see how they can create, and then just giving them lots and lots of ideas.”
Crafting sessions are also being considered for the Auburn Harvey Norman location, as these have already proven very successful in Tokyo.
Harvey Norman was the first to see the Wonder PhotoCentre in Tokyo. “We have a very long strategic partnership with Harvey Norman and as part of that partnership we travel to Tokyo twice a year,” Lawrence said. “As soon as they saw it, they just moved very, very quickly because they saw what a great opportunity it was for their business.”
Accompanying the PhotoCentre opening was the launch of the new Instax accessories range, which has been rolled out across Harvey Norman stores nationwide, accompanied by a heavily advertised national marketing campaign.
Inspired by the Wonder PhotoCentre concept, this bundle kit – as it is referred to – comprises a backpack with many decorative pieces including photoprops, photomagnets, photocube holders, a photo decoration kit, an Instax accordion frame and an Instax mint coloured camera.
“We worked with Harvey Norman, which chose a mint (pastel green) as their exclusive colour. So no other customer in the world except for Harvey Norman Australia and New Zealand has this mint camera,” she said.
This excitement around the revitalisation of print photos is also off the back of the huge global movement of crafting, which has seen renewed enthusiasm about making sentimental, personalised products, and having tangible products.
“The Instax bundle that [Harvey Norman] is selling for Christmas that we’ve worked really closely with, represents a lot of fantastic crafting,” Lawrence said.
Following the successful rollout of the concept at Auburn, the Wonder PhotoCentre idea is expected to be rolled out in various Harvey Norman stores in stages. Fujifilm also plan to introduce the concept into other retailers, including some independents, in the coming months as highlighted by Fujifilm COO Dave Marshall at The Digital Show, a recent trade show in Melbourne.
One such independent retailer has been George’s Cameras. As the City of Sydney currently has an initiative in place to help retailers whose trade is being affected by the construction of the Sydney Light Rail network on George Street, the Council is making a pop-up store available to select George Street retailers.
“George’s collaborated with us, so we had a little Wonder PhotoShop presented by George’s in George St in the middle of the city,” Lawrence said. This store was a temporary feature for five days.
A more permanent representation can be seen in similar PhotoCentres being set up in other countries – in The Philippines, China, and soon to be Spain.
Want more Inside Retail? Subscribe to Inside Retail Weekly now and get our premium print publication delivered to your door every week.