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Happy One Month Birthday!
By Paul McKay
A Reflection on the Launch of Analogue Wonderland
And here we are! Exactly one month ago we opened our virtual doors to a crowd of lovely analogue photographers who have spent the past few weeks exploring the store, buying films, and learning about new brands and emulsions.
In this article we’ll summarise the things that have most surprised us since we launched, and what it means for the future of Analogue Wonderland!
Top 5 Surprising Facts About the Launch of Analogue Wonderland
1. Dubble Films are out-selling Fuji
We have seen really high interest in the creative and independent colour films produced by Dubble, Revolog and KONO! Some of our best-selling B&W 35mms are Kosmo Foto Mono and Japancamerahunter’s Streetpan, and Bretz Contrast was the very first product to sell out on launch morning! This is a great validation of one of our founding beliefs - that analogue photographers want to try films that they might have seen on Emulsive or Instagram, and by pulling them together into one store it makes it easy for people to pick up alongside their “usual” films.
For the future this means we will continue to build sales and relationships with the small suppliers - ensuring that photographers have access to the widest range of films as possible. Over the coming months we expect to launch Silberra, Bergger and Ferrania, as well as a couple of new brands that are only just beginning to establish their manufacturing and online presence. We have high hopes that the numbers of new films coming to market in 2018 will eclipse 2017 - which was itself the best year for over two decades!
2. There is an appetite for format-experimentation
Every couple of days we get questions about large formats and rare formats from photographers keen to expand their horizons (sometime literally!) and learn new skills. While the hidden demand for APS turns out to be genuinely very well-hidden :-) formats like 110 and 4x5 have out-sold our forecasts and we have received multiple requests to expand the range. Similarly we have seen a lot of interest in our “35mm to 120” adapters as photographers look to experiment with different emulsions in medium format cameras than is usually possible.
As a result of this demand we are investigating the best way to expand our product range to bring exciting and high quality new options for photographers, as well as the best way to share knowledge about these products so people can get to good results pretty quickly. If this is you then keep your eyes peeled for upcoming announcements on social media!
3. Pricing mistakes are quickly noticed!
After the first two hours of sales we were thrilled that Acros 120 film had already sold out. We were slightly less thrilled to notice that a pricing error had meant we’d sold them for less than cost…! Not the best business result, but we enjoyed that the accident had meant some of our sharp-eyed early customers had taken advantage of the bargain and got some great-quality film for cheap. Supply of Acros 120 has now dried up across the trade after Fuji stopped manufacturing some months ago, so this might be the only medium format Acros we ever sell!
4. The community is exceptional
This one isn’t actually a surprise. In fact it’s a common observation on social media and forums but it’s always worth repeating. The people who make up the film photography community are welcoming, supportive and will send direct messages to our accounts just to say hi! We love the energy and the friendliness. Please continue with your messages, your photos, your ideas and your orders - Analogue Wonderland is for you and your photography.
5. Instax sales have been relatively low
Despite being the number one, two and three best-selling films on Amazon UK, we have seen comparatively low sales of Instax mini, wide and square. Is it because people who buy Instax are incredibly loyal to Amazon? Is it because 35mm film photographers don’t use Instax (from personal experience - unlikely!) Or have we simply blinded people with all the brilliant 35mm, 120 and APS on offer?! We think it’s the APS...
The team here are very happy to absorb the film into their personal stashes but just in case you’ve been waiting for an invitation to jump on the Instax sales-wagon, please feel free to add some to your next order and help us free up some space!
Thank you for reading our first blog post, and for your ongoing support. It's been a wonderful month; here's to many more in the future!
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