Women have saved the camera business from succumbing to the effects of the worldwide recession, claims the head of a Japanese photo industry association.

Sales tactics used by manufacturers which target digital cameras at females are responsible for enabling the trade to survive the global credit crunch, according to Akirou Mitsui, president of the Joint PhotoImaging Enterprises Association International.

Writing in the trade newsletter, Pen News Weekly, Mitsui stated: ‘The sales tactics targeting women are becoming popular in Japan as well. In some cases, sales of a shop increased 50% when it was [marketed] to appeal to female customers.

‘A camera manufacturer aiming at female users offers a DSLR model in 100 colours that customers can freely select and order.’

He added: ‘The world “camera gal” is already in use and camera magazines published for women are in existence. The rise of women in the photo world is already an established social phenomenon and I personally feel with confidence that women will be the saviours in all respects.’

Mitsui’s comments echo those made by the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) last summer.

Mitsui quotes a speech made by the PMA’s director of research Yukihiko Matsumoto about the state of the industry in the United States.

Matsumoto said that for the past three years women overtook men in digital camera purchase and also became the main camera user in the US household.

‘The figures indicated that on all picture-taking occasions women overpower (sic) men, or should we say that women are the mainstay in the photo trade,’ Mitsui added.

‘Further PMA magazines often report? on successful examples of camera stores designed by women, for women customers, that women entrepreneurs run.’