Retail Revolt Sony Being Pressured To Stop Selling Direct Following Canon Move
A revolt by retailers appears to have pressured Canon to get out of selling direct to consumers, the big question now is whether Sony will do the same in the camera market.
Canon announced it will close its online store and shift its focus back to selling through retail partners with retailers such as Teds and Camera House telling ChannelNews that they are not happy that Sony is not following Canon’s move to stop selling direct via Company web sites.
The Canon online store will officially close on September 30. Promotional codes and discount offer’s, and gifts cards and vouchers will be valid until that date, and purchases made on the Canon Store prior to September 30 will still receive free shipping and qualify for the brand’s 14-day return policy.
The pressure is now on other camera brands to follow Canon’s lead.
“Australia is a small market for cameras and the category is already under pressure from smartphones so we need all the support we can. Sony and Panasonic have been selling direct for a long time and it appears that they are more than happy to pocket the margin they have to pay retailers” said a Camera House Manager.
“He added “Nikon an archrival to Canon and Sony is supporting retailers by not selling direct” a Teds Store Manager said.
“Most of the major camera stores have excellent online sites so there is no reason to sell direct other than pocketing extra margin by not paying retailers” they added.
Canon said that their online store closure would help streamline its efforts to support local retailers that have been hit hard by the drop in spending due to Covid-19.
“The state of the global and local economy is in decline due to limited economic activity caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic,” Canon Australia told Inside Retail in an email. “The impact has seen the contraction of the local camera market accelerate.”
According to the camera giant, its new, narrower focus on retailers will also help consumers “unlock value” in the busy Q2 shopping period, thanks to the robust promotions it plans to roll out between now and the end of the year.
“Canon Australia is committed to delivering the best imaging products and services to Australians, and our new line-up of full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras has already made inroads to lessening the broader effects of the economy in the category,” the company said.
In 2018, the company opened the Canon Experience Centre in Melbourne, a retail store-cum-community hub, where customers can test, try, and buy products and meet up for photography classes and events.
The company will continue to sell products directly to customers at the Canon Experience Centre and at Sun studios locations in Sydney and Melbourne.
Canon products are sold in major electronics and appliances chains, including JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, and Officeworks, as well as specialty retailers, such as Michaels and Ted’s Cameras.