What's going on with Olympus in Canada? Anyone working at Oly or in a camera store?

LowriderS10

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Hi everyone,

I know we have quite a few Canadians who I think may find this interesting. I popped into London Drugs the other day to look at cameras and was told that the new owner of Oly requested all Oly stuff to be sent back. Nothing on the shelves or in the back. I called another nearby store, was told the same thing. Apparently (coming from one of the sales associates), Oly will not be selling their stuff in physical stores in Canada and will only be available online. According to him, they'll keep doing physical and online sales in the States. Can anyone who may know more than he did comment on this. Is this true? I think it would be very tough only selling gear online...people like to handle, compare, etc. This is especially true for m4/3 where size, weight, and overall form factor and visual appeal are big selling points.

Anyway...if anyone has more info on this, I would appreciate it!

Have a great day! :)
 

SandyO

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Interesting. I just checked Henry's, Vistek and The Camera Store and they all show lots of inventory for sale in store or online. Maybe they're just shrinking their dealer network. Lots of different manufacturers doing that these days.
 

Replytoken

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I think it would be very tough only selling gear online...
If this is indeed the case, then it would not surprise me. It is much more cost effective for them to sell directly and not need to support a dealer network given the volume of equipment they are selling.

Sorry,

--Ken
 

Replytoken

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Well that would make it harder to view an item before buying. I guess that would reduce some potential sales ?
They could offer a 30-day return privilege. Equipment that is returned could be sold as refurbished after being checked out. Not ideal, but doable. Still cheaper than a dealer network at their current volume.

--Ken
 
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I've bought all of my m4/3 gear on-line (not that I have a lot, anyway). I've never handled anything in a shop (there simply is not that much here where I live, and if there is, often they are not willing to open the case to let you see it (perhaps I need to have a shower more often). So it certainly would not affect any future purchase from my POV.
 

turbodieselvw

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Canada Camera still has Olympus listed on their website. I have the 150-400Pro preordered through them and it indicates that it will not be shipping until at least March
 

4Paul

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I've bought all of my m4/3 gear on-line (not that I have a lot, anyway). I've never handled anything in a shop (there simply is not that much here where I live, and if there is, often they are not willing to open the case to let you see it (perhaps I need to have a shower more often). So it certainly would not affect any future purchase from my POV.
If you timed your future purchases with the infrequent showers, you'd benefit greatly from the '30-day return privilege' by taking your potential purchase under those occasional showers. You'll avoid olfactory issues with sales staff - and the lucky buyer of the refurbished item.
 

RichardC

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It is becoming more and more common for distributors to bypass retailers and sell direct from their own websites and drop ship via FBA.

Wholesaler's margin + retailer's margin = at least twice the profit at your disposal. Sales may dip, however advertising costs will not necessarily be any higher (national distributors usually pay for some if not most of the advertising), no reps to pay (youtube ambassadors are somewhat cheaper), no extended credit to give to retailers, customer pays for the delivery charges. In retail, if you can lower the price, in general terms, you will sell more.

It's quite a competitive advantage over a rival who is trying to maintain a network of dealers in a dwindling market.
 
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It is becoming more and more common for distributors to bypass retailers and sell direct from their own websites and drop ship via FBA.

Wholesaler's margin + retailer's margin = at least twice the profit at your disposal. Sales may dip, however advertising costs will not necessarily be any higher (national distributors usually pay for some if not most of the advertising), no reps to pay (youtube ambassadors are somewhat cheaper), no extended credit to give to retailers, customer pays for the delivery charges. In retail, if you can lower the price, in general terms, you will sell more.

It's quite a competitive advantage over a rival who is trying to maintain a network of dealers in a dwindling market.
I would not be happy if you can only buy from the distributer. See the example below.

The local shop ( All prices in the Netherlands are the same at the large photo shops):
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III systeemcamera Body Zwart
eur 1.679,-

OM Digital Solutions Corporation:
  • Body vanaf (from)
EUR 1.799,00
 

RichardC

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I would not be happy if you can only buy from the distributer. See the example below.

The local shop ( All prices in the Netherlands are the same at the large photo shops):
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III systeemcamera Body Zwart
eur 1.679,-

OM Digital Solutions Corporation:
  • Body vanaf (from)
EUR 1.799,00

The distributor does not usually undercut the dealer network. If they did, the stockists would stop buying.

In my current industry (baby products), these kind of relationships lasted about two-three years - after which time the distributors began to realise that the majority of their product was being sold online. I used to be a stockist for the world no1 brand of maternity breastpumps in the UK, and one of only two retailers carrying a full range of spares and accessories for their feeding products (High Street shops didn't stock the accessories, they only took the high ticket items) .

I woke up one morning and found that my supplier was now my competitor, except my competitor was channelling through their own website and Amazon - and of course, I couldn't compete with that kind of exposure. Dealing 'directly with the manufacturer' is extremely powerful from the point of view of the consumer. They were kind enough to keep referring sales enquiries for things that they either didn't understand or didn't fancy dealing with though. There were two other main brands for this type of product. They adopted the same model within a few months.

That, unfortunately, is an example of what will happen to photo retail. Online selling is a mature industry in developed countries. People are comfortable buying this way. There is no future for bricks-and-mortar-only photographic hardware suppliers - those that have not/will not diversify to a service based business model will die.
 
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LowriderS10

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Thanks for all the feedback! I'm glad to hear it's just LD (although, sadly, where I live LD was the only one who had Oly stuff!).

Personally, I'm not too worried about it...I have bought a lot of Oly stuff online and haven't had any issues. I was more worried about Oly's overall future if it disappeared from stores altogether.

Either way, it sounds like it's just LD, which is fine by me (I bought my E-M5 Mark III from Henry's in Vic anyway...but...they closed...sigh)
 
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The distributor does not usually undercut the dealer network. If they did, the stockists would stop buying.

In my current industry (baby products), these kind of relationships lasted about two-three years - after which time the distributors began to realise that the majority of their product was being sold online. I used to be a stockist for the world no1 brand of maternity breastpumps in the UK, and one of only two retailers carrying a full range of spares and accessories for their feeding products (High Street shops didn't stock the accessories, they only took the high ticket items) .

I woke up one morning and found that my supplier was now my competitor, except my competitor was channelling through their own website and Amazon - and of course, I couldn't compete with that kind of exposure. Dealing 'directly with the manufacturer' is extremely powerful from the point of view of the consumer. They were kind enough to keep referring sales enquiries for things that they either didn't understand or didn't fancy dealing with though. There were two other main brands for this type of product. They adopted the same model within a few months.

That, unfortunately, is an example of what will happen to photo retail. Online selling is a mature industry in developed countries. People are comfortable buying this way. There is no future for bricks-and-mortar-only photographic hardware suppliers - those that have not/will not diversify to a service based business model will die.

And as online matures, reliance of preview and review sites for initial exposure becomes more important (influencers, etc.), verifiable customer reviews (still a weak spot...gamed), and free shipping and returns make the market.

We've been here before. Pre-WW2 almost 50% of chattel goods were sold via catalogue mail order. Even houses could be purchased this way. Magazines and newspapers were the previews and used credibility checks and high advertising costs to weed out predatory ads, etc. It wasn’t perfect, but it functioned.

That said, brick and mortar isn’t entirely done. A great many items need tactile and in-person service still receives top marks. The photo industry is just too small to carry.
 
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Thanks for all the feedback! I'm glad to hear it's just LD (although, sadly, where I live LD was the only one who had Oly stuff!).

Personally, I'm not too worried about it...I have bought a lot of Oly stuff online and haven't had any issues. I was more worried about Oly's overall future if it disappeared from stores altogether.

Either way, it sounds like it's just LD, which is fine by me (I bought my E-M5 Mark III from Henry's in Vic anyway...but...they closed...sigh)

Oh! You're in #yyj too! Hail fellow islander!
 

jdcope

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Hi everyone,

I know we have quite a few Canadians who I think may find this interesting. I popped into London Drugs the other day to look at cameras and was told that the new owner of Oly requested all Oly stuff to be sent back. Nothing on the shelves or in the back. I called another nearby store, was told the same thing. Apparently (coming from one of the sales associates), Oly will not be selling their stuff in physical stores in Canada and will only be available online. According to him, they'll keep doing physical and online sales in the States. Can anyone who may know more than he did comment on this. Is this true? I think it would be very tough only selling gear online...people like to handle, compare, etc. This is especially true for m4/3 where size, weight, and overall form factor and visual appeal are big selling points.

Anyway...if anyone has more info on this, I would appreciate it!

Have a great day! :)

Im just one guy, and I am in the US, but I dont think selling online would be that tough. Not any more. Lots of people prefer online.
None of my camera gear was purchased in a physical store. On top of that, its hard to find m43 gear in stores. At least here. I only know of one camera store in my area that even sells m43 gear.
 

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