Distributor Hagemeyer Brands Australia will lose its exclusive camera distribution contract with Minolta in April next year, following the recent global merger between Konica and Minolta.
The merged company Konica Minolta Photo Imaging Australia will take over distribution and will establish a new camera division, according to local boss Norihiko Oba in a letter to customers.
'The new division will be headed by David Downie, and operated by staff who will be transferred across from Hagemeyer,' he said.
Michael Touma, CEO Hagemeyer Brands Australia, said it is Hagemeyer's intention to stay a major player in the photographic industry and will look to strike a distribution deal with another manufacturer to plug the hole left by the departure of Konica Minolta. The company still distributes the Polaroid and Maxwell brands. 'We are committed to the category and are actively looking for other opportunities and hope to be able to replace Minolta with another product line,' he said.
Touma said the company had been successful with the brand since it began as an agent in 1992, but the termination was 'out of our control'.
He added that digital and analogue cameras is 'not one of our bigger [market] segments, but it is an important one'.