Memory vendor SanDisk is taking its digital camera flash memory cards to the retail mass merchant channel for the first time with the news that it has signed a distribution deal with Big W.
The national deal will see SanDisk's Shoot & Store flash memory cards sold in 110 Big W stores. The product line includes 32MB and 64 MB memory cards in Compact Flash and Secure Digital formats. They will be marketed in packs of 50 picture or 100 picture cards.
SanDisk's Australian distributor, VME Systems, struck the deal with Big W and is involved in discussions with other mass merchants, said sales and marketing manager Trudy Forster.
“With SanDisk's initiative to provide wider distribution of digital film at lower prices, we are likely to see a broadening of the marketplace, which can only serve to fuel further growth in photography,” said VME Systems managing director Michael Hornsby.
The expansion beyond SanDisk's traditional channel of around 2000 photo specialists came at a time when digital cameras had become mass market products, said Forster.
With about two million digital cameras expected to be sold in Australia this year, and the drop in the price of two and three megapixel cameras, the market was ready for a price-pointed memory offering through retail, she said.
SanDisk was expecting to expand beyond its Australian market share of between 30 and 35 percent with the move into mass merchant retail, said Forster.
But the move into mass merchants such as Big W did not signal a decrease in the importance of SanDisk's traditional channel of photo specialists, said Forster.
While the Shoot & Store line would be sold through mass merchants and convenience stores, the traditional channel would retain the higher end products, she said.
“Particularly for our high capacity prosumer and pro photography products, those cards will always be driven by high end photo specialists.”