Pentax distribution system, Russian style.

Started Jun 9, 2009 | Discussions thread
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managger Forum Member • Posts: 54
Pentax distribution system, Russian style.

During last 15 years Pentax products was always more expensive in Russia than the other brands. Since the beginning of 2009 all Pentax products became dramatically very expensive in Russia. Our Pentax distribution system is the same as in many other countries for the first look. We have only one exclusive distributor – Pentar Co, situated in St. Petersburg, and several dealers. This only one distributor do not owned by Hoya/Pentax (Japan) of course, and this company participate in retail by themselves. And they have money from wholesale too – if some dealer will work without Pentar Co – consumer will have no 2 year official warranty. Everybody in Russia do in another way: they have no exclusive distributors – they have only office in Moscow, the capital of our country, and do not participate in retail. They works only with dealers, as an advertising and support managers, not as wholesale traders.

For example, in March 2007 Samsung GX-10 costs me nearly 30 percent chipper than I can buy Pentax K10D. All over the world this cameras costs equal. And Samsung GX-20 all over the world costs equal to Pentax K20D, but I must pay 30 percent more for Pentax camera in Russia in April 2008. Nowadays if I want to proceed further upgrade for Pentax K-7, I must pay nearly 2000 USD for Pentar Co – my local distributor, and guys in USA will pay 1300 USD for Pentax Imaging Co – their local distributor. We can check price level in stores like Adorama or B&H – price is the same – 1300 USD for K-7 body.

Examples of prices for lenses will shock you little bit more. In April 2009 at Moscow FotoForum I’ve tested DA* 55/1.4 and DA* 60-250/4 – excellent lenses from my point of view. Let have a look for some B&H current prices: 55/1,4 – 650 USD, 77/1,8 – 700 USD, 31/1,8 – 890 USD, 60-250/4 – 1300 USD. Let have a look for some Pentar Co current prices: 55/1,4 – 1250 USD, 77/1,8 – 1500 USD, 31/1,8 – 1950 USD, 60-250/4 – 2500 USD. Ladies and gentlemen, Russian’s are not rich more than two times than American’s. Of course I've checked my papers and have found, that 3 years ago when Pentar Co had sold to me 77/1,8 for 840 USD and 31/1,8 for 1080 USD – it was more or less acceptable. But now – it is agony of normal business.

I think that everything is very simple. Because of terrible prices, more and more people do not choose Pentax as a photo system. And after world finance crisis sales decreased; therefore Pentar Co dramatically increased profit on every unit of photo gear to cover their fixed costs. But nobody in Hoya/Pentax (Japan) doing something to cover end users, they can only post a press-release on dpreview with recommended price of 1300 USD. Pentar Co is like a monopolist pirate on our market. The problem is, that Canon 5D is costs nearly 2000 USD in Russia, new in box from the stock of course. Only fanatic will buy Pentax K-7 in such situation.

I’m not a poorest man in the world, and have a lot of photo gear from Pentax and from other brands, but nowadays I don’t want to work with Hoya. I can not even imagine, how much Russian distributor will ask for 645D kit – 9999 USD is only my dream, though many gays in the world will be great guests in Pentax for paying such money. If situation will not change in nearest future, my strategy will be simple – to sale as more Pentax gear as people can buy, and not return to this system, until Japan guys in Hoya understands that they will have no my money not because their products are bad, but because they can not control anything and can not trade using modern distribution system.

First question. I heard, that in United Kingdom the situation is similar. In what other countries domestic distributors are out of control?

Second question. I don’t think, that in Hoya/Pentax (Japan) nobody knows about terrible local price policy in different regions. But I’m really think, that this is the reason of sales decreasing, because not all the people are fanatics of brand, average consumer will not choose Pentax DSLR and lenses, if it is overpriced. Who can do something to solve the problem?

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All words are IMHO.

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