Olympus Leaving Camera Business in South Korea Locked

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iano Senior Member • Posts: 1,852
reading tea leaves

whumber wrote:


Olympus plans to exit its camera business in South Korea hit by decreasing sales, focusing instead on optical equipment for medical purposes and scientific equipment, the Korean branch of the Japanese manufacturer said Thursday.

In a statement, Olympus Korea said it will "cease its imaging business in Korea, effective June 30, 2020." Its Brand Store, a store operated by Olympus Korea in southern Seoul, and its online shopping mall E-store will also be closed on the same day.

Looks like there could have been at least some truth to those rumors about Olympus shutting down camera operations from back in November. Hopefully this is just regional but South Korea seems like a pretty major market to be shutting down.

Interesting to consider that Olympus operated a 'brand' store.  In which other countries does Olympus operate a 'brand' store? I do not think even the USA has a 'brand store'?  At first I wondered if Olympus was only moving out of direct sales channels operated by Olympus and would still support retailers, but it does seem Olympus support for retailers in South Korea will also cease.

The fact that there was an Olympus brand store in South Korea suggests that either the market was previously considered important, or that 'brand stores' are particularly important for sales in South Korea.

The anti-Japanese sentiment is also hard to decipher.  What other Japanese branded products have been pulling out of the South Korea market lately? Japanese TVs perhaps, but this has been linked to also pulling out of many other markets, not restricted to South Korea.

There is the argument that the Camera division is needed to either conduct the R&D or help amortise the cost of R&D for the medical imaging.  However if this is really correct then Olympus should adjust their accounts to cross subsidise the Camera division R&D by levies on other divisions reapplying that R&D.  I have seen no footnote within Olympus accounting on this R&D role within the Camera division. Perhaps I have missed it.  As things stand from what I have seen, financial institutions looking at the accounts are going to keep pressing arguments to get out of cameras.

Unless there is a way within the company accounts to separate the any company wide R&D from the camera division, there will be pressures on the camera division.

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