Michaels Camera changes focus by accepting convergence

By James Wells

MELBOURNE: Melbourne-based Narta member, Michaels Camera, has invited consumer electronics suppliers to help it grow from a standard camera store to a digital imaging and convergence retailer.

Michaels Camera managing director, Peter Michael, told current.com.au that his newly renovated store in Melbourne’s CBD has the capacity for more convergent devices that can sold in addition to imaging products.

“Our prime business is in cameras and videos, but we are looking at products which are complementary as we have much more space to do other things,” Michael said.

“We have started putting in computers to sell a total solution for the consumer that has bought a camera and video camera and wants to start editing. We are now selling mp3 players, which are now really portable storage devices. We did look at plasma, and we didn’t really think that it suited our customer base and our knowledge and skills.

“We are happy to talk to suppliers with any ideas that will complement the modern camera, video and digital store.”

Michaels Camera, which is the second largest camera store in Australia behind Queensland’s Photo Continental in Mount Gravatt, claims to be the largest imaging store in a major metropolitan area in the country and is run by the fifth generation of a family company.

The store, which is located on the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets in Melbourne’s CBD, recently conducted a major renovation to expand into two adjacent buildings increasing its floor space from 8,000 square feet to 24,000 square feet.

Included within the renovation is a camera museum which features over 8,000 cameras, lenses and accessories ranging from wooden cameras manufactured in the 1800s to the first commercially released digital camera in 1985.

Michaels chairman, Alan Michael, started collecting cameras over 50 years ago by purchasing existing collections, keeping trade-ins and making purchases from auction houses worldwide.

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