From Minnesota with love: Imation CEO energises Australia

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Starting with TV price deflation, when asked if Imation would move into visual products Lucas laughed and said: “Probably not. That’s a tough market place – it’s a grave yard of brands and I don’t want to be the next tombstone.”

That being said, the Imation team is being kept on its toes, keeping track of 538 active SKUs (as of last Friday 12 November 2010), the majority of which Lucas explained have a 6 to 12 month lifecycle.

“It’s a big change for this company because we’re used to dealing with data storage products that have 5 to 10 year product lifecycles, and now we’re down to 6 to 12 months. It’s a big change.”

The change came in 1997 when Imation acquired TDK and Memorex. The move saw the company shift away from data storage and move into the accessories category of consumer electronics.

“Right now consumer electronics and accessories is a key strategic point for us.

“About 70 per cent of our business is retail oriented, 30 per cent of it is business to business. I would say that prior to 2007 that was reversed. So that’s a tremendous change. When we acquired Memcorp, which is another piece of the Memorex name, in 2008, it really catapulted us even more into the consumer electronics area.

“We have three categories: traditional storage, emerging storage and CE and accessories. The last two are growing for us so both of those will become bigger parts of our company as the traditional optical storage declines.”

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