By Claire Reilly

C.R. Kennedy has expanded its Australian operations, with the company picking up distribution of the Hoya and Black Rapid digital imaging accessory brands. To support the new acquisitions and C.R. Kennedy’s recent growth, the distributor has also made two appointments to its local team.

Affective as of 1 September 2013, the new agreements will see C.R. Kennedy distributing specialty lens filters from Japanese optical glass manufacturer Hoya, as well as camera bags and straps from Black Rapid. Both brands will join the likes of Pentax, Ricoh and Sandisk in the C.R. Kennedy stable.

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C.R. Kennedy director Clem Kennedy said the addition of the two brands to the distributor’s portfolio was good for consumers and retailers alike.

“In line with increased demand for more technical interchangeable lens system cameras and DSLRs, the number of camera users that identify as enthusiasts is growing,” said Kennedy. “This audience is always looking for products which help them extend their creativity and achieve greater results.

“While this market trend creates significant growth opportunities for the right accessory brands, retailers also benefit through add-on sales opportunities which deliver good margins.”

“With the addition of Hoya and Black Rapid, C.R. Kennedy now distributes leading brands in every imaging products category. Retailers seeking to simplify their supply chain can work with us, confident in the knowledge that they’ll be supported by first-rate service, efficient logistics and pricing models that don’t put them at immediate disadvantage to overseas and grey market competitors.”

With these new brand distribution arrangements comes news that C.R. Kennedy has also appointed new accounts and sales managers.

Joining C.R. Kennedy’s Melbourne office from photographic distributor Adeal, and bringing over 25 years’ experience in the industry, Mark Cummins has been appointed as the company’s new national and key accounts manager. Also coming over from Adeal, Andrew Waddington has joined C.R. Kennedy’s Perth team as Western Australia major accounts sales executive.