Adeal Pty Ltd hands over distribution for Leica cameras to new entity Leica Camera Australia, from March 31.
The change is part of a worldwide strategy by Leica Germany to ‘in-source’ distribution, with Leica Camera Australia a wholly-owned subsidiary of the parent company.
Ryan Williams, the executive within Adeal who had responsibility for marketing Leica cameras, has been appointed general manager of Leica Camera Australia. Another two Leica specialists have also shifted from Adeal to the new company – both a vote of confidence from Leica Germany in the way Adeal has handled local marketing and distribution, and a move to help ensure a smooth transition.
Leica Australia has set up a warehouse and head office in Lorimer Street, Port Melbourne in preparation for a ‘launch’ on Tuesday, April 2. (March 31 is a Sunday, and perhaps it’s best to avoid anything serious on April Fools Day!) In the meantime, Adeal continues to import Leica products and serve the select Leica specialist network.
‘This was anticipated by Adeal,’ said Gary Pertot, brand manager, Adeal Pty Ltd. ‘It’s a strategy Leica is adopting across the world. The same thing happened in Singapore two years ago.’
He added that Adeal was a little disappointed in the timing of the move, as it comes on the eve of the launch of the new Leica M camera.
‘This will give Adeal a sharper focus on our accessory business. That’s how we provide most value to retailers, and that’s were the margins are. In accessories, Manfrotto and Kata are flagship brands in their own right these days.’
Ryan Williams and his small team will certainly hit the ground running in April, with three new Leica Boutiques to open in Ted’s Cameras, Brisbane, Photo Wholesalers in Adelaide, and PRA Imaging in Perth, joining Michaels in Melbourne and Foto Riesel in Sydney. All the preparatory work for these openings was handled by Adeal in conjunction with the stores and Leica Germany.
‘Then the new Leica M starts shipping in April,’ said Mr Williams. ‘ It launches straight off the bat, which should be exciting.’