06 January 2009

A dramatic change for Pentax in Scandinavia

An era is coming to an end.
For more than a generation, Fovi A/S has been synonymous with Pentax in Norway. They have been both national distributors and authorised Pentax repair shop. They have also represented an oasis of excellent customer service in a marketplace where sales volume and distance between vendor and customer has been the norm.
Alas, in a new marketing strategy, Pentax in Japan or centrally in Europe has decided to regard all the Nordic countries as one market, and handed the official distribution rights to someone with a scope to match. This also affects the Danish distributor, and the Swedish branch of Pentax has been closed down.
Where Fovi targeted traditional photo retailers and chains, the new scope is directed more towards consumer electronics chain stores. This could be good for market penetration of the brand, but I worry for what else it could bring.
I worry for the availability of the prime lenses, for the accessories like decent flashes and battery grips, and for the high-end zooms. I worry for the level of customer service and the competence (or lack thereof) of the salespeople in the stores and the service departments.
My hope is that Fovi will survive as a gravitational centre for all things Pentax in Norway. They have a unique competence, a well-tended customer base, and outstanding service. I just hope it will be enough to keep a healthy bottom line too. I keep my fingers crossed for these guys, and will buy my stuff there as long as they stay in business.
May that be long.


henning said...

Hi,I thought Aronsen(together with nordic something) was taking over norwegian sales and distribution and after I while also service?
at least that is how I understood digit.no
A 1:1.2 + Katzeye

Alunfoto said...

Hi Henning,

Aronsen will be the executive distributor in Norway. However they will receive their merchanise from FocusTrading in Sweden, if I have understood it correctly from the guys at Fovi.
For all pracitcal purposes, Aronsen has the same business focus as have FocusTrading; which _probably_ means more Pentax in consumer electronics, less in dedicated photo stores. I add "probably" because I sincerely hope to be proven wrong...