The premium Hasselblad range of medium format cameras and lenses, distributed in Australia for over 40 years by CR Kennedy & Co, is now in the hands of DJI drone retailer, D1.
The change marks the end of an era – the Hasselblad/CRK connection is one of the longest established and most successful independent distributorships in the history of the Australian photographic industry.
From the CR Kennedy website: ‘In 1980, CR Kennedy became distributors for Hasselblad of Sweden, the world’s most prestigious photographic line. In the first year of distribution, we doubled the sales of the previous distributor. In 1986, CR Kennedy (NZ) Ltd was established to service the rapidly expanding New Zealand consumer and industrial markets.’
‘Of course, we are disappointed to hear that CR Kennedy would no longer be distributing one of the industry’s most recognised brands and desirable cameras, the Hasselblad,’ said Paul Shearer, from professional photographic reseller Camerapro.
‘Camerapro will work in conjunction with DI/Joshua Foo and DJI to deliver an immersive experience for the consumer to buy Hasselblad products and continue to develop the market and look forward to the continued growth in the category.
‘I personally take this opportunity to thank CR Kennedy for their incredible support to the industry and Hasselblad,’ he concluded.
Drone market leader, DJI, took a majority stake in Hasselblad in 2017. The change of distributor appears to be DJI’s attempt to consolidate the ‘going to market’ strategy for its two (very different) businesses. DJI itself has not issued any statements about the change, but industry sources have told Inside Imaging that the shift away from traditional Hasselblad distributors is likely to be mirrored in other markets.
D1, ‘the first and only DJI Authorised Retail Store in Australia’ consists of an online store and seven locations in VIC, NSW, QLD and WA. Another outlet is scheduled to open in Chermside, QLD in late July.
Meanwhile, Hasselblad products are no longer listed in CR Kennedy’s extensive imaging products brand portfolio.
At the same time, D1 will attempt to maintain the existing distribution network for Hasselblad in Australia and New Zealand. Current Hasselblad resellers might be nervous if D1’s price matching guarantee for DJI products is also applied to the Hasselblad range.
Joshua didn’t comment when asked whether resellers would continue to enjoy the same margins as under CR Kennedy.
We asked Joshua how D1 would handle repairs service and warranties and he responded ‘D1 will handle all repairs, service and warranties for old and new Hasselblad customers’ without explaining whether cameras would need to be shipped overseas, handled by a third part service centre, or serviced in-house.