Sony's Future. Is it bright?

WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
edited January 2015 in Other Manufacturers
Here is an excerpt from the following newspaper article:

http://business.financialpost.com/2015/01/15/canadas-retail-exodus-heres-whos-closed-up-shop-in-canada/

Sony
— Sony Corp. announced January 15 it’s closing all 14 of its stores in Canada over the next six to eight weeks
— Closures will result in 90 layoffs
— Currently has stores in Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Vancouver, Toronto and Alberta
— Company facing US$1.9 billion loss when its fiscal year ends in March

I would be interested in hearing people's comments on how this bodes for Sony's future.
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Comments

  • calengorcalengor Posts: 277Member
    I think Target announced today they're also pulling out of Canada. The decreasing value of the Canadian dollar probably has more to do with the companies leaving than anything else.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    They are competing against every other supplier which has seen the Canadian dollar decrease. For example, Nikon has increased in price significantly.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,221Member
    edited January 2015
    Sony has had financial issues for some time now, so this is not a surprise. There used to be a Sony Store in my home town and it was always empty, because the prices were always higher than third party sellers of the same products.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    They have to fund the Sony Golf Open in Maui somehow...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,290Moderator
    Are the stores actually owned by Sony? Are you saying that if they are closing it is a sign that the products aren't selling well?

    We have Sony Centres here in the UK and they are AFAIK not owned by Sony, just selling Sony products. They have to compete with huge and specialist shops. I think they sell based on service rather than lowest price but they aren't far off on price. IIRC they deliver and install your system and show you around it.

    Yikes though if it is the case that Sony are struggling, then things are bad because IMHO they are up there with the best/biggest in most areas they compete in.
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2015
    My local Sony Store ( Bristol uk ) closed some time ago
    they would not have owned the store , just a lease
    I certainly would not want to invest in a lot of glass, that only fits Sony Cameras
    Got my finger burnt over Betamax

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,290Moderator
    :D @sevencrossing: Oh, YOU were the person that bought Betamax :D (just kidding - so did I!).
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2015
    I was indeed and have avoided Sony ever since
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 469Member
    edited January 2015
    Sony sold a couple of prime properties last year as well. I think one was the New York HQ building that went for a billion dollars or so. Probably needed the cash.

    The shops are not there to do large sales, just for the "image" . So there goes the image :-) ....

    They eventually did come up with a system ( mirrorless ) that worked but too many changes on the way that left a ton of let down/disappointed DSLR consumers. Soon a shitload of Alpha lenses will be extinct due to the last mount change ( to E ) - not sure how the Alpha DSLT line is going..
    Post edited by Paperman on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    Are the stores actually owned by Sony? Are you saying that if they are closing it is a sign that the products aren't selling well?

    We have Sony Centres here in the UK and they are AFAIK not owned by Sony, just selling Sony products. They have to compete with huge and specialist shops. I think they sell based on service rather than lowest price but they aren't far off on price. IIRC they deliver and install your system and show you around it.

    Yikes though if it is the case that Sony are struggling, then things are bad because IMHO they are up there with the best/biggest in most areas they compete in.
    Sony is the lessor. It is unlikely that a retail concept like Sony would be successful by owning it's own stores, at least in North America and Japan.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited January 2015
    ... In January 2013 Sony announced plans to sell the building [at 550 Madison Avenue] to the Chetrit Group for $1.1 billion -- $685 million more than it had paid for it. Sony would lease back its offices there through at least 2016
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Tower

    They owned the building outright, purchased from AT&T in the 80s. Apparently they saw the opportunity to divest themselves for a tidy profit.

    http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/26/5451012/sony-closing-majority-of-us-retail-stores-by-end-2014
    http://ottawacitizen.com/business/local-business/sony-announces-it-will-close-all-sony-stores-in-canada

    Sony is closing all of its Canadian stores, and all but 11 in the US. (They are keeping the one near me, which is why I didn't notice) They own and operate the stores (but likely lease the land and buildings in most cases). Sony as a company is as strong (or as weak) as they have been, and not going out of business any time soon. The idea of the Sony store was to compete with Apple, but apparently they got too far out over the tips of their skis (Canadian pun intended :) and had to pull back.
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    edited January 2015
    I roll my eyes when companies invest in things that are not core competencies. I am sure they made an accounting profit on Madison. Inflation alone would almost guarantee that. But the opportunity cost of that capital!

    Then running retail stores? That is not a core competency. Sounds like someone at Sony recognized an existential threat for what it is and decided narrow the strategic focus to things that really matter.

    I really wonder if Sony will be in business in ten years.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Considering they have $12.8 Billion (¥1.5 Trillion) in cash, I don't think having $500M tied up in their Madison Ave HQ is that much lost opportunity...but I agree with the rest.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,100Member
    Tom Hogan has suggested that the smaller volume camera companies should stop selling through retail outlets to avoid paying the retailer and only sell on line.......sign of the times...I look in a shop but buy on line ..cheaper
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2015
    ..... suggested that the smaller volume camera companies should stop selling through retail outlets to avoid paying the retailer and only sell online...
    In the UK. Jessops realised people like to touch and feel things, before they buy . They have what is called clicks and bricks . The in store price is the same as the internet price. I think the Manufacturers realise this so they are able to buy a competitive rates

    Is Tom Hogan some sort of God, he often quoted here as if he was
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    If you ever read his site, you will know he is at least a demigod. And when pitted against the likes of KR he looks truly angelic...
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,221Member
    If you ever read his site, you will know he is at least a demigod. And when pitted against the likes of KR he looks truly angelic...
    The biggest difference is that Thom doesn't change his opinion every other second, or based on whichever brand gives him the biggest kickbacks for clicks on his website.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    edited January 2015
    I don't think that Ken Rockwell receives a fair shake on this site. There are often comments that assume he is a villain. Rarely the opposite.

    He serves a market that is different from many of us that have posted on numerous occasions, that is for sure. There are certainly views of his that I don't like. In my opinion, the largest is assuming that everyone fits into his assumed market without being upfront with his bias and/or burying it.

    However, there are readers and even members of this site that do sympathize with his views. I acknowledge that I have learned things from his site. He has also forced me to reconsider my own ideas and perceptions. The fact that I may not have changed my view after such reflection has improved my knowledge. For that, I am thankful to Ken Rockwell.

    Every time we denigrate somebody on this site, we are also denigrating their sympathizers. Many of these sympathizers, enthusiastic or partial, are active members that do not wish to endure the inevitable personal attacks that speaking their mind will entail - not to mention the "-1s". Others are readers that will discount the value that we offer because of our bias. This reduces our credibility and standing in the photography community. I don't think we want that. We are "Nikon Rumours", not "Nikon Rumours that JPEG shooters are losers".

    That is my piece. If this is something that we feel should be debated, perhaps a new thread is more appropriate.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    PS:

    Thom is great. He convinced me to buy RRS right from the start. Well......Golf had a big role to play too.......
  • HammieHammie Posts: 258Member
    I agree with @WestEndFoto that KR serves a purpose (other than many to ridicule). When I first started out, I read his site and learned a few things. I take input from multiple sources, good and bad, before making a decision.

    I feel KR pus some good information up in regards to specs that I find it hard to locate in a simple format such as his.

    I don't think he is as bad as many make him out to be, but I also don't buy into his religiously, either.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    KR is mostly accurate.. unless he outright lies to troll his readers. I rather not want to "filter" thoroughly what I read and second guess the info so I prefer almost all other sites esp Thom's.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,300Member
    edited January 2015
    Interesting. I thought Sony was doing really well, but to see them failing so badly in Canada this comes as a huge surprise. Perhaps this is more of a reflection of the current economic times as some of you have suggested? I also read today about how Target has closed up shop as well. I agree that selling online is definitely the way to go nowadays instead of these large mega-warehouses (ie Costco). Evidence of this can be seen when visiting anybodies camera blog now like Ken Rockwell, Thom Hogan or Steve Huff just to name a few. Their sites are covered with links, and ads for stores like B&H and Adorama etc. Each time you visit these sites these bloggers get paid basically.

    If anything, I am grateful for Sony pushing the envelope with their new cameras so that Canon and Nikon can follow suit and release similar products. Sony has kept the market "honest" so to speak. I have played with a few of their products and found them to be great fun although I will be staying with Leica and Nikon.
    Post edited by kanuck on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,221Member
    I agree that selling online is definitely the way to go nowadays instead of these large mega-warehouses (ie Costco).
    Oddly enough Costco has been the most successful big box retailer in Canada over the last year. It's the Best Buys, Targets and such that are doing poorly.

    Sony Stores didn't do well becomes they didn't offer anything you couldn't get from a third party dealer for less. They tried to copy the Apple Store and it didn't really work, especially since Sony smartphones and tablets haven't been very popular.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,135Member
    Sony hasn't been doing great as a whole, but I do like their cameras. Their TV, phone and camera divisions all are doing not so great.

    I think Sony has the most diversity and choice in terms of camera products, so I hope they stick around.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,290Moderator
    +1 what NSX said, but as I understand it their newest phones are excellent. Personally I am a fan of their stuff and it isn't long since they set a high standard in TV's but maybe the others are much closer nowadays. I don't see too much marketing of their products these days?

    I hope their problem doesn't spread outside of Canada - all players help drive development.
    Always learning.
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