Industry group warns of camera shortages

Retailers are being overwhelmed with customer interest in digital cameras, according to the Photo Imaging Council of Australia, an industry group that has warned of mass shortages by Christmas.

PICA has warned that distributors are struggling to handle the demand for digital cameras in the lead up to Christmas.

“Sales of digital cameras in Australia have left even industry insiders gob smacked and that is before the anticipated surge in the final weeks leading up to December 25,” the council said.

The industry body expects that digital cameras will become the single most popular item in Christmas stockings this year. More than 200,000 were expected to be sold in December, bringing total 2003 sales to more than a million.

“Unfortunately, at this stage, Australia cannot increase its allocation of the cameras from overseas manufacturers because those same manufacturers are being overwhelmed by requirements from all parts of the globe,” PICA executive director, Paul Curtis, said.

Last week, ARN reported that shortages in such components as CCDs and memory cards were likely to hamper the opportunity for the IT channel over the Christmas period.

PICA has advised consumers to “buy early”, not only to make sure they get their hands on the right models but also to ensure customer service representatives have the time to teach them about the new devices.

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