This is interesting: Sony is closing its online US store on August 28th!
posted Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 4:30 PM EDT
In an era where many camera makers seem focused on driving more sales directly to their own online stores rather than through dealers, Sony has announced that at 1pm PST on August 28th, its online US store will no longer take orders. Instead of selling products directly, Sony will instead have a ‘new’ and ‘exciting’ product website that will direct consumers to authorized retailers, where you can then purchase your gear.
In an email sent to customers and announcement on its site Sony gave zero reason for the closure. Instead, they simply warned consumers to use up their gift cards for the online store before it makes the switch. Even if you don’t use up your card though, Sony’s FAQ notes that the remaining balance on cards will still be able to be transferred.
Sony also notes in its dedicated FAQ page that all purchases made through August 28th will follow ‘normal return policy’ and all Sony Rewards points will stay intact, even when the site gets shut down.
For more details, check out Sony’s FAQ page.
(We think this is a pretty interesting development. After many years where many manufacturer's online stores seemed to be largely afterthoughts, other major players have in the last year or so been pushing a lot harder to capture consumer sales directly, likely as a way to deal with declining margins and profits in the camera space. So it's intriguing to see Sony heading in the opposite direction. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the market: Will retailers give more emphasis to Sony models, now that Sony's not competing with them for sales? Stay tuned; if there's one thing you can count on in the photo business, it's that it's always changing :-)