Japan earthquake shakes the digital camera market

The earthquake and resultant tsunami that struck Japan on 11th March, have wreaked havoc on the digital camera market, with one assistant in a UK high street store telling a customer that the arrival of a specific camera model could not be guaranteed until August.

From lenses to memory cards, the production of many components for cameras has been affected as manufacturing sites, power and transportation have been disrupted for a number of companies with plants in Japan. This has subsequently affected the supply chain.

Imaging company Nikon, for example, has suspended operation in one plant and several manufacturing sites located in Miyagi Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture because of the quake’s damage to equipment and the buildings.

With the destruction caused by the tsunami, there have also been issues with personnel and Nikon has already paid tribute to one employee, and the safety of three other employees from Natori City have not yet been confirmed.

The company says it is trying to resume operation as early as possible, but is unsure when that will be.

Rival company Canon has also suspended operations at some of its Japanese sites.

The short-term effect of the quake appears to be a shortage of products and stock, as warehouse stock dries up.

Obviously though, for those companies who have sites in other countries, and do not need to rely so much on Japanese parts, it will be easier to resume business as usual.

Depending on how quickly Japan gets its infrastructure back in order, i.e. power plants, roads etc, stock levels will begin to regulate once again. Still, it’s going to be a tough process for Japan and for these companies.

That is just one example of an industry that has been affected by the natural disaster.


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