Canon has appointed Renaissance as a distributor for its laser and inkjet printers, consumables and digital compact cameras.
It’s a move described by Canon sales and marketing manager Craig Manson as a tidy-up. He says, “It allows us to focus more on marketing and sales while our distribution partners can get on with what they do well.”
Renaissance’s appointment means Canon will no longer deal directly with more than 200 dealers currently on its books; they will now be directed to the new distributor.
Under the new arrangements, Dove and IT Wholesale will become sub-distributors able to buy from either Renaissance or Ingram.
Manson says Canon will continue to sell direct to the large retailers.
Canon is no stranger to Renaissance, managing director Paul Johnson says. “We’ve worked together through Red [Renaissance Education Division] and through the Apple side of the business.”
However, working alongside another distributor is something of a departure for Renaissance, which is known to prefer exclusivity. “Our model is primarily exclusive distribution, but we also take on ranges of products that will be complementary or where we can see true value add,” Johnston says.
Both companies see a good fit between Canon and Apple, Renaissance’s signature brand. Although the two companies often partner with each other in markets around the world, Manson says Canon doesn’t have a formal relationship with Apple. However, he adds, “Just about everything the company sells has Macintosh drivers.” He sees a huge potential for bundling products from the two brands.
So does Johnston. “Apple hasn’t had printers in the market for a number of years and that’s an area we’ll be driving very hard through resellers but also arrangements with other mass merchants,” he says. “Canon is already very strong in a number of mass merchants.”
Renaissance says the channel that works with its PC builder subsidiary, Insite Technology, will also be a significant path to market for Canon.
Renaissance’s existing relationships with Sony and Epson have been affected by the Canon deal. Paul Johnston says Renaissance’s distribution contracts with Sony and Epson have finished, though he says the Apple division will still work with Epson.
“If you’re directly replacing one relationship with another then you’d have to question whether it’s worth doing that, but in our opinion [distributing Canon products] will be an increase in our overall business,” Johnston says.
Epson general manager Greg Skinner says his company’s business with Renaissance wasn’t huge, but business was done through Renaissance’s Apple and Red divisions. He says business with these two divisions is still open to Epson and he has been talking to Johnston about options.
Skinner says it is too early to say if Epson will appoint another distributor to take Renaissance’s place.