Olympus Just Pulled Its Camera Business out of South Korea

Olympus Just Pulled Its Camera Business out of South Korea

Olympus has announced that it will be withdrawing the presence of its camera division from South Korea, choosing instead to focus on its medical and science businesses in the country.

News website Aju News is reporting that the Japanese manufacturer has decided to shutter its brand store and headquarters based in Seoul, South Korea. It’s thought this is is part of a broader effort to reduce costs and improve efficiency in the face of a potentially catastrophic period for the camera industry.

Camera sales have been in decline for several years, and the global coronavirus pandemic has been an unwelcome addition to the problems faced by manufacturers, with many seeing disruption to their production lines and the prospect of massively reduced demand soon to have a dramatic impact. No doubt, Olympus’ camera sales have been a factor, but ongoing trade frictions between Japan and South Korea may also have contributed to the company’s decision.

Last November, Olympus was forced to issue a statement insisting that it wasn’t about to close its entire imaging division. In a polite denial, it simply stated that it intends to “continue to work on the improvement of profitability and efficiency” of both its imaging and scientific businesses.

After having weathered various financial scandals in the last five years, Olympus might be in a tough position. What should it do in order to ensure its future as a camera maker? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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