Telus Buys Black’s Photo… Huh?

From the “I don’t see the connection” department comes the news that Telus bought Black’s Photography for $28 million CDN yesterday. The press release that Telus put out says all of things that you would expect a press release to say in this situation:

“Black’s is an impressive Canadian retailer with a great brand, reputation and management team,” said Joe Natale, executive-vice president and president, TELUS Consumer Solutions. “Black’s premium locations provide an established network across Canada for the distribution of TELUS’ wireless products, which nicely complements our extensive network of dealers and stores. In anticipation of our clients’ evolving needs and as more wireless devices have imbedded high quality photo and video capability, there is a natural link between TELUS and Black’s.”

Sorry, I really don’t agree with the last point. Just because a phone has a camera that can do stills and video (badly) doesn’t mean that there’s a rationale to buy a photography retailer. The only rationale that makes sense is that Telus is trying to do what Bell did with The Source not too long ago. Which is to grab a much larger retail footprint in advance of competition arriving on their doorstep. And at roughly $243,000 per store, they’re getting that retail space at a bit of a discount.

I’m calling it now, you can kiss Black’s goodbye and you’ll be getting your cameras someplace else. These will be Telus stores selling Telus phones in the long term.

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