SanDisk's Shoot and Store range of digital film will now be sold in 110 Big W stores across Australia, and other mass-market distribution deals will be announced before Christmas.
"This is the first mass-merchant retail store agreement for SanDisk Shoot and Store in Australia," VME's systems management director, Michael Hornsby, said.
VME Systems is the sole distributor for SanDisk Shoot and Store products in Australia.
Hornsby hoped that the retail deal would encourage consumers to view digital film as a natural and low-cost format to store their digital photos. The products will be placed in the home entertainment aisles in addition to the check out points in order to attract the impulse buyer.
"We believe the market for digital film is going to experience rapid growth over the next few years, and our flash memory cards will rapidly become as accepted as digital negatives," Hornsby said.
A PMA international industry trends report states that nearly one million digital cameras were sold in Australia in 2003. This was double the unit sales in 2002.
The SanDisk Shoot and Store product line includes 32MB and 64MB memory cards in Compact Flash and Secure Digital formats, which will be sold as 50- and 100-shot picture cards.
VME Systems' sales and marketing manager, Trudy Forster, said that labelling the cards with the number of potential pictures rather than just MB capacity was one of many steps SanDisk had made towards consumer friendly packaging.
The 50-shot card retails at $17.95 and the 100-shot card for $26.95.
Brightpoint is the only other SanDisk distributor in Australia, distributing higher end SanDisk products through IT niche market outlets.