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About us

michaels is the must visit destination for everyone interested in photography, video or digital devices. The Michael family has traded from the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne since 1916, and is now Australia's largest photographic specialist.


Our Promise

michaels is the largest single camera store in the Southern Hemisphere. Our family has been trading from the same location on the corner of Elizabeth & Lonsdale streets for 100 years. At michaels, we are renowned for our enthusiasm, product knowledge and outstanding customer care.  We have the most comprehensive product range and an empowered, highly trained team.  I am the 4th generation of the family that started trading from this location in 1916, and are proud to be carrying on this iconic Melbourne family business. I am also extremely passionate about photography. It is my wish that you be 100% satisfied with the service and advice that you receive and with any product that you purchase.

My personal email is always available for any feedback -  petermichael@michaels.com.au  Please feel free to contact me directly at any time.

Peter Michael, Managing Director

 michaels building on the corner of Elizabeth & Lonsdale Sts Melbourne

Our History

The Michael family has traded from the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets in Melbourne's CBD since 1916.

The Managing Director is Peter Michael, whose great-grandfather erected the Michaels Building in 1916 and traded as a pawnbroker and gunsmith. In 1928, Peter's grandfather opened a pharmacy in the building with limited stocks of photographic equipment. Peter's father, Alan joined the family pharmacy business in 1950, and later graduated as a pharmacist himself.

Alan's fascination for photography led to the expansion of the photo department in the store. At the time, there were tight import restrictions on cameras from after the war until the late 1950s. By 1966, the business traded primarily as a pharmacy and expanded, taking over a significant amount of the ground floor of the building and basement storage.

By 1976, the photographic side of the business represented 80 per cent of total turnover. The Michael family closed the pharmacy section to concentrate solely on photographics, eventually expanding to operate from three whole floors.

The idea of one large store as opposed to several outlets is integral to the michaels Camera Video & Digital philosophy. The Michael family believes that dividing key personnel between different locations would lead to a compromise in management resources, depth of stock holdings, and customer service.

Although situated in one location, the business size is the equivalent of five or so specialty camera outlets. It has achieved this status primarily due to the enormous range and depth of stock kept and the knowledge of employees and their attention to providing a very high level of customer service.

In 1988, 1997 and again in 2012, michaels Camera Video & Digital was awarded the prestigious "Australian Photographic Dealer of the Year" award. The award is judged by a panel of industry experts and is based on criteria such as staff expertise, range of stock, store cleanliness, quality of window displays and presentation and adherence to high business principles.

The michaels building has expanded into the two adjacent buildings on Elizabeth Street and Lonsdale Street, and spans 2200sqm offering a state of the art photographic retail environment and Australia's largest range of stock.

Company Information

ACN: 005 132 258
ABN: 27 852 308 806

Our History in Photographs