HP takes on Kodak and Fuji with first photo kiosk

By Matthew Henry

MELBOURNE: Hewlett Packard is eager to wow electrical and photographic retailers with its first range of photo kiosks which promise to deliver much more than just simple photo printing.

The PMA Show in Melbourne represents the brand’s first major expansion into the photo retail channel in the region and brings the brand into competition with established photo kiosk providers including Kodak and FujiFilm.

HP’s Photosmart pe1000 Express Station and pm1000 Micro-lab printers offers solutions from simple instant photo kiosks to more sophisticated results with the complete HP Photo Centre.

The company hopes the Photo Centre solutions will provide a point of difference that will fill its order books when the show opens to retailers and the trade tomorrow morning.

HP’s Photo Centre can produce hardback photo books, photo calendars, poster-sized photo collages, CD slideshows and personalised greeting cards.

“This is a way for retailers to get emotionally reconnected with their customers again,” said HP director – retail photo centre solutions, John Cronkite.

“Photography is about telling stories and just printing off some photos is not always the best way to do this. People used to go on holidays and take a few rolls of film with 24 shots on each roll and all you could do is print them off. We are now seeing the full promises of digital photography realised with new ways to tell the stories that people want to tell.”

Hardbound photobooks typically retail for $39.95; posters for $29.95; and slideshow CDs for $9.95.

According to HP Australia, a full setup is likely to cost a retailer in the order of $50,000.

“One of the great things about this is that it is fully modular so we can configure it depending on what a retailer wants. They get something to suit their store, not something that they have to redesign their store around,” said Cronkite.

HP has conducted an Australian trial of its photo kiosk products in a number of stores around Australia in the last few months including selected Harvey Norman, Camera House and Kmart stores.

“We are getting good feedback and have been very happy with the reception the products have had so far. Retailers are looking for ways to increase their business incrementally and these kiosks present a way to do just that,” he said.

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