By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Camera House will become the first Australian retailer to sign on with Hewlett Packard to install the company’s photo kiosks, which will be rolled out to 49 shopfronts.

HP has been conducting an in-store trial program for its debut photo kiosk range with a number of retailers including Camera House, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and K-Mart.

Camera House is the first retailer to move into a more permanent relationship with the company, which is trying to get a foothold in the Australian photo kiosk market.

Although HP has huge market share in consumer photo printing and has also established a copier business, the company only recently entered photo kiosks globally and is up against strong incumbents including FujiFilm and Kodak.

HP vice president – imaging and printing group, Christoph Schell, told that while FujiFilm has dominated the 6×4 print market, HP’s photo printing kiosks offer new services like photo books, posters and photo calendars at better prices than its competitors.

“We are offering unique functionality at a better cost to the consumer, and at the end of the day this is key for the retailer,” said Schell.

“We also have the ability to work on many established relationships we have with retailers around Australia from our other businesses.”

Australia is leading the world in terms of the number of photo prints per capita with the country’s 21 million residents collectively creating around two billion prints last year.

Australians have also made the move to digital photography more quickly than in many other regions, which has accelerated demand for digital printing services.

Both factors are top of mind for HP as it looks to build a strong presence in the photo printing business locally.

Schell believes HP can offer retailers a more reliable printing service with efficient and timely support, which reduces downtime associated with printer servicing and repairs. 

“This business is about services and HP has 2,800 employees in Australia – no other company in the photo printing business has such a large team behind them. I would tell retailers that they can be confident in relying on HP to protect their investment by providing support and service,” he said.

“HP is the new kid on the block and this way we can be selective in the partnerships we form coming into this market and can really focus our marketing around a few key retailers. This way we can create pull for the brand.”