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Home >> Retail Ramps Up Digital Printing
The trickle of consumers seeking digital prints at retail has swollen to a steady stream in 2004, according to vendors and analysts. But it's not yet a flood.
In 2004, 37 percent of camera owners ordered prints at retail, up from 14 percent in 2003, according to Kerry Flatley, consultant, InfoTrends/CapVentures.
Flatley pointed to aggressive ad campaigns by major national retailers like Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS, as having spurred use of the new services, as is an evolving consumer base of digital camera owners — fewer tech savvy early adopters and more “soccer moms” familiar with retail printing. The number of new camera owners who expect to print from home has fallen below 50 percent this year, Flatley noted, down from 79 percent the previous year. Conversely, 33 percent plan to print at retail vs. just 13 percent the year before.
According to Flatley, 11 percent of consumers who print at retail use the store's Web site to upload their photos and print orders for pick up in-store at a later time.
“The growth of retail accelerated quicker than we thought,” said Rowan Lawson, director of home printing, Kodak.
The year ahead will yield further gains for retail, noted Walter Haug, VP, marketing, printing and Web services, Fujifilm. “The demographics favor it,” Haug said.
Indeed, according to the Photo Marketing Association's 2004 Photo Industry Review and Forecast, the volume of digital prints made at retail will eclipse home prints in 2005 with 3.6 billion prints made at retail vs. 3.4 billion made at home. PMA is projecting the gulf to double in retail's favor in 2006.
PMA is also predicting that the overall volume of retail prints (film and digital), which has sagged since 2000, will rebound and eclipse 2000 totals in 2005 and 2006.