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Walmart Adds HP Imaging Stations

6/07/2010 09:13:00 AM Eastern
PALO ALTO, CALIF. - Walmart is rolling out Hewlett-Packard's Prints In Minutes retail publishing service in 3,600 stores across the country, according to HP..

The rollout, which is expected to be completed by the end of the summer, will offer Walmart customers the ability to order high-quality photo prints and other personalized printed merchandise with little waiting.

In addition to photo prints, the stations will produce calendars and greetings cards, and will have access to images and graphics from brands such as Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. and Live Nation.

The Walmart rollout, along with incremental sales in other retail venues, will give HP a more than 300 percent growth rate in its global retail publishing presence this year, HP said.

Over the last year, HP has also landed photo-publishing sales agreements with Tesco, Rossmann, Duane Reade and Kmart Australia.

"Our agreement with Walmart is another milestone in HP's drive to help retailers transition from traditional photo services to dynamic publishing centers," stated Vyomesh Joshi, HP imaging and printing group executive VP. "With new customer agreements with many major global retailers, including Tesco, Kmart Australia and now Walmart, we're bringing consumers new opportunities to conveniently print both personal and branded digital content that is meaningful to them."

The self-serve Prints in Minutes service stations enable customers to order 4-inch by 6-inch, 5- by 7-inch and 8 by 10-inch photo prints, collage prints, calendar pages and greeting cards.

Walmart selected HP to grow its photo business following a successful pilot of this service, which resulted in improved customer satisfaction and the ability to better address high-volume photo orders, HP said.

Using the front-of-counter service, consumers can pick up orders for prints and creative products within minutes of ordering or at a later time by using a secure order storage and release feature.

The unattended system allows retailers like Walmart to increase photo-center traffic and revenue from high-margin products without dedicated labor, HP said.

The system employs the HP Photosmart PM2000e Microlab printer, with lab-quality photo output.

The service also includes HP's patented photo-book technology, which delivers a "pinch-book" assembly feature rather than a glue system. Other products include flat photo cards, year-on-a-page calendars and photo CDs.

Walmart customers also can order photo prints in a range of sizes and photo cards at home through Snapfish by HP, the online personal publishing service. Customer can place orders, send in digital image files and pickup prints at participating Walmart stores across the country.

The HP Instant Print Solution was said to be attractive to the mass-merchant chain for its environmental benefits. HP's dry-assembly photo books are reusable and expandable and use no harmful glues in the binding system, the company said.

This holiday season, printable merchandise will be available featuring characters from Warner Bros., including DC Comics Super Heroes Batman and Superman; Hanna-Barbera favorites Tom and Jerry and Scooby Doo; Looney Tunes classic characters such as Bugs Bunny and Tweety; and the Harry Potter film series.

Additionally, through HP's agreement with Live Nation, Walmart will offer customers posters and other creative products featuring popular music artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, Bruce Springsteen, U2, The Who, Madonna and Coldplay.
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