By Lisa Johnston
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Ritz Camera Centers, the country's largest specialty retail camera and photo chain, has begun installing Kodak's new G4 digital photo kiosks in all of its approximately 1,100 stores.
Ritz will be the first retailer to roll out the next-generation kiosks, which produce digital prints in eight seconds, or 35 percent faster than previous models, to reduce transaction times and increase retailer productivity.
It is unclear whether the Kodak deal supplants Ritz's previous kiosk arrangement with FujiFilm.
The Kodak Picture Kiosk G4 family is the latest in Kodak's line of photo kiosks, which number over 70,000 at retail locations worldwide. Kodak said the G4 offers performance improvements and new features designed to “elevate and expedite the printing experience.” These include a new high-performance processor that doubles the image upload speed from memory cards, thereby allowing multiple pictures to appear on screen for selection and editing in seconds.
Besides memory cards, the kiosks accept a wide range of digital media sources including USB drives and CDs/DVDs. The units also provide digital scanning and support wireless printing via Bluetooth and infrared technologies.
In addition, the kiosks offer a range of printing sizes and editing options, including passport photos, customized borders and photo calendars. The prints themselves receive a special coating to provide extra protection against stains, spills and fingerprints, Kodak said, and the kiosks can also produce photo CDs.
The G4s also boast an improved user interface and exterior design that allows for easier serviceability, helping to maintain peak performance while simplifying upkeep for retailers, the companies said.
“By partnering with Ritz Camera, the largest and one of the most trusted photo retail chains in the country, people will be able to experience the enhanced features, ease of use and improved speed of these next-generation G4 kiosks,” said Christopher Sliva, general manager, kiosk business, for Eastman Kodak Company. “Kodak and Ritz Camera are committed to providing consumers with multiple options to instantly print and share their memories during the holiday season and beyond.”
“It is an exciting and tremendous opportunity to be the first place where users can experience the new Kodak Picture Kiosk G4 family,” added Rich Tranchida, executive VP of Ritz Camera Centers. “Digital photography enthusiasts of all levels have long trusted Kodak's kiosks to provide them with high quality prints in a few simple steps, in addition to further enhancements in their printing options that elevate the overall kiosk experience.”
Ritz, headquartered here, operates in 45 states and the District of Columbia under the Ritz Camera, Wolf Camera, Kits Camera, Inkley's and The Camera Shop nameplates. All stores have Big Print Central departments offering both traditional and digital prints “in minutes,” while the The Ritz Camera Centers' Web site, www.ritzpix.com, offers customers a one-hour printing and in-store pick-up service.
Ritz Camera Centers also owns and operates Boater's World Marine Centers, a leading marine specialty retail chain with 123 stores nationwide.
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