Digital mini-labs a weapon for printing market

Retailers that haven't adopted digital mini-labs or kiosks by the end of the year risk missing the photo printing boom, according to digital camera executives at an industry conference.

A panel of vendor and photographic store heavyweights told the 18th annual Photo Marketing Association conference in Sydney last week that the industry was on the cusp of great opportunities in the printing market following the widespread popularity of digital cameras.

Stores that offered high-quality prints for digital images via digital mini-labs, self-serve kiosks or Internet printing could then reap long-term repeat business from customers, attendees heard during an hour-long Q&A session.

The panel consisted of the local chiefs of Agfa, Canon, CR Kennedy, Kodak, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Olympus and Maxwell.

Photo Imaging Council of Australia president and managing director of Fujifilm Australia, Dave Marshall, said there would be no shortage of retail competitors for the digital printing market.

"Anyone that doesn't have a digital lab by the end of this year will be in big trouble," he said.

Marshall said Big W was an example of mass merchants moving in on the market.

The retail chain recently announced 91 digital mini-labs would replace its analogue operations by November. It already offers kiosks (in some stores) and Internet printing to customers.

The message was particularly relevant to the many delegates from camera store that attended. Many of them have already seen the ease of printing photos from digital cameras at home erode their staple photo-processing revenue.

Stores had to educate consumers that retail outlets could provide quality prints and enlargements and that home printing was not the only option, Marshall said.

The industry was already seeing "massive growth" in stores using multi-kiosk strategies, he said.

"It's up to retailers to see how they adopt multi-kiosk ... [but] A-grade retailers have already done so,” Marshall said.

The market was both an opportunity and threat for retailers, as kiosks would eventually be widespread and available in newsagents and supermarkets, according to the panel.

"The challenge is how quickly can we be organised to keep that business in this room?" Kodak general manager, digital and film imaging systems Asia-Pacific, Steve Morley, said. "Someone will do it if we don't."

Olympus camera and printing group director, Todd Lynton, said on a recent trip to the US he had heard about an interesting example of how the market could develop.

He said one camera specialist had signed popular retailers in its area, such as pharmacists and newsagents, to stock self-serve kiosks on its behalf.

This would ensure the camera specialist had enough presence to secure a slice of the printing market, while also making it harder for new competitors to enter the region.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?