Kodak Partners with Walmart Canada to Raise the Bar on Retail Photo Services
Canada’s Leading Photo Retailer Enhances Service Portfolio with New APEX Installations and KODAK Picture Kiosk Upgrades
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) today announced that it has renewed an agreement with Walmart Canada Corp. to be the principal supplier of retail photo kiosks and dry lab systems, consumable products, and services across the retailer’s entire chain of photo centers.
Walmart Canada is the leading photo retailer in Canada, with more than 320 locations across the country. Kodak will continue to provide media, supplies, and service to Walmart Canada’s existing behind-the-counter lab systems and instant photo kiosks. In addition, Kodak will convert up to 100 Walmart Canada photo centers from traditional wet lab systems to KODAK Adaptive Picture Exchange (APEX) dry labs over the next 12 months. These new installations demonstrate the flexibility and scalability of the APEX system, as they are all higher-volume print locations that deliver thousands of prints per day.
With the new APEX labs behind the counter, Walmart Canada will expand its photo service offer to consumers to include premium products such as greeting cards, calendars, collages, and photo books. APEX is a modular and scalable platform, so the retailer has considerable flexibility for customization and can choose the APEX and kiosk features that best match the footprint and traffic of each store, while also enabling robust and trackable print-to-store connections from the Internet. Kodak will also be outfitting the APEX installations with duplex and wide format printers for creating dual-sided cards and photo books, as well as poster prints. The decision to work with Kodak followed a head-to-head comparison between Kodak’s retail solutions and other competitive solutions for both equipment and support.
“Kodak has been a strong partner, helping Walmart Canada to build a leadership position in photo retailing with innovative and cost effective solutions,” said Kevin Sorby, Director of Technical Services, Walmart Canada Corp. “We see APEX and the enhanced KODAK Kiosks as a hub that can drive incremental revenue and increased customer satisfaction through new products and faster, easier service.”
In addition to innovating behind the counter, all of Walmart Canada’s photo centers will take advantage of the new KODAK Picture Kiosk Software 4.0 enhancements, including Video Snapshots feature, which lets consumers easily select images from video clips, convert them into digital pictures, and then use them to create prints or premium products in seconds; Pet Eye Retouch feature, which allows pet owners to fix the un-natural color that occurs in pets’ eyes when photographed with a flash; Facial Retouch feature, which automatically identifies facial imperfections and reduces or removes them to match the skin’s original color and texture; and Social Network Connectivity feature, which enables consumers to download images from KODAK Gallery, FACEBOOK site, and PICASA Web Albums program, and use them to create prints and premium photo products.
“Walmart Canada was the first Canadian retailer to offer instant kiosk based photo services in all of its stores and is engaging consumers at the photo center and helping them experience the wide range of photo products that fit into their lifestyles,” said Nicki Zongrone, General Manager, Retail Systems Solutions and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. “We look forward to introducing them to the exciting new and highly profitable print and premium products that our award winning APEX and industry leading new KODAK Kiosk software enhancements enable.”
Another key factor in forging a strong relationship with Walmart Canada has been Kodak’s ability to help Walmart Canada fit its photo center into the retailer’s overall sustainability strategy with systems that are highly energy efficient, as well as highly efficient in media and consumables usage to minimize environmental footprint and waste. APEX uses 70 to 90 percent less energy than comparably-sized traditional chemical-based photo-finishing equipment. On average, the potential electricity cost savings are around $1,500 annually. It also consumes no water, saving an estimated 5,000 liters of water annually when compared to manufacturers’ specifications for comparably-sized wet minilabs.
“We see the benefit of using no chemistry in our lab systems. Making our stores better for the environment is a key focus for Walmart Canada,” said Sorby.
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