Magazine Article


Profiting From New Opportunities

In this issue we target a number of product areas where labs can find new growth opportunities such as with wide-format printing, digital kiosks, and by adding digital accessories to their sales mix.

I.T. Strategies reports the wide-format graphics market generated total manufacturer revenues, at the retail level, of $7.3 billion in 2004, and is expected to generate manufacturer revenues of $10.1 billion in 2009. The market is becoming increasingly competitive as new product categories, such as eco-solvent and flatbed inkjet printers, compete with aqueous and aggressive solvent inkjet printers for PFP volume and dollars. Total wide-format inkjet market revenues for hardware, media and chemistry are growing from $7.1 billion in 2004 to $10.1 billion in 2009. This future growth is welcome news to labs who have made the commitment to the wide-format business. And, if you are in the market for a new wide-format printer, be sure to check out our chart on page 22 as a good starting point. We also polled a number of leading wide-format suppliers and asked them what was the most essential piece of equipment for a photo lab that they have in their product line. You might find it interesting what pieces of equipment they selected.

We also examine the latest trends in the kiosk market in our Kiosk Supplier Roundtable on page 28. According to PMA's 2005 U.S. Consumer Photo Buying Report, the percent of U.S. households that used a kiosk increased from 11.1 to 13.8 percent. Households that owned a camera were more likely to have used a kiosk with nearly one quarter of digital camera owners using one in 2004. The rising use of kiosks by digital camera owners is apparent in the changing sources for uploading at kiosks. As kiosk usage continues to rise, retailers have the opportunity to increase their profits from kiosks by promoting more than just standard 4 x 6 inch prints. Depending on the brand of kiosk, retailers can customize the software to suggest additional services such as writing images to a CD, offering 5 x 7 inch or 8 x 10 inch prints and home ordering.

Retail based labs also need to examine adding digital accessories to their sales mix. With film sales declining, minilabs need to find other products to stock to replace that lost revenue. We look at digital media and accessories and focus on why they should be heavily involved with these products. We also try to provide them with a check list of what items to stock.

In addition, Imaging Business is now offering peer-to-peer product reviews each month with our new Test Drive column. We are launching this new column in response to requests from our readers who are looking for additional information on new products in the marketplace. With our Test Drive column we talk to beta test labs who are using the newest equipment and see how they are fitting it into their existing workflow and overall business. First up to the plate, the DKS 900 digital minilab from DigitalPortal. Check it out on page 19.

Thank you for all your positive response to the magazine with the direction we are taking as the only publication dedicated to serving the photo and imaging lab market. Remember we are here to help you. If there is something you want us to cover, email us at .


Bill Schiffner
Associate Publisher/Editor-in-Chief