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Retail Rumblings



RETAIL RUMBLINGS

Barry J. Szabo was named CEO of DigitalPortal Inc., a joint venture of SanDisk Corp. and Photo-Me International. Szabo will be responsible for leading and managing DigitalPortal's kiosk-based photo-finishing services. DPI's photo kiosks will allow digital camera owners to get silver halide, digital prints while they wait. Szabo brings to DPI more than 22 years of experience in the photography, kiosk and retailing businesses.
Agfa Discontinues Portriga
Agfa Consumer Imaging announced changes affecting its fine art black-and-white paper assortment around the world. Because of declining sales Portriga Rapid will no longer be produced. Agfa explains their Multicontrast Classic paper produces comparable results and is a more economical alternative. Stock of Portriga Rapid are available while supplies last.
Agfa also changed the name of their Insignia line to Record Rapid, the name under which the paper has been available outside of the United States for more than 60 years.
Ofoto Acquired by Kodak
Eastman Kodak has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ofoto, Inc. Ofoto will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kodak and will be led by its existing management team, which will report to Willy Shih, president of Kodak's Digital and Applied Imaging unit.
Ofoto, with Kodak's PictureVision subsidiary and kodak.com, will be the cornerstone of Kodak's Internet imaging infrastructure. Ofoto will serve as a connection between Kodak's film scanning and uploading services and Kodak's output capabilities through labs operated by Qualex.
"We anticipate bringing Ofoto's capabilities to our retail customers as soon as possible through the Kodak Picture Center online initiative," said Daniel Palumbo, president, Consumer Imaging, and senior vice president, Eastman Kodak Co. "Combining Ofoto's capabilities with the existing service will provide our retail customers with even richer features and more ways to generate revenue."
Gateway to Great Photography
Phobo.com has unveiled its re-designed Website, www.photography.com, a comprehensive portal offering photo buffs a world of information, insight, interaction and convenience. E-powered by ritzcamera.com, photography.com features a fresh look and a variety of new and exciting content features, including bulletin boards, chat, coupons, free gifts and e-mail accounts, a camera club area, course listings and more. Useful tips from the highly respected New York Institute of Photography are available to visitors as well, allowing shutterbugs to improve their picture-taking skills.

Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., has introduced new packaging for their entire line of professional films. The new packaging will identify the films that are made in Japan, and packaged for distribution within the United States and Canada. A map depicting the two countries will be featured on the packaging. The announcement was made at the PMA show in February and the new film's distribution is on a stock turnover basis.

Eastman Kodak Co., named Patricia F. Russo president and chief operating officer, reporting to chairman and CEO Daniel Carp. Russo will oversee the day-to-day operations of Kodak's operating divisions and serve as the CEO's strategic partner in pursuing business opportunities created by the convergence of imaging and information management technologies, Kodak said.
Russo has more than 20 years' of management experience in the computing and communications industries. As president of the Business Communications Systems division of AT&T Corp. and Lucent Technologies Inc. from 1993 through 1997, Russo drove the turnaround of a $6 billion technology business. ... News Briefs Duracell Group President
The Gillette Co., appointed Mark Leckie president of its Duracell Global Business Management group. Leckie, who was president of H.J. Heinz-Canada, assumed his new responsibilities on April 23. He succeeds David Young, who is leaving Gillette. ... New Hire at Minolta
Anna Doi has been appointed to the position of digital product planning manager for Minolta's Consumer products group. Doi has been with Minolta since 1985, having worked in the R & D sections as well as product planning. She will report to Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of Digital Imaging for Minolta Corp.'s Consumer Products Group. ... Schneider to Distribute Horseman
Schneider Optics is now distributing Horseman View Cameras, including the 45FA Technical camera, new L Series Monorail cameras, View Camera Converter, DigiFlex SLR and SW612 Pro. Ultra-wide angle Panoramic camera. For more information on these or any of the other products that Schneider distributes, visit www.schneideroptics.com. ... BKA To Distribute Ultrapod
PEDCO, manufacturer of UltraPod camera and binocular supports, and it's marketing partner, BPS Marketing, announce the exclusive distribution of PEDCO products in the photo industry by Brandess-Kalt-Aetna Group. BKA began full distribution of the PEDCO line in April. PEDCO and BPS will continue to supply their private label, OEM, outdoor, and travel customers. ... New President at Pentax
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