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Retail Rumblings



RETAIL RUMBLINGS


Touchpoint Inc., launched a new version of its www.touchpoint.com site to market its printed communications materials, including folded cards, postcards, invitations, announcements, and now trifold brochures. Customers can select from Touchpoint's already-designed products or create their own designs. The Website also enables customers to sign up for Touchpoint's services online and create personalized printed cards and materials for mailing on the next business day.
RITZ, LEXAR TO DEVELOP CO-BRANDED DIGITAL FILM
Lexar Media Inc., formed a comprehensive distribution and marketing agreement with Ritz Camera Centers. Under the agreement, the two companies will jointly develop a co-branded CompactFlash and SmartMedia digital film and card reader product line under the "Ritz Big Print Digital Film by Lexar Media" brand name. Ritz will also distribute Lexar Media branded Memory Sticks, MultiMediaCards, SD cards, and card readers at its more than 1,000 retail locations and online at www.ritzcamera.com.
PHIDEO FOR RETAIL PHOTOFINISHERS
Digital Media Industries released its Phideo suite of server-based Internet software tools, targeted to providers of retail photofinishing who want to create video presentations for consumers from their still photographs. Using DMI's new software, retailers can offer their customers a multimedia product for about the same price as developing and printing a 36-exposure roll of film. A typical presentation will consist of up to 60 of the customer's own photographs and include music, frames, special effects and title screens. DMI has completed the process of converting its single workstation technology into a three-tier network application for use over the Internet. The company is preparing for a large-scale rollout occurring in time for the holiday season.
QUALEX CLOSES THREE WHOLESALE LABS
Qualex Inc., closed three wholesale labs earlier this year in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Anchorage, Alaska. According to Charlie Smith, director of Worldwide Public Relations with Kodak, consolidation at Qualex is part of an industry-wide shift toward on-site processing.
"This is not a result of fundamental business conditions," he said. "This is indicative of the shift to on-site. As more consumers turn to on-site processing, it means at some point you have to balance your capacity in the wholesale operation." Smith indicated there may be further lab closings this year, but could not comment further.

InterLam, Inc., has introduced the Zip Up brochure stand that saves time, effort and floor space for companies exhibiting at trade shows, conventions and other venues.
The lightweight-but-sturdy Zip Up has four compartments that hold brochures and other 8.5 x 11-inch literature. It can be easily transported when filled with brochures.
With Zip Up, exhibitors don't need to ship several boxes of literature to the trade show or other location, and then organize the information on-site. Zip Up weighs only 15 lbs. and measures 18.5 inches high when empty and folded. When unfolded, it measures 61.5-inches tall x 10.25-inches wide x 4-inches deep.
For more info., visit www.interlam.bigstep.com or www.interlamexpo.com.
PHOTOSTREAK COMPRESSION ENGINE
Compression Engine Technologies Inc., introduced PhotoStreak, which allows dial-up users to send images over the Internet faster than currently possible. PhotoStreak, a PC-based software proggram is available for a limited time for free at www.photostreak.com. Thereafter, it will be priced at $24.95.
PhotoStreak can reduce a 2 MB BMP or Tiff file to 20 KB or smaller while maintaining excellent image quality. A comparable quality Jpeg file for the same image would be around 100 KB. The software also offers editing features and the ability to send images to others directly from within PhotoStreak.
WOLF CAMERA FILES FOR CHAPTER 11
Wolf Camera, Inc. filed a petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia on June 21, 2001. The company has arranged post-petition financing from its existing bank syndicate.
All store locations are open and conducting business as usual with no impact on customer service or photo-finishing services.
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PTN Dailes HERE