Trial Run Could Open the Door for Entire 5,800-store Chain
by Jerry Lansky
It was at the PMA show last year that Sony announced a blockbuster deal to put 800 PictureStations in Kinkos locations. (Currently, there are 900 units installed at Kinkos.) If the 7-Eleven program meets management's expectations, it could open the door for Sony to the entire chain of 5,800 7-Elevens, both franchised and company owned, in the U.S. and Canada and 20,000 around the world.
According to Dave Johnson, Sony's senior marketing manager, the PictureStation kiosks will be installed in March.
John Dyer, 7-Eleven's category manager for commission services, acknowledged that important elements for 7-Eleven in choosing Sony were "photo-like quality, the wireless functionality and how quickly transactions were completed." He indicated the test program would last for about 90 days during which time they would gauge customer acceptance, in-store personnel reaction and revenue stream.
He added that the Sony services would be priced at 39-cents for a 3R print, 49-cents for a 4R and $4.99 for a burned CD. Kinkos typically sells a 4R for 59-cents.
Dave said that a wireless system provides 7-Eleven customers the facility to complete a transaction with a credit card as well as supplying management with immediate data on the number of transactions, size of prints made, quantity of prints, etc., for each machine.
The five test stores selected are in Arlington, Irving, Euless and two in Ft. Worth.
The kiosk industry has long talked about breaking out of the photo mold into the non-traditional market for product installations. So far, Sony seems to be leading the way in that direction with its Kinkos arrangement and now this prospect of a major deal with 7-Eleven.