Magazine Article


The Picture Spa Could Be The Future of Digital Retailing

What is the expectation for The Picture Spa? “The future is not on the other side of the wall (the retail store). I wouldn’t be investing my time and money if I didn’t feel it had potential.”

Where does Moto Photo fit into The Picture Spa? “I am a Moto franchisee, and being part of a franchise means sharing ideas. I am more than willing to do that. The best ideas in a franchise operation come from the field, not from headquarters. Harry Loyle (Moto’s president) has been here and is well aware of what we are doing and supports it enthusiastically.” He foresees the day that The Picture Spa could be franchised or licensed.

“For now, a lot of people are anxious to see the development of The Picture Spa concept,” Sid said. Including him and Debbie.

In the meantime, the bread and butter of the business, the Moto Photo minilab, is still functioning well. Jim Morello has been with Sid for three years and serves as GM for his two Moto locations, in Paramus and Park Ridge, NJ.

The lab area of the Paramus store not only handles the over-the-counter retail business but is networked to all of The Picture Spa kiosks as well. Jim manages a lab staff of four to five, to run a pair of Noritsu digital systems; a Noritsu B&W processor; workstation; an Epson 9800; and a Lucidiom APM print station management system. In the Spa’s backroom, the complete HP Photosmart Studio array is set up.

Taking a step back and looking at what the project already is and what it’s expected to be, Sid smiled and said, “This is the first I’ve been really excited about the photo business in a long time.”

Is this déjà vu all over again? Are we seeing a new concept that will eventually replace the one-hour lab as we know it? As a business model, is The Picture Spa the new Photo to Go, 25 years later?