Konica Hit by Closing of 326 Winn-Dixie Stores
Konica Minolta will feel the impact of the closing of 326 stores by Winn-Dixie, its largest customer in the United States.
Winn-Dixie announced the closings on June 21 as part of its Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The shutdowns result in the supermarket chain abandoning operations in four states: Tennessee, Virginia, and North and South Carolina. Remaining will be about 587 stores in the Southeast. About 22,000 jobs will be eliminated, according to Winn-Dixie.
Konica Minolta has been the prime supplier of minilab equipment to the Winn-Dixie chain and it is understood that there are about 432 stores in the chain with on-site minilabs. About half of these are equipped with 'R' series digital setups, and the balance are various optical models.
At this time it was not known how many of the stores scheduled to be shuttered had on-site setups. However, according to a source, Konica Minolta is expected to re-deploy minilab equipment from stores being shut down to other Winn-Dixie locations that previously did not offer on-site service.
Overall, however, it is estimated that the number of Winn-Dixie stores with labs would probably drop to about 350 locations.
Walgreens Turns to Kodak Consumables For Some of It's Frontier Installations
Walgreens has made a shift in its supply source for paper and chemicals from Fuji to Kodak in about 430 stores in Texas and Louisiana, according to reports.
It is understood that the stores involved all have Fuji Frontier digital minilabs in place that until now have been using Fuji paper and chemicals. Switching to Kodak paper and chemicals would be a major departure as lab owners typically purchase their consumables and equipment from the same supplier. It is further understood that the Frontiers are having software re-programmed in order to maximize the benefits of the Kodak products.
Walgreens has over 4,800 stores in 45 states and most have Frontier installations. It is not known whether the switch to Kodak would eventually be made in other territories of the Walgreens chain. Interestingly, for many years Kodak was the sole supplier of equipment and consumables to the Walgreens chain until Fuji was able to capture the business about three to four years ago.
Walgreens, Fuji and Kodak have all declined to comment.