In a unique marketing approach to roll out a new product by making deals with high profile retailers one at a time, Kodak has announced that a new member has been invited into its exclusive all-in-one printer fraternity, Wal-Mart.
Beginning on Wednesday, September 12, according to Steve Marzio, business manager, Inkjet Systems, Wal-Mart will offer the low-end model 5100 in 2,600 Wal-Mart Superstores in the U.S. for $129.99; and for the months of September and October, the retailer will throw in three additional color cartridges at no cost, with each purchase. The cartridges have a retail value of $14.95 each.
Kodak has been using the relatively low cost of its replacement cartridges as its primary merchandising thrust since the introduction of the home all-in-one in February, claiming its surveys suggest that the cost of inkjet replacements is a thorn for many users.
Kodak’s first partner for the AiO was Best Buy which began promoting the line in March. Shortly thereafter, Kodak signed up Office Depot. With Wal-Mart now in the fold, Marzio said that “there will be more announcements in the near future.” He added that the Wal-Mart arrangement did not include Sam’s Club but that Wal-Mart, Canada, would soon be included in the program.
The $129.99 Wal-Mart price for the leader model 5100 is a break from the original list of $149.99 carried by Best Buy. Marzio said Best Buy will be dropping its price to match Wal-Mart, though its current website is still showing the $149.99 number. The other two models in the Kodak line, the 5300 and 5500, are shown on Best Buy’s website at $199 and $299, respectively.
Office Depot does not offer the 5100, but its site shows the 5300 and 5500 at $159 and $259, respectively, after mail-in rebates, bringing the models in $40 below Best Buy.
Marzio said there were no current plans to change the original list prices. He also indicated that there would be no model changes in the line-up this year.
Marzio stated that the Wal-Mart offering of the three free cartridges with the purchase of a 5100 will be promoted through radio and print advertising throughout the Q4.
Does the addition of the Kodak 5100 alter Wal-Mart’s planogram? The retailer already carries Lexmark, Canon, Brother, HP, and Epson. Might the addition of Kodak shove one of these brands off the shelf? Marzio had no comment and Wal-Mart executives had not yet been reached for comment.
How is the AiO program progressing? According to an online story by Reuters on Kodak’s home printer, Kodak’s chief financial officer, Frank Sklarsky, said, “We said at least 500,000 (units sold) in 2007. We haven’t changed that message at all.” It further stated that the firm “aims to increase the business to $1 billion in revenue by 2010.”
Marzio said that the three-year goal for Kodak is to be one of the top three brands in terms of the total number of documents and photo output for prints made at home. He indicated that print output numbers are calculated by cartridge sales.