Officeworks has confirmed to PhotoCounter that it has chosen Fujifilm to replace Kodak Alaris as photo services equipment and consummables providor in its 160 stores and online.
‘Officeworks has identified global leader in photo capture and processing Fujifilm Australia as the preferred supplier for its photo services,’ wrote Officeworks PR and Social Media manager, Carla Carafa.
‘By partnering with Fujifilm Australia, Officeworks will be able to offer its customers a more expansive range of photo products to choose from via a more consolidated back-end system.’
The loss of Officeworks is a body blow to Kodak Alaris in Australia, and has led to the loss of key personnel. According to industry rumours, and (unofficially) confirmed by a Kodak Alaris employee, John Wilson left the company on return from annual leave in early February, and at the same time Matthew Briscoe-Hough left. Industry insiders inform PhotoCounter that both executives were made redundant.
Kodak Alaris marketing manager, Michael Palm, has simply ignored repeated phone calls and emails for clarification of what’s actually going on, not even bothering to professionally ‘decline to comment’. When ‘what’s going on’ involves the possible departure of an individual’s colleagues, the silence is difficult to understand.
(As the publication of record of the Australian and New Zealand photo industry, we would be a bit miffed by the discourtesy, but this seems to be the professional standard of communications the company holds to!)
John Wilson was account manager for Officeworks from 2005 to 2014, having secured the contract for digital photo processing in 2004 ‘after an extensive store trial and tender process against Fujifilm’ according to his business biography.
For the past two years he has overseen the ‘ownership and development’ of Kodak Alaris mass merchant accounts: Officeworks, Kmart, Target, The Good Guys and Myer.
Matthew Briscoe-Hough’s role has been focussed on the equipment and equipment maintenance side of the operation.
Business director (ie, general manager) at Kodak Alaris, Stephen Nichols, has been either on holidays or unavailable ‘for personal reasons’ since the beginning of the year.