Hewlett-Packard has sold its Snapfish online photo services business back to long-established US-based private company, District Photo.
District Photo, established back in 1949, describes itself as ‘one of the largest direct-to-consumer custom product and photo fulfillment operations in the world.’ It numbers among its clients Costco and Walmart. District Photo has three photo printing facilities in the US and one in Devon, England. The new owner has undertaken to continue to use HP equipment following the completion of the acquisition, scheduled for October. District Photo has more HP Indigo printers than any other facility in the world, according to its website.
No financial details of the (re-)purchase have been revealed. HP acquired Snapfish for US$300 million and proceeded to develop it into the largest online photo services business in the world – while outsourcing actual order fulfillment for customers to third parties using its Indigo digital press printers. It operates in 12 countries including Australia and New Zealand. It offers free online photo sharing, photo storage and management, free editing tools and software, online print ordering and more than 70 personalised photo products. In Australia, wholesale fulfillment operation Photo Create has handled orders for Snapfish.
US reports indicate that HP has been trying to sell Snapfish for some time, as it no longer fits with its strategic direction. HP is gearing up to be split into two entities later this year, separating its PC and printer businesses from its corporate hardware and services operations.
HP has been moving away from the photographic industry at a rapid rate. After abandoning its customers in the minilab sector with the closure of its short-lived Retail Publishing Solutions business unit, it will cease supply of consummables and maintenance for that equipment from April 30.