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Kodak’s support for supporting retailers

Having approached Fujifilm Australia for an overview of what it had in store for the photo specialty channel, we offered Kodak Alaris the same opportunity to ‘reach out’, to use the phrase du jour, to the 60 or 70 photo-dedicated customers still proudly displaying the Kodak brand.

indexBelow – once again unedited and in full – is the Kodak Alaris response:

Kodak Alaris, a company born from one of the world’s most iconic brands, is on a mission to help consumers unlock the power of their images through innovative technology and state of the art printing solutions.

In a world where consumers capture more images and share more images than ever before, Kodak Alaris is passionate about helping people capture, keep, share, relive and celebrate their precious moments as easily as possible. We’re driven by a simple belief – to help consumers find a better way. It drives us to keep innovating and push the boundaries in the photo retail environment.

Our Kodak Express (KEX) Program Partners continue to play an important role in helping to execute this mission. The KEX model helps to support the ecosystem of mobile printing and the connection to retail to empower consumers to manage their images in new and exciting ways. The KEX network helps facilitate customer demand to print in-store via Kodak Alaris’ user-friendly Kiosk interfaces. The Kodak Picture Kiosk allows consumers to create a wide variety of photo products from both their Smart Phone photos via Wi-Fi and social media accounts and our recently released Kodak Print Place equipment, was first to allow consumers to print directly from their smart phones via the Kodak Create App without the need to connect to a kiosk.

Kodak Alaris continues to fully support the KEX program with:
Brand:  The Kodak brand is synonymous with quality, reliability and trustworthiness in the photo specialty channel.

Differentiation: Commitment to keep silver- halide at the forefront of photographic printing and providing a premium quality range of silver halide paper products that allows KEX retailers to differentiate themselves from other types of photo retailers. In the last 18 months we have launched and/or upgraded five silver halide products in our portfolio. And we are continuing to innovate silver halide products on an ongoing basis.

Distribution: Partnership with a network that specialises in supporting the photo specialty market to help minimise costs and simplify operations for our store owners (eg, being able to source multiple supplier’s products from a single source.)

Marketing:  Access to  seasonal and product launch marketing templates/promotional assets to leverage the Kodak brand.

Portfolio: Expanding product offerings with a low capital investment: For example the new Kodak D4600 Duplex Photo Printer (supercedes the Kodak D4000 Duplex Photo Printer) was developed to deliver a low capital investment duplex print solution for photo specialty stores to produce photo books that meet price points wanted by customers.

Trends: Monitor and sponsor research as it pertains to photo trends, consumer behaviour needs to develop new and innovative photo technologies/solutions.

Service: Service and support from a Kodak Alaris technicians who have years’ experience in working in Photo Specialty environment.

Toolbox:  Access to the store owner portal that contains store design tools to help KEX stores create an inspiring environment for the target consumer and well as training and marketing tools.



  1. Garrett Rooney Garrett Rooney July 8, 2015

    It’s great to see Kodak recognising the important role of KEX with a
    “Commitment to keep silver- halide at the forefront of photographic printing.”
    How does this fit in with the push on KEX stores to adopt the APEX print system and the favourable terms given to low margin churn been provided by the mass merchants. Effectively devaluing the quality assurance of Kodak and the brand in general. One would hope that the lessons of the past were learnt and that while it’s nice to churn product at low margins in the short term, there can be only one consequence of devaluing your product, that was felt when the last K-mart experiment failed and yet here we go again. I wonder who is dictating the prices and who is providing the hardware in this arrangement…
    Maybe the remaining KEX stores should get together. Anybody know of a photo supplier that would be interested in 60+ clients?
    It’s almost like car insurance, your premium only goes down when you move.. maybe the support should be there before you move.
    I would have thought that a Kodak pension fund buying Kodak would have a long term goal and not just a short term gain. not to worry the people making those decisions will have moved on in 2 years and the next lot can do it again..

    • Stuart Holmes Stuart Holmes July 9, 2015

      Hi Garrett, Independent Photo (IPS) were appointed as Kodak’s Official Distributor for Consumer & Professional Labs over 5 Years Ago, and have since been supplying and supporting the vast number of KEX Stores and Professional Labs in Australia & New Zealand under the tough market conditions that we all endure under. IPS have an end to end solution with fresh stocks of the entire range of Kodak Ag-x and RSS Products, Film, SUC’s, Batteries and all accessories with Reps on the road, Tech Support in the form on online QC Control, Colour Management/ Profiling and even Marketing Support with the IPI International Marketing Group – All you have to do is give us a go and we will be here for you…
      Cheers, Stuart

      • Garrett Rooney Garrett Rooney July 11, 2015

        Thanks Stuart, I do use your service and am happy with it. Supply isn’t the issue, vision is. You would have to be concerned about the shrinkage in your client base. I don’t know if you are involved in the supply loop of the mass merchants or not, but the long term approach of Kodak is not a market leader in my opinion.
        I have always found your company helpful and I first met you and purchased image software from you in 2005. You had a vision for where you wanted things to go in 2005 and you seem to have achieved most of those targets. It’s a pity there are not more like you.
        However, KEX and Kodak seem to have no connection and it’s not just here. I also know of KEX people in the UK who also feel cut adrift, so it’s not a reflection on your company. It’s not a supply channel issue, we are happy with that. it’s the fact that there is no leadership in the market. That generic tish tosh that Kodak gave as a reply to Keith was like someone with their feet on the desk pulling various vacuous attributable paragraphs together in a press release, they may yet have a career in Australian politics as it said nothing and claimed irony of ironies to be the defender of the last bastion of quality images (silver- halide). If that is the case then surely they should be marketing that strategy and educating the general public of the differences between “pictures” and “Photographs”. Instead they continue to push, what is suggested in the reply as an inferior product and to fight competition on price and churn and not, as has been done, push APEX onto KEX stores.
        I would guarantee that if you could supply product at a price that allowed retailers to genuinely compete on price with K-mart/ officework and Harveynorman, it would be a very different story for independent retailers. Back in Tim Creightons days I suggested that Kodak supply the hardware to all stores and cover the costs in consumables as they do with mass merchants.. You have to remember that the 850+ Kodak stores that closed their doors in Australia since 2005 couldn’t compete with the new paradigm, those of us who are left standing (62 or so) did manage it, so that must say something of the ability of those who are left, maybe Kodak could learn from the leadership you have shown over the years Stuart.

  2. Great article Keith! If only Kodak walk the walk as well as they talk the talk. I’m willing to be proven wrong here but in my not too distant past as a KEX store owner I saw the same. Lots of talk not a lot of walk.
    Yes I realise that resources are tight across the industry, but if you’re going to announce a product or strategy to industry make sure you can back it up.
    Even at retail we have this challenge. We need to have the ability to back ourselves if we start to crow about ourselves.
    Kodak has numerous great products but how are they supported at retail level?
    Who does one contact here in NZ if you wish to become a KEX store? Good luck finding those people who are listed on the website for NZ.
    Like I said earlier I would like to be proven wrong and see KEX flourish.
    I look forward to seeing what comes of this newly announced commitment to silver halide.

    • Stuart Holmes Stuart Holmes July 9, 2015

      Hi Stephen, “DITTO” to the comments to Garrett above…..
      All any KEX or other Independent Photo Specialty Lab in New Zealand or Australia is Give us a Go! and we’ll be here for you,
      Cheers, Stuart

      • Thanks for your comments Stuart. I must clarify. My comments were aimed at Kodak Alaris themselves, not our trusty distributor IPS. My apologies if that was how it was perceived. IPS here in NZ have in the past been nothing but supportive to me in my retail store, and I’m aware that the trio Brain, Sam & Graham continue to support stores very well, often in an ‘over and above’ nature. The photo industry here in NZ is in good hands with the team at IPS. My apologies again if my comments caused you grief Stuart. Regards Stephen

  3. PG PG July 9, 2015

    Only support if you go KEX despite using Kodak paper and selling their complete range of film, never been offered. Anyway what’s a Kodak?

    • Stuart Holmes Stuart Holmes July 9, 2015

      Hi Phil, That’s why IPS are here mate, we support you, not compete against you 🙂
      Cheers, Stuart

      • PG PG July 24, 2015

        Correct Stuart, you understand having been on the working side of the counter.
        The problem was started years ago with most KEX customers wanting to be spoon feed, only the ones that “got it” survived. I do think that Kodak in their wisdom could have been the conduit for a user paid facilitator of a networking event today. Bit like Fuji in the US with IPI they are a huge supporter of the independants.

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