The retail photo publishing market is growing. The sector fared well through the last difficult economic year and retailers are expressing an increasing interest in providing in-store photo solutions to drive footfall and capitalise on this growing retail opportunity.
HP, an established world leader in home and office printing, has a successful Retail Publishing Solution (RPS) portfolio which is growing in line with sector growth. Since speaking to HP about RPS last year, the business has continued to grow in size and profit, going from strength to strength. HP wants to share this success with retailers.
HP’s RPS solutions are designed to help retailers capitalise on the projected £47 billion global retail photo opportunity by profitably growing in-store photo offerings.(1) As well as having a strong existing product portfolio, HP is now announcing new partners and solutions to offer retailers even more return on their retail photo publishing investment.
The current HP RPS portfolio of solutions includes the most versatile and fastest dry minilab printer on the market today(2) – the HP Photosmart ML1000D, the industry’s first dry, inkjet minilab. This duplex printer allows for one hour production of double-sided photo book pages and calendars as well as a range of photo print sizes. It significantly frees up labour and consumes almost three times less energy than traditional silver-halide photo finishing systems, helping retailers save up to £650 per machine per year and an average of 800 gallons of chemical and water discharge per year.(3)
There is more and more demand from consumers to make their own creative products, with photobooks leading the way. The HP RPS product offering means that consumers can now create 18 types of personalized printed merchandise – including posters, calendars and greeting cards – choosing among more than 300 licensed properties from 20 licensed content partners.(4)
Growth in the UK market
To support growth in the UK, HP will continue to expand its customer portfolio in RPS through the appointment of its new reseller ACL.
ACL has serviced HP products for major retailers in the UK since 1995, adding RPS products to its portfolio in 2005, as the primary reseller of HP’s range of RPS products in the UK. ACL will be responsible for HP RPS hardware and supplies sales in the UK.
Henry Bedford, founder and Managing Director of ACL, said: “We are thrilled to win the right to sell HP’s exciting range in the UK. We know HP’s products deliver unprecedented performance on quality and value. We believe the ML1000D Minilab printer will become the ’de facto’ printer of choice for retailers. We look forward to being of service to the UK’s photo printing retailers!”
The extension of HP’s RPS range includes the unveiling of the HP Photo Center 5 Premier and the HP Instant Print Solution, which enable the creation of high-quality, high-margin creative photo products in-store in a matter of minutes.
The HP Photo Center 5 Premier and HP Instant Print Solution are the newest updates to the award-winning HP Photo Center portfolio. The versatile and scalable HP Photo Center 5 Premier can be plugged into a retailer’s existing lab infrastructure or serve as a complete solution.
The HP Instant Print Solution is a self-serve, front-of-counter system that enables consumers to place orders for prints and creative products for pickup within minutes or at a later time using a secure order storage and release feature. The unattended system allows retailers to increase photo centre traffic and revenue from high-margin products without dedicated and costly labour.
“Consumers are becoming publishers, accessing the content they want, when they want, how they want, bringing it to life through the power of print,” stated Holger May, Category Manager, Retail Publishing Solutions, EMEA. “Retailers should be aware that there are huge opportunities available when you look at current market trends. If you capitalise on what people are doing and make it more exciting, like offering cool templates and licensed content, you can reap the rewards with greater sales and improved profit margins.”
Retailers have a real opportunity to capitalise on the growing success of the retail photo publishing market. There is now a viable choice between offering traditional prints or investing in newer, creative technologies. The latter investment will reduce costs in the long term; emphasise the ‘self-service’ ethos that many retailers are moving towards and ensure retailers embrace a growing trend as the photo finishing market continues to grow across EMEA.
(1) Source: Retail Publishing Solutions; HP analysis.
(2) Based upon manufacturers’ web minilabs published specification as of February 2010; compared to wet minilabs from major vendors available on the European market as of February 2010.
(3) f/22 Consulting data (U.S. based, internationally recognised third-party research company) on HP vs. silver-halide systems. Assumes both photo finishing systems producing 1,250 prints/day, 360 days/year and actual average power consumption rates for U.S. commercial segment. Water claim based on a saving of approximately 3636.872 litres/year per unit and PFN data on worldwide total installed base of approximately 106,416 AgX minilabs (September 2009).
(4) Partnerships, brands and official launch date will vary by region and country. Some brands will not be available in all markets worldwide.