PMA 2009 show review

PMA CanadaThe annual Photo Marketing Association event, held in Canada, is a two-day product showcase featuring manufacturers and vendors catering to photo retailers. The show offers world-class education seminars, dynamic keynote speakers and networking opportunities with colleagues and suppliers.

This year, I attended the show (Sept. 10-11) and looked specifically for money-making ventures that could also be applied to the print industry in general.

This year, Whitech Solutions (distributed in Canada by Don Springs of Cavalcade), presented “How to Profit with Kiosk Large-Format Printing.” The award-winning company is responsible for the development of “Photo.Teller,” a photographic kiosk software, “Business Professional,” a point-of-sale package and “Imagine,” a web-driven photo gifting solution. The seminar was conducted by Don Springs and George Couto from Canon Canada.

Photo.Teller CREATIVE allows you to offer digital printing services and photo merchandise products through kiosks. Retailers in many industries (including pay-for-print and copy shops) are using these kiosks as an easy way to offer large-format printing to their customers. Fulfillment can easily be done in-store with a Canon large-format printer. The printer that was shown off at this seminar was a Canon iPF6100 24” printer, which was selling for $3,195. It produced beautiful 12-colour 24” x 30” prints in five minutes at the cost of $6.06 (heavy weight satin paper and ink combined).

Photo.Teller integrates to a wide range of output devices including digital presses, laser printers, mini labs and dye-sublimation, making it suitable for a wide variety of retail industries. Multiple kiosks can be networked together for greater efficiency within a store or across multiple locations. Don Springs showed off a number of stores with only 1100 square feet of retail space, yet with café kiosk-style seating they were able to accommodate up to 16 customers at a time.

The real upside of this booming kiosk printing business is that it offers highly-profitable products which we all need in this competitive market. You can make high margins on photo merchandise products such as large-format printing.

F22 Consulting reported in its “Retail Photo Output Projections Update” (May 2009) that it has seen shifting production at the retail level. “The share of prints made on kiosks continues to grow as consumers choose instant gratification and as retailers opt for lower cost, lower touch, more environmentally-friendly print solutions. The deep recession has further dampened capital and labor investment tolerance, particularly in a small and shrinking category which could further accelerate the shift to kiosk printing.”

F22 further added, “personalized printed retail products such as photo books, calendars, greeting cards, posters and canvas prints will continue to fuel growth trends and promising opportunities.”

The solution is very cost effective. You can implement Photo.Teller for a very minimal start up cost of $6,500, or just add on the Canon iPF6100 printer for $3,195. This kiosk will reduce staff labour and you can offer hundreds of photo merchandise products on top of large-format printing if you wish.

Opportunities are plentiful if you just look for them. Open up additional revenue streams in your business. Increase your customer base by offering Photo.Teller as a in-store kiosk or a CREATIVE@HOME online ordering service where customers can place orders day and night.

For more information, contact Don Springs at 705-789-9603.

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