*NEWS*WAL-MART TO SELL KODAK PRINTERS

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*NEWS*WAL-MART TO SELL KODAK PRINTERS

 user 2007-09-11 at 10:33:00 am Views: 43
  • #18733

    Wal-Mart to sell Kodak inkjets
    September , 2007— This could be the beginning of the end of the so-called paperless society.
    In
    a move that could generate reams of hard-copied documents and
    photographs in homes across America, Eastman Kodak Co. announced Monday
    that its most affordable inkjet printer is now available at 2,600
    Wal-Mart stores.The move to sell the EasyShare 5100 All-in-One Printer
    at the nation’s largest retailer also included a $20 cut in price on
    the printer to $129.99 and a limited promotional offer to include three
    five-color replacement ink cartridges with the sale.Kodak hopes to
    create a new market of computer and digital-camera users who won’t
    think twice about hitting the print command, said company spokesman
    Dave Lanzillo.”Consumers have explicitly told us that the real barrier
    to printing is the high cost of ink,” Lanzillo said. “We’re changing
    that model by making inkjet printers easy, affordable, accessible and,
    now with Wal-Mart, widely available. We’re changing consumer behavior
    by enabling them to print as much as they want to.”Kodak broke into the
    $45 billion inkjet printer market in February with the introduction of
    three models. The EasyShare 5300 sells for $199, while the 5500 sells
    for $299.With printer prices starting under $50, the Easy- Share
    occupies a price point at the middle of the market. But Kodak is hoping
    a technology that allows it to sell ink at lower cost will attract
    buyers.

    All three printers use black-ink cartridges that sell
    for $9.99 and five-color cartridges that sell for $14.99, prices that
    Kodak says can cut consumers’ printing costs by up to 50 percent.
    Hewlett-Packard Co., the printer industry leader, disputes that
    claim.Kodak’s move into Wal-Mart more than doubles the U.S. shelf space
    for the EasyShare 5100, which had been available only at the 742-store
    Best Buy chain. Bestbuy.com on Monday listed the EasyShare 5100 at
    $149.99.Wal-Mart spokeswoman Marisa Bluestone said the EasyShare 5100
    fits well with the company’s business plan.”At Wal-Mart, we are always
    looking to provide our customers more value for their every need, and
    this new Kodak printer is an example of that,” she said.Kodak’s stock
    closed Monday at $26.66, down 71 cents. But with two other recent news
    events at Kodak, it was unclear what factors were affecting the
    movement.Kodak also announced Monday that IBM has agreed to provide
    hardware and software support services for Kodak picture kiosks in six
    South American countries.And Sunday, the company said it has reached an
    agreement that allows Ricoh Americas Corp. to sell several Kodak
    commercial printing products.Larry Jamieson, an imaging industry
    analyst for Lyra Research of Newtonville, Mass., said the Wal-Mart
    placement should eventually have a positive influence on Kodak’s
    stock.”As soon as you say ‘Kodak and Wal-Mart,’ it should have a good
    effect,” he said. “I would think Wall Street would see that as a
    positive. But that’s logical and that’s never something I associate
    with Wall Street.”The move signals Kodak’s commitment to the inkjet
    printer market, Jamieson said, noting that Kodak will have to ramp up
    production to fill the Wal-Mart orders. But he also said the $20 price
    cut moves the EasyShare 5100 toward the low end of the printer
    spectrum, where buyers tend to be more frugal with their printing
    decisions.And by giving away three ink cartridges —enough to last many
    users two or more years — it could be a long time before Kodak sees a
    return on its investment, Jamieson said.Still, Wal-Mart’s position atop
    the retail world should help Kodak position itself as an inkjet printer
    company, he said.”Even if you connect with a few of these people, it’s
    a plus,” Jamieson said. “Is it an offensive strategy or a defensive
    strategy? I think it’s a little bit of both.”