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 user 2010-03-08 at 2:08:44 pm Views: 45
  • #23447

    HP Photo Kiosks Replacing Kodak At Wal-Mart
    SAN FRANCISCO hp is pushing rival printer giant Eastman Kodak Co.  out of an important location: Wal-Mart Stores Inc.stores.Since last year, the retail giant has been quietly installing H-P “Prints in Minutes” photo booths, which customers use to make photo prints from their digital cameras, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said.The H-P kiosk rollout, which Wal-Mart says will be completed by this summer, will dislodge existing photo booths made by Kodak, which has provided its kiosks to Wal-Mart since at least 2006.Wal-Mart has 8,416 retail units under various brand names in 15 countries.

    The battle over Wal-Mart is the latest development in a bitter face-off between the two printing giants. Executives at both companies have lobbed barbs at the other and disputed claims about their technology. Both covet Wal-Mart because the retailer’s huge reach means not only the placement of lots of printer kiosks but also continued revenue from the ink, toner and paper the photo booths require for operation.”These kiosks stay installed for nine or 10 years,” H-P Chief Executive Mark Hurd told investors at a conference in San Francisco on Tuesday morning. H-P gets “100% supplies connect,” he said, referring to the sales of the additional printing products.

    An H-P spokeswoman didn’t return phone calls seeking additional comment. A Kodak spokesman said Wal-Mart’s decision “is in no way a reflection on the quality of our products.”

    The Wal-Mart deal will likely help H-P as it endeavors to turn around its printer division. During its first-quarter earnings last month, H-P said its printer division reported a 4% jump in revenue to $6.2 billion, a performance that exceeded expectations.On Tuesday, H-P shares fell 0.8% to $51.12, while Kodak shares lost 0.8% to $5.92. Wal-Mart fell nearly 0.6% to $53.59.

    The Wal-Mart deal comes as the H-P and Kodak exchange cutting comments sparked by Kodak’s claims its printers can dramatically cut printing costs. Kodak has been reengineering itself since the digital photography boomeroded its traditional photographic film and equipment business.”Shame on your tactics,” Kodak Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Hayzlett said in a message posted on micro-blogging site Twitter. Hayzlett says H-P undercuts rivals by drastically lowering printer prices, then profits by keeping the price of ink refills artificially high.”You have a fight you can’t possibly win,” tweeted Angela LoSasso, the head of social media strategy for H-P’s imaging and printing group.