Why CVS and Walmart are still printing photos

Why CVS and Walmart are still printing photos


At a time when most images do not leave the confines of a smartphone, CVS (CVS)And the Walgreens (WBA)And the Walmart (WMT)Albertsons and other chains still offer photo prints, greeting cards, books, film processing, and other services.

Who needs to print photos anymore? Well, there is still a demand from some customers: photo services bring traffic to these retailers’ stores, especially during peak holiday, graduation and wedding seasons.

More than 50% of photo prints made this year will come from a retail store, with total sales of about $786 million, said David Howeter, a longtime image industry analyst and founder of consultancy and market research firm Rise Above Research.

He added that about 4.2 billion 4×6 prints will be developed in stores this year.

“People don’t print as much as they used to, but there are still people who like to print,” Howuter said.

Kodak's machines are still strong at CVS.
Old technology and old gadgets have staying power in part because they allow people to disconnect the constant pinging of their devices.
Interest among Generation Z and Millennials in film cameras has increased in recent years. Photography has become a popular hobby, with cameras selling out It said Up in sites like Etsy (ETSY) And the ebay (ebay). Disposable cameras also have is back With younger consumers, like celebrities Chris Pine And Gigi Hadid with them, sparking interest.

Haueter said many consumers like to order photo prints and products at stores like CVS because they get the merchandise right away, without shipping charges. They often head to these drugstores to buy other things as well.

CVS offers imaging services in approximately 7,600 stores. “We continue to see strong demand for this service – especially during gift-giving seasons,” a company spokesperson said.

More than 8,000 Walgreens stores offer photo services, said Raghu Valata, Walgreens’ senior director of digital commerce strategy and planning. “Holidays tend to be a busy time in our photography realm, seeing the highest pedestrian traffic overall in December,” Valata said.

Although drugstores and other retailers have kept their own in-store photo services, this is not the solution for every company: costco (cost) And the targeting (TGT) They have been written off in recent years. Costco last year closed photo centers in nearly all of its 800 stores, inform customers that “the continuing decline in print no longer requires on-site photo printing” and that “digital technologies allow consumers to do more with their photos.”

But at Walmart, by contrast, there are about 3,700 stores with Fujifilm photo booths – usually found inside the store’s electronics section and often used.

A Walmart spokesperson said it’s a service “regularly used by customers,” including people who may not have access to a computer to order online prints. “We maintain a healthy business all year round.”



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