Why CVS and Walmart still print photos
Who needs to print photos anymore? Well, there’s still demand from some customers: Photo services bring traffic into these retailers’ stores, particularly during the peak holiday, graduation and wedding seasons.
More than 50% of photo prints made this year will come from a retail store, totaling about $786 million in sales, said David Haueter, a longtime photo industry analyst and the founder of consulting and market research firm Rise Above Research.
Around 4.2 billion 4” x 6″ prints alone will be developed at stores this year, he added.
“People aren’t printing as much as they used to, but there are still people who like to print,” said Haueter.
Haueter said many consumers like ordering photo prints and products at stores like CVS because they get the goods immediately, with no shipping charges. They’re often heading to these drug stores to pick up other stuff, too.
CVS offers photo services in around 7,600 stores. “We continue to see a strong demand for this service — especially around gift-giving seasons,” a 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 for our photo business, with the highest foot traffic generally seen in December,” Valata said.
But at Walmart, by contrast, around 3,700 stores have Fujifilm photo kiosks — typically located within the store’s electronics department and they’re often put to use.
It’s a service that “customers utilize quite regularly,” a Walmart spokesperson said, including people who may not have access to a computer to order prints online. “We maintain a healthy business year-round.”