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Boots to close 160 instore labs


Mark Amies

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In the Sun today - http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/money/4289586/Booted-out-Boots-to-close-photo-labs.html

Nice cost cutting , profit making move from the Swiss company. Oh , and 300 people end up out of work. On a positive note , it will be a massive boon to the other labs on the high street who have respect for the industry and the customers who needed a service.  As the article points out , Boots paid only £52 million in tax in 2011, but managed to produce profits of £1 billion. "Here come the girls".  ::)

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Well Mark,

This IS news, not unexpected I will grant you. It will certainly not do the industry any good and certainly not help the punters.

I don't know about most of the other independant guys on here, but I guess we are all in the same boat with things being rather quiet at the moment. However, just because no one replied to your post straight away, don't assume that it was "non News". We don't all sit on our butts all day in front of the PC, especially now when we all have to be out generating new customers. The days are long gone when they came looking for us.

As much as I love all the folks on this great forum my priorities sit with keeping things running here.

Sorry mate, just that your second post had the tone of we all dont give a s%@t.

Richard

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Maybe the lack of instant replies tells you that most of us have had a busy morning!!! This annoucement by boots is welcome as they have depressed the price of photographic services for decades. Any independant near a boots branch can only benefit long term. We also welcome the news that tesco are also withdrawning from the minilab market (replacing them with virgin travel shops). Nearly everyone of our customers need help (even starting a kiosk) so service is the key. We now find people are traveling to us from some distance to get what they want. Neach market here we come!!

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also running around at a rather busy time of year here

Another step in the evolution of the Mini Lab Market

Did you see the story about World Record Day, where we had Q's of thousands lining up to buy 12 and 7 inch vinyl

We even have shop in Manchester dedicated to the Lomo user

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??)Which makes me think that when we see actions taken by big set ups like Boots that we really should not be seen as an indicator of the way things really are.

Why does Boots want to drop the labs? Is it more of a case that they have lost interest? You see,  have thought that if they consulted the very people who use their stores that they would have found that Boots had been one of a number of places that came to mind with photography, and processing. In my opinion this decision was made by an accountant and a 'consultant'. But they did not consult with customers, or certainly enough on  abraod scale. May be rang 100 people and 80 said 'not bothered' and took it as a representation of fact.

Give this story to the media and they will say that people are not printing their pictures. I resent this, it is a cheap response from newspapers and media set ups looking for an easy story. There is no truth in it.

This is just what happened with the Kodak story - you get media reaction , lazy reporting - and suddenly photography is dead. Just because Kodak had been having a few 'problems'.

The next thing we wil see is that Jessops is up for sale - and we will be told that the camera market has collapsed.

(think)(think)

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I live in Ireland and we never had the saturation of large pharmacy chains with minilabs. Most minilabs here are independent owned with a few multi location minilabs/pharmacy.

In Ireland a company called Spectra tried something simular to what Jessops did a few years ago. Instead of buying existing businesses, they set up their own retail shops and had one in most Irish towns. This succeeded for a while but eventually they closed all them down. The reason was the small population here and also they had to collect and deliver from the central lab to each of their own shops and so couldn't compete with minilab turnaround. After they closed there was a boost to the local indepentant minilabs (I own a minilab just around the corner from their old shop)

Anyway, while Boots in the UK may give the public the impression that film is dead and that no one wants to print their photos, the independent minilabs can now show what they have to offer and prove that film and digital can co exist, and that film is far from dead and people DO WANT to print their photos.

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Would dearly love this to happen with our big retailers down here in Oz

Same in N.Z, we have Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman slugging it out for the supreme Fuji based cost cutter title.

Currently NL lead with a 10cmx15cm every day print cost of $0.12 (A$0.09/£0.06).

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I'm going to set up a shop called a photoshop. It will have a print processing machine and someone who knows how to use it. It will have some kiosks so that work can easily be fed into it. It will sell a few cameras and lots of frames and albums. It will scan prints and slides and make gift items like mugs and other stuff. It will do big enlargements and canvas prints. It will be a speciality store that everybody in my area thinks of when they want something photographic done. And if they can't get into the store they will do it online with us, after all we have all the gear already here.

What do you think? Is it a good idea? Will it work?

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I'm going to set up a shop called a photoshop. It will have a print processing machine and someone who knows how to use it. It will have some kiosks so that work can easily be fed into it. It will sell a few cameras and lots of frames and albums. It will scan prints and slides and make gift items like mugs and other stuff. It will do big enlargements and canvas prints. It will be a speciality store that everybody in my area thinks of when they want something photographic done. And if they can't get into the store they will do it online with us, after all we have all the gear already here.

What do you think? Is it a good idea? Will it work?

Hmm, interesting concept. Not sure if it would work though!

Didn't they try that in the 1880's?

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Must have Fuji shaking in their 'Boots'  ;) as that's a large chunk to lose. I heard on the grapevine they have been losing ground overseas too with some other chains pulling their labs out. Didn't Boots have 1200 labs at one time? I seem to remember that number from a way back.

I guess the question is will Fuji win the kiosk and dry printer business - or will it be HP? Maybe HP can relocate their gear from Tesco to the nearest Boots  ;)

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Haven't been on here for some time, so this is all news to me. Sad that people will (may?) lose their jobs, but still- it is now up to us indies to fly the flag. This could be a very good thing for us if we play our cards right.

Does anyone know the timescale of the closedowns?

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