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Printer Manufacturers Look to Women to Boost Industry

Printers Look to Women to Boost Industry

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Las Vegas, Nevada, March 11, 2007 – Retailers have known for quite some time now that overall photo printing is falling. Printer manufacturer Epson addressed key issues in an Epson and Kodak Executive Keynote last night at PMA on how to revive the printing world. Epson recommended that retailers target women to monetize on the printing business.

This year, consumers will take 115 billion digital and film exposures and not print them, according to Kodak General Manager Brad Kruchten of FilmPhoto Services. That leaves a huge market of underutilized photos open for retailers, according to the Kodak representative, estimated to be worth $5.8 billion annual revenue if fully realized.

"Everyday, we think about that 115 [billion images]," said Kruchten.

The challenge for retailers is finding a way to get people back to printing. Epson Vice President of Marketing Keith Kratzberg suggested

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that printers tap into the market of female consumers. Historically, women drive advancements in all industries, leading manufacturers to consider practicality in such large scale business models such as the car or coffee business.

Referring to the new client as "she," instead of the traditional "he," Epson said that one way to capitalize on the market is to turn photos into art. "Consumers, especially women, are not satisfied with displaying the same picture," said Kratzberg, suggesting that manufacturers should give easy options for consumers to change their photos for home display and wall art.

According to Kratzberg, hotels switch their wall art every three years. Keeping the same pictures is a 1950’s way of thinking, according to the Epson representative.

Other suggestions from Kodak to develop the print market are considerations for cost, convenience, education for consumers, and perhaps more importantly, improving the selection process for the customer.

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Print isn’t going away, according to Kruchten. "People love their mantels. They want to hold their memories in their hands," he said.

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