Retailers have been quick to unleash a wave of photo specials this spring, featuring not only free second prints, but also private-label film, photo buttons and mugs, and photo transfers to floppy disk.
"The key to maintaining interest in film and developing is having something going all the time," said Frank Puleo, director of nonperishables at Genuardi's Family Markets, Norristown, Pa.
Genuardi's photo promotions run the gamut from single film rolls featured at 40% to 50% off to banded multipacks merchandised as "buy three, get the fourth free."
Many of the promotions kicked off at Easter, when chains began aggressively publicizing photo specials in newspaper ads.
Among these, Smitty's Super Valu, Phoenix, highlighted 4-inch double prints for $4.99, and 3-inch double prints or 4-inch single prints for $3.99.
Bashas' Markets, Chandler, Ariz., offered one-third-off regular photo developing charges. Developing of 3-inch double prints, 12 exposures, was offered for $1.97. "Share Your Easter Moments With Those You Love," one Bashas' ad read.
Smith's Food & Drug Centers, Salt Lake City, offered any size roll of 3-inch by 5-inch single prints for $2.99 and any size roll of 3-inch by 5-inch double prints for $3.99.
Kroger Co., Cincinnati, ran newspaper ads in its Dallas marketing area, Keller, Texas, announcing its second annual 1996 Kroger/Fuji Bluebonnet Photo Contest.
"We hit photo big this spring for Easter, proms and graduations," said Nelson Rodenmayer, director of marketing and advertising at Winn-Dixie Stores' Louisville, Ky., division.
Winn-Dixie offers single and double prints, with the second set free. It also has an everyday low price, which includes developing and prints, but charges for additional prints.
Hy-Vee Food Stores, West Des Moines, Iowa, also runs second-set-free specials. "Offering the free second set matches Kmart, which we needed to combat," said John Susich, vice president of general merchandise.
Though Easter was the time when most campaigns beefed up, promotions have extended beyond the holiday. Now is when chains regularly promote their film services in circular and newspaper ads.
Shaw's Supermarkets, East Bridgewater, Mass., spotlighted a "Film Developing Super Sale" in a recent circular. The campaign offered developing of any size roll for $2.97, plus free Shaw's film (35mm, 24 exposure) or a free second set of prints.
Pathmark Stores, Woodbridge, N.J., ran a "Great Film Developing Choices" promotion, offering free film or second set of prints. It also promoted the Konica Picture Show, a new program that transfers photos to a floppy disk.
Film and photo is one of the hottest categories for spring and summer at Associated Wholesalers, York, Pa., according to Charles Yahn, vice president of general merchandise.
"Retailers are running free second prints, promoting photo mugs and 5-inch by 7-inch enlargements," he said. "They are also giving away a roll of 24-exposure private-label film free with incoming developing orders, which increases private-label film sales."
To make photo processing and film a standout area this season, Hy-Vee is highlighting developing with lively specials.
"We have $2 coupons off developing or film, and also offer a free second set of 4-inch by 6-inch prints two days a week, Tuesday and Friday, to appeal to shoppers both early and late in the week," Susich said. Launched two months ago, the program brings people to stores at different times in the week, Susich said.
Here's what retailers and wholesalers had to say about the season's photo/film promotions:
Frank Puleo director, nonperishables Genuardi's Family Markets Norristown, Pa.
For spring, we're offering a second set of prints free with photo processing and enlargement specials. The key to maintaining interest in film and developing is having something going all the time.
Developing and film sales are up. In fact, film sales are up a little more than store sales through additional promotions and display locations.
We are focusing more on straight-line promotions and less on marginal types, such as photo mugs and buttons, which have limited appeal. We're giving a few dollars off on developing in "buy one set of prints, get a second set free" offers.
We're promoting single film roll specials at 40% to 50% off, and in banded multipacks merchandised as "buy three, get the fourth free."
We promote film quite frequently, sometimes at a higher gross. That is possible by buying the banded packs and putting them on display at full margins, without necessarily reducing the price.
Nelson Rodenmayer director, marketing and advertising Winn-Dixie Stores Louisville, Ky., division
We offer single and double prints, with the second set free. We also have an everyday low price that includes developing and prints, and additional prints at a charge.
We hit photo big at Easter, for proms and graduations. As we move into summer, photo is always a big deal for vacations. It is a big opportunity.
Second prints are very popular. A lot of customers opt for a second set to send off to friends or relatives.
We promote second sets with in-store signs. We also highlight them at our 31 one-hour stores, which also list what the total price will be with a 12-, 24- or 36-exposure roll.
We feature film and developing weekly in circulars and also in special promotions that come off holidays.
Film promotions include our Winn-Dixie film in 12- and 24-exposure rolls, in 100, 200 and 400 speeds. It is a very high quality that was introduced last year. Sales are increasing continually.
Store-brand film gets display space that is comparable to the national brands at conventional stores. It also gets added facings at stores with minilabs, where more room is avail-
able for film merchandising.
Charles Yahn VP, general merchandise Associated Wholesalers York, Pa.
Film and photo is one of the hottest categories for spring and summer. Our retailers are running free second prints, promoting photo mugs and 5-inch by 7-inch enlargements. They are also giving away a roll of 24-exposure private-label film free with incoming developing orders which increases film sales.
Offering free store-brand film in 24- and 36-exposure rolls is a good way to generate trial in the store brand. Customers will use it the first time because it is free. If they like the way the pictures turn out, they will return when they need more film.
John Susich vice president Hy-Vee Food Stores West Des Moines, Iowa
We're promoting developing this spring with lively specials from $2 coupons off developing or film to free second 4-inch by 6-inch prints two days a week, Tuesday and Friday, to appeal shoppers both early and late in the week. Offering the free second set matches Kmart, which we needed to combat.