WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Raley's Supermarkets here plans to support its one-hour photo-processing services with a year-long advertising campaign once the service becomes available chainwide sometime in late spring.
New equipment will go into two remaining stores, located in Reno, Nev., and Sacramento, Calif., by sometime in June, according to Dan Black, Raley's general merchandise buyer. Then, Raley's will have one-hour photo-developing service available in all but one of its 64 stores. One store in the chain won't offer the service because space is not available.
The chain installed its first film-developing minilabs three years ago.
When these last two labs open, the chain will launch a year-long newspaper advertising campaign that will offer coupons for $2 and $3 off regular prices. The company charges $8.99 for one-hour developing of 24 exposures, $10.99 for 36 exposures. Regular overnight developing is $5.99 for a roll of 24 exposures, $7.99 for a roll of 36.
Raley's is counting on the chainwide service to help it compete against other retailers. Black would not discuss profits, but he said sales figures are "very good and growing.".
"One-hour photo-processing completes a photo department and offers convenience," Black added. "It's also a competitive edge against other retailers that will be getting into it just as they have video movie rentals."
The one-hour service does especially well in areas with warehouses, office buildings, insurance companies, real estate agencies, because these are the types of businesses "that are willing to pay the $2 to $3 extra for one-hour work," Black said.
Each minilab is located in 90 to 100 square feet of space in a combined camera, video and customer service center. At least six to eight employees in each store are trained to operate the system.
The service also is one business that is building a good repeat business for the chain.
"Once customers try it [the faster developing] and see they can get their [finished] film and walk out the door with it instead of waiting until the next day, it builds repeat business," Black said.
Raley's also owns 17 Bel Air Markets here. Three of these stores currently have minilabs, but no additional minilabs are planned due to space limitations, Black said.