Kodak, Kmart Introduce Online Photo Service

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Eastman Kodak Co. has begun a co-branded online picture service with Kmart Corp.'s BlueLight.com.


The Kodak Picture Center Online will allow consumers to get digital prints from their rolls of films without having to change the way they take pictures.


The service is touted as an alternative to double prints and an easier way for consumers to share their pictures. Consumers can have their film digitized and uploaded directly to the center by checking the appropriate box on the photo-finishing envelope.


Kathy Rauschenberg, public relations manager of consumer imaging at Kodak, Rochester, NY, citing company market research, said more than 85 percent of consumers have said they want to share their pictures for e-mail purposes.


"So if a consumer has his or her pictures online and they want to share it with 10 different people, they can do that easily via e-mail," Rauschenberg said. "And then those 10 people also have the opportunity of getting reprints or enlargements sent directly to them if they so choose."


The Kodak Picture Center Online will be featured in the Photo Zone area of BlueLight, San Francisco.


Kodak ran circulars in newspapers reaching 70 million homes on May 6 to promote the new service, Rauschenberg said.


Additionally, Kmart, Troy, MI, will publicize the service at its more than 2,000 stores through point-of-purchase promotions, Rauschenberg said.


Kodak has a similar online picture center on www.cvs.com, Rauschenberg said. The company is set to launch more online picture centers with several undisclosed retailers in the summer, she said.


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