InfoTrends’ latest research indicates that digital minilab shipments will see a 9% sales increase in 2010 from 2009, and that even stronger growth will occur through the remainder of the forecast period. We expect that while economic conditions will remain challenging in 2010, there will be growth in the U.S. market, particularly in the second half of the year. This will lead to higher confidence in spending among retailers that will boost the minilab and kiosk markets.
Dry (chemical-free) minilabs will present the best opportunity for growth in new digital minilab shipments over the next few years. We estimate that while just over 80% of digital minilabs sold in 2009 were dry, nearly 100% of new shipments will be dry by 2014 as silver-halide minilabs become a niche product.
Retail stores that held off on buying or upgrading photofinishing equipment in 2008 and 2009 may decide to upgrade to new equipment this year. While the increased focus on environmental issues will play a part in encouraging more retailers to convert to dry labs, we believe the purchase decision is still driven predominantly by economics rather than concern for the environment.
Software development will also provide a boost to the kiosk market, as kiosks become easier to use and more multifunctional than ever before. The mix of kiosks and minilabs will vary from retailer to retailer, depending on customer needs and market dynamics of local markets. With the wide range of equipment and options available today, however, retailers have more choices than ever before for finding a product mix that fits their needs.
Further detail on these and other insights related to the U.S. photo kiosk and digital minilab market can be found in InfoTrends’ report U.S. Photo Kiosk and Digital Minilab Forecast: 2009 – 2014. To purchase this report, visit our online store or contact Robyn Wuori at +1 ext. 103 or .