Kroger Feeds Consumer Need For Printed Photos

Billions of digital photos are taken every day, and The Kroger Co. is betting shoppers want to make some of them “real.”

Kroger is piloting digital photo printing kiosks from Print Mates, a subsidiary of Generation Next, in five Atlanta-area stores. The unattended touchscreen kiosks enable customers to instantly print high-quality photos directly from their smartphones or social media and cloud storage accounts.

Customers can also use the kiosks to order other photo products, décor, and gifts such as fridge magnets, frames and posters. All products are shipped to the customer’s home in as little as one day. Kroger will measure consumer engagement and response to the kiosks.

“Kroger is always looking for ways to offer our shoppers more from our stores,” said Felix Turner, corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s Atlanta division. “We are a company that embraces technology that empowers our customers and provides them with amazing in-store experiences. We are eager and optimistic to see how Print Mates performs in our Kroger store locations.”

National drugstore chain Rite Aid is also testing the market for turning digital photos into physical products. The company recently debuted Rite Aid Photo, a one-stop shop photo website that enables customers to create photo books, calendars, stationary, greeting cards, canvases and wall décor, and photo prints and enlargements. Customers can build a photo library from their computer, mobile camera roll or Facebook, and receive free shipping on all photo enlargements, creative and gifting items.

Kroger operates over 2,760 supermarkets and multi-department stores across the US.