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NZ pharmacy chain refreshes photo counter

March 10, 2011: New Zealand chemist chain Radius Pharmacy has recently taken delivery of two Noritsu D1005 duplex inkjet minilabs to replace conventional minilabs at outlets in central Auckland and the Hawkes Bay town of Hastings.

This purchase is part of an ambitious project to grow the photo category across 38 stores spread throughout the country. Spearheaded by a customised marketing program and business strategy delivered by First Retail, Radius has begun transforming its offer, focusing on premium books, gifts and décor products.

IPS NZ managers, Brian Kearney and Sam Omar have been working closely with Radius’ senior executives, integrating the machines and range extension into their operations. This included launch events, store reconfiguration and comprehensive training.

‘Consumers have been quick to recognise the exceptional quality of the prints,’ said Mr Kearney.

‘Photobooks have been particularly popular, but enlargements, calendars and smaller print orders have all seen an appreciable growth in volume.’

Radius is keen to maximise both machines’ capabilities through in-store and online marketing activity. The Noritsu duplex inkjet printers are capable of producing books, greeting cards and panoramic prints up to 36 inches.

Mr Kearney said the D1005s have been well received by both staff and customers.

‘The product range and print quality has reawakened people’s fascination with photography. We’ve been delighted to see the appreciation in people’s faces when they see the results.’

COMMENT: It’s interesting to see a pharmacy chain re-engage with the photo category. Pharmacy largely lost interest when the time came to upgrade to digital minilabs, with most doing their sums and realising weight loss programs and perfumes were a lot easier to sell and, following the ravages of Harvey Norman et al, offered way better margins. Lower cost, easy-to-operate, smaller footprint equipment could have appeal to pharmacy here in Australia as well, with the cut-price chemists having changed the economics of pharmacy retailing.

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