January 3, 2013
Polaroid To Launch New Fotobar Stores In February
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The digital camera may have helped to kill traditional film-bound shooters, but it hasn´t killed their spirit. Case in point: Polaroid is set to open up their very first “Fotobar” (because you can´t have fun without a misspelling) in Florida next month, merging the convenience of digital photography with the tradition and brand recognition of Polaroid.
Although it can be argued that Polaroid gave us our first taste of the kind of immediate gratification which accompanies digital photography, the rise of pocket point-and-shoots and smartphones drove the company into bankruptcy twice. The iconic photo company is still around, of course, expanding their brand into TVs, tablets and printers.
The company will also be on hand at CES in Vegas next week, where they are expected to formally announce these new Fotobars, the first of which will open in February.
Just as it sounds, these Fotobars will be a place where photographers of all shapes and sizes can wirelessly upload their images to a computer or edit station. From here, customers can edit the picture, correct red-eye, brightness and contrast; as well as add those wacky filters the world is so wild about these days. Once the editing process is complete, the customer can choose to have their photo framed, matted, and even printed on canvas, metal, and wood. Polaroid promises to have these new tangible works of art turned around and shipped within 72 hours (3 days).
The company is hoping to jump in on the rising trend of snapping and sharing pictures of nearly everything. Rather, instead of share a digital image with a social network, Polaroid wants to help these shooters share their images in a real and tangible sense; by creating something worthy of being hung on a wall.
“There are currently around 1.5 billion pictures taken every single day, and that number continues to grow in tandem with the popularity and quality of camera phones,” said Warren Struhl, the founder and CEO of Fotobar LLC, in a statement.
“Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices. Why? Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that.”
Polaroid plans to open up at least ten Fotobars this year. The first is a 2,000 square foot location in Delray Beach, Florida.
As is the new norm when opening up a new retail store centered on “customer experience,” the Polaroid stores look as if they´ll follow the Apple Store paradigm, complete with iMacs as workstations on white countertops.
Polaroid plans to open up stores in Boston, Las Vegas, and New York in the coming months.
Each of these Fotobars will be tended by, you guessed it, “Fototenders.” Polaroid claims these experienced staff members will be able to walk customers through the entire process from start to finish, as well as host photography classes and private parties.
“Polaroid has always been about much more than just taking pictures,” explained Polaroid president and CEO Scott W. Hardy. “Polaroid is about sharing life´s most precious and memorable moments.”
“We are very excited about the opening of these stores, and the opportunities they will create for millions of consumers to have classic Polaroid experiences,” he added.