History in the making…
On Thursday, Kodak announced it will try to sell off its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses. The Personal Imaging businesses includes 105,000 Kodak kiosks and the traditional photographic paper and still camera film products. The Document Imaging business includes scanners and capture software. This sad news means that Kodak film and paper will no longer be available in retail stores. With the exit from the digital camera business, the only Kodak items sold by Kodak in stores will be their All-in-One line of printers. There are some batteries, video tapes and other things that are labeled as Kodak but they are products licensed from Kodak.
Kodak will continue their Entertainment Imaging, Commercial Film and Specialty Film businesses. They also make items like dental film that are sold by CareStream.
Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said discussions of the sale of the company’s patents are ongoing. The next important date in the auction process is Aug. 30th when the final sale is supposed to be announced. But that date can always be moved again if needed. It all depends on the price or prices that are bid for the patents.
Danger! Opinions ahead…
Trying to sell off the retail film and paper business might be difficult. Sales of film are dropping quickly. Plus people aren’t printing many of their photos. Instead they are exchanging photos on photo websites and Facebook. Digital printing kiosks have competition from Fuji and Cannon.
The Document Imaging group has a lot of competition. These are high speed sheet scanners made for office use (like the one pictured). They are made by HP, Cannon, Epson, Xerox and other companies. In spite of the amount of competition this division may be easier to sell. In part that appears to be because the mark-up is high on these scanners.