Best Buy Enters Online Photo Processing Fray

Best Buy Co. Inc., aiming to capitalize on the growing popularity of digital imaging, on Thursday launched a photofinishing service that would allow customers to order prints online for the first time. But with its imageLab service, the top U.S. electronics retailer enters an already crowded business that includes independent online services and formidable photofinishers like drugstore chain Walgreen Co. and discounting heavyweight Wal-Mart Stores Inc.. The two companies are among many U.S. retailers that have invested heavily in new digital photo processing equipment as more and more Americans shift from film to digital.

Kevin Cockett, a Best Buy spokesman, said the retailer planned to grow the photo finishing business by capitalizing on its expertise in selling complex technologies like digital cameras, home theater systems and other digital products. Best Buy, he said, was already a key seller of digital camera accessories, which fits with a strategy to become a one-stop shop for digital imaging needs. The new photo service would also go after those consumers seeking advice in digital photo-taking and digital camera use, with the aim of eventually steering many of them to print images on Best Buy's imageLab Web site, he added.

News source: Reuters

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