One of the most prominent names in the photography industry will test out a brick-and-mortar business based on photos from Facebook and other online and digital sources, as Polaroid announced at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it will open at least 10 Polaroid Fotobar stores this year.
Polaroid said the first Polaroid Fotobar store will be a 2,000-square-foot location in Delray Beach, Fla., which is set to open in February, adding that customers will be able to use the company’s patent-pending proprietary technology to upload photos from Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, and other social sites, or select photos from their digital devices and wirelessly transmit them to workstations.
Once the photos are uploaded or transmitted, Polaroid Fotobar customers will be able to take advantage of technologies such as contrast, red-eye correction, brightness, and filters, as well as choose materials, substrates, and framing options. Polaroid said images can be framed, matted, and/or printed directly onto substrates including canvas, metal, acrylic, wood, and bamboo. All products are then handcrafted and shipped from the company’s manufacturing facility within 72 hours.
The company added that the stores will be staffed with “Phototenders” to aid customers in navigating through the process, and the debut location in Delray Beach will feature “The Studio,” a multipurpose room for photo classes, private parties, and portrait photos.
Polaroid President and CEO Scott W. Hardy said:
Polaroid has always been about much more than just taking pictures. Polaroid is about sharing life’s most precious and memorable moments. We have been, and continue to be, about self-expression, creativity, and fun. Polaroid Fotobar retail stores represent a perfect modern expression of the values for which we have stood for 75 years. 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.
And Fotobar Founder and CEO Warren Struhl added:
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. 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.
Readers: Would you like a Polaroid Fotobar store to open near you?