(KODAK)(EK) New Kodak Image Magic Sticker Prints Kiosk Fully Networked to Tally Profits For Retailers (Business Wire; 02/04/98)

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 1998--The new Kodak Image Magic sticker prints kiosks hit the market this month offering a compact new revenue source for retailers. The new self-serve sticker kiosks allow consumers to place their face on stickers about the size of a postage stamp.

The concept of photo stickers was first introduced in Japan where it is currently a $2.5 billion business with one million teenagers using the kiosks daily, according to I.T. Strategies Inc. Kodak is offering unique content, network capabilities and full service and support with the Image Magic sticker prints kiosks as the market emerges in the United States.

"Kodak plans to lead the U.S. market in sticker prints with exciting content, including motion picture characters. We expect sticker kiosks to be popular traffic builders in shopping malls, specialty and mass market retailers, theme parks, entertainment destinations and theaters," says Jim Sullivan, general manager, entertainment retail for Themed Entertainment, a unit of Kodak's Entertainment Imaging division. "Some theme parks are already enjoying success with Kodak's sticker kiosks, as are retailers such as FAO Schwarz toy stores," Sullivan says.

"The income potential of these kiosks far exceeds standard retail revenue on a per-square-foot basis," says Sullivan. "With less than 10 square feet of space, very little labor and full service and support from Kodak, retailers can generate extremely attractive returns."

The Kodak Image Magic sticker prints kiosks will be networked. Each kiosk will be connected to a standard phone line to transmit sales data including the number of sales per day, the most popular sticker themes used and royalties. Sales reports from Kodak will help locations track what sells to optimize future profits.

The sticker kiosks have proven to be people magnets--attracting children, teenagers and adults. "Stickers are very affordable and lots of fun," says Sullivan. "Kids can get a whole sheet of 16 personal images that they can trade with friends, stick on personal items and use to share good times. This is a concept that really works. It puts pictures in a whole new category of entertainment."

"Two different styles of stickers are available--those with general scenes such as holiday themes or amusing cartoon-like content, and those with exciting branded-content scenes such as movie themes, animated characters or sports logos," says Sullivan. "Kodak's creative team will update themes and backgrounds on a regular basis, keeping content tied to current programs and promotions. Retailers have many opportunities to use stickers to promote merchandise sales."

Kodak has reached an agreement to offer Sesame Street characters on stickers and more themed characters will be available. A toy retailer may request borders with popular toys or characters. A sports retailer would use team logos. Content can be changed automatically by simply downloading new CDs supplied by Kodak. Enhanced network capabilities will allow content transfer over phone lines in the near future.

The Kodak Image Magic sticker prints kiosks combine high photographic quality, user friendliness, fun interactive graphics and an attractive design. Kodak's support will include a full service help desk for quick response during all retail hours and same-day, on-site component exchange.

The Sticker Prints Kiosks also include digital image merging. This allows customers to combine their own image with various fantasy backgrounds of their choosing. The effect produces a three-dimensional look: the person appears on the sticker with content in front and behind them creating 3-D depth. Other features include:

-- Zoom lens imaging optics, allowing from one to four people to fit into an image; -- 30-second output of stickers with photographic quality; -- A two- printer option with automatic switching capabilities for high volume locations; -- The best interactive graphics in the industry; -- Adjustable mirrors to accommodate customers of different heights; -- Direct view posing that allows customers to pose and interact live with the scenes; -- Choice of two sticker sizes; and -- The ability to accept either tokens or cash.

The potential for the kiosks extends even further than outputting sticker- backed photos, however. "Digital technology enables products like this one to become key point-of-sale technologies for retail and entertainment destinations," says Sullivan.