New York -- Polaroid has announced plans to launch a new experiential retail concept called Polaroid Fotobar, opening at least 10 locations in 2013. The stores are designed to allow consumers to take the images from their digital devices and easily turn them into museum-quality art. Polaroid Fotobar envisions the stores becoming a recreational and entertainment destination in addition to a place to shop.
“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, founder and CEO of Fotobar. “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.”
The format will make its debut in February, in a 2,000-sq.-ft. location in Delray Beach, Fla. The store will be created around the consumer experience, with the goal of helping people release their “trapped” photos and display them in the form of premium quality art. Future store locations in 2013 include New York, Las Vegas and Boston among others.
According to Polaroid, patent-pending proprietary technology will allow in-store customers to select their favorite pictures on their camera phones and wirelessly transmit them to one of the store’s bar-top workstations for quick and hassle-free ordering within seconds. This platform also allows customers to locate their favorite photos and instantly upload them from popular social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Picasa and several others. Uploaded photos can be enhanced on the bar-top workstations using photo-effect technologies such as contrast, red-eye correction, brightness and filters showing users the outcome as they work.
Once the images are uploaded, customers will be able to choose from a wide variety of materials, substrates and framing options — all of which will be handcrafted and shipped to the consumer within 72 hours. Images can be framed, matted, and/or printed directly onto a variety of unique substrates including canvas, metal, acrylic, wood and bamboo.
The stores will be staffed by experienced “Phototenders,” each of whom trained to help guide customers through the process from start to finish. The Delray Beach location will also feature “The Studio,” a multi-purpose room that will host photo classes, private parties and include a studio location for portrait photos.