Threat to Britain’s printing market revealed

April 25, 2006

There is bad news on the way for Britain?s high-street printing market if the latest research by the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) is to be believed.

Proportionately far fewer photographers in the UK get their digital images printed compared with the US despite Britain having the same share of digital camera owners, according to latest figures.

Fewer than half of Britain?s digital camera owners (45%) made prints from their digital images in 2005, compared with 67% of digital camera owners in the United States.

Furthermore, in Britain more than 60% of prints were made at home with only 19.7% from stand-alone high-street kiosks and 13.8% printed through retail minilabs. Online ordering accounted for less than 2% of prints.

This contrasts with the US where most prints are produced in high-street minilabs – according to PMA whose spokeswoman warned: ?Now that so many [British] households already have digital cameras and do not print at retail, it will be a challenge to change their habits.? She added: ?In the next year, if shifts to retail printing and increases in the number of households printing do not occur, then it might be too late for the market to develop to its full potential in Great Britain.’

Digital cameras are present in about half the households of both countries.