Polaroid Closing Instant Film Factories
(del 11/02/2008 @ 12:31:21, in Polaroid
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Polaroid is closing factories in Massachusetts, Mexico and the Netherlands and cutting 450 jobs as the brand synonymous with instant images focuses on ventures such as a portable printer for images from cell phones and Polaroid-branded digital cameras, televisions and DVD players.
This year's closures will leave Polaroid with 150 employees at its Concord headquarters and a site in the nearby Boston suburb of Waltham, down from peak global employment of nearly 21,000 in 1978.
The company stopped making instant cameras over the past two years.
"We're trying to reinvent Polaroid so it lives on for the next 30 to 40 years," Tom Beaudoin, Polaroid's president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said in a phone interview Friday, after the company's plans were reported in The Boston Globe.
Polaroid failed to embrace the digital technology that has transformed photography, instead sticking to its belief that many photographers who didn't want to wait to get pictures developed would hold onto their old Polaroid cameras.
Global sales of traditional camera film have been dropping about 25 percent to 30 percent per year, "and I've got to believe instant film has been falling as fast if not faster," said Ed Lee, a digital photography analyst at the research firm InfoTrends Inc.
"At some point in time, it had to reach the point where it was going to be uneconomical to keep producing instant film," Lee said.
Privately held Polaroid doesn't disclose financial details about its instant film business.
Polaroid instant film will be available in stores through next year, the company said _ after which, Lee said, Japan's Fujifilm will be the only major maker of instant film.
L'ultima Polaroid, addio alle istantanee