Kodak on Datawave of the future

Kodak Canada is selling film and disposable cameras through the first vending machines in Canada capable of wireless credit card authorization.Datawave Vending, a Vancouver-based company specializing in retail automation technologies, has incorporated wireless computer technology supplied by Cantel Data to make...

Kodak Canada is selling film and disposable cameras through the first vending machines in Canada capable of wireless credit card authorization.

Datawave Vending, a Vancouver-based company specializing in retail automation technologies, has incorporated wireless computer technology supplied by Cantel Data to make the vending machines being marketed in Canada and the u.s.

Maternity wards, theme parks, zoos and tourist attractions are some of the more than 100 locations in which Kodak vending machines will pop up and encourage impulse buying beginning July 1.

National brands

Datawave enlists national brands to sell products through the machines, then sells the vending machines, brand logo and products as a package to appropriate venders.

For example, a suntan lotion vending machine would appear on beaches and at pools.

Of several national advertisers negotiating with Datawave, Kodak is the first to sign on with 100 machines.

Datawave has 600 vending machine orders from vendors and retailers in Canada and the u.s., says Peter Hough, Datawave’s chief financial officer.

Six-hundred machines

Each machine sells for $4,000.

Cantel Data, a subsidiary of Rogers Communications, supplied Datawave with the wireless computer technology that authorizes credit cards, sends messages to distributors when stock is low, and electronically changes the price and product mix.

Randy Webber, trade sales marketing manager, special markets, for Kodak Canada, says the vending machines will increase sales by providing customers with impulse buying opportunities in places they could not normally buy a camera.

Premium priced

Webber says the film and camera will be premium-priced because people are willing to pay more for an item when they really need it.

Webber does not believe the vending machine will cut into retail sales at gift stores that sell Kodak products at major tourist attractions.

‘Where it’s arranged as an extension of the gift store business, it will only compliment it, and augment it, rather than displace it,’ he says.

Kodak has no plans as of yet to structure a marketing campaign around the availability of the vending machines, but Webber says it is a distinct possibility once the machines are in position.

First major project

The vending machines are the first major project for Datawave Vending, a young company established in 1992.

Hough says the machine has advantages for the retailer and the manufacturer because it discourages theft, and, in some cases, may eliminate the need for staff.