ALBERTSONS ROLLS OUT 30-MINUTE PHOTO

BOISE, Idaho -- Albertsons is rolling out 30-minute processing to all stores with photo labs, said Ertharin Cousin, senior vice president, public affairs.A pilot began earlier this year. After the test was deemed successful, a rollout to all 1,500 stores with photo labs began in early April, Cousin said. It is now in all divisions except one, which will get the program soon.The difference between

BOISE, Idaho -- Albertsons is rolling out 30-minute processing to all stores with photo labs, said Ertharin Cousin, senior vice president, public affairs.

A pilot began earlier this year. After the test was deemed successful, a rollout to all 1,500 stores with photo labs began in early April, Cousin said. It is now in all divisions except one, which will get the program soon.

The difference between one-hour processing and 30 minutes can mean keeping the customer in the store, she noted.

Cousin declined to explain the specifics of how the program operates and whether changes to the equipment were needed. The new program is promoted via an in-store marketing campaign as well as advertising, she said.

Wal-Mart only offers 30-minute processing in its 52 Neighborhood Markets, said Danette Thompson, spokeswoman. "Corporately, we consider this business very successful and it has become a standard part of our Neighborhood Market format," she said.

Aside from Wal-Mart, Albertsons and a few specialty retailers, Brian Longheier, marketing research analyst, Photo Marketing Association International, Jackson, Mich., said he was not aware of any others offering 30-minute processing. "It really doesn't seem like something that has hit the radar yet in this industry."