CARR PROCESSING DRIVE SNAPS UP PHOTO-CD SALES

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Carr Gottstein Foods here has launched a photo CD-ROM promotion slated to run through the summer.The chain began promoting the event April 14 in its weekly circulars, offering a $4 savings off the regular $8.99 retail price. Gary Schloss, vice president of general merchandise, health and beauty care and pharmacy, said sales have been quick to pick up. "Of customers bringing their

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Carr Gottstein Foods here has launched a photo CD-ROM promotion slated to run through the summer.

The chain began promoting the event April 14 in its weekly circulars, offering a $4 savings off the regular $8.99 retail price. Gary Schloss, vice president of general merchandise, health and beauty care and pharmacy, said sales have been quick to pick up. "Of customers bringing their rolls of film into our stores for developing, 20% want the picture CD, in addition to regular prints," said Schloss.

The chain is advertising the Kodak Picture CD on a half-page of space in store circulars, with a headline that states "Put Your Pictures on Your PC."

The picture CDs are processed by Qualex in its local facility here. The process takes a few days. The retailer used to send such requests to Seattle for processing.

Photo images are transferred to the photo disc from a roll of conventional film shot with a traditional camera. There is no need for a digital camera and no need to hook one up to a personal computer.

"It's really taken off. You can transfer your photos to a disc, take them home and pop them right in the CD-ROM player on your personal computer, without the need for any additional software," said Schloss.

The growing interest in photo discs here may be due to the distance of those living in Alaska from their friends and relatives, Schloss suggested. "It's a great way for consumers to communicate with pictures using e-mail on the Internet."

The real-estate business is developing as an offshoot market for photo discs. "Local realtors are coming to our stores asking if they can put pictures of houses for sale onto a photo disc. They want to know if they can e-mail them to clients in the city, and to those outside this area who are contemplating a move to Alaska."

Once the disc has been loaded into the computer, or the images transferred to a hard drive, they can be edited for cropping, enlarging, removing red eye and adding captions. Carr also may begin selling CD-ROM pouches for storing discs.