Single-use cameras have moved into the supermarket summer promotion spotlight.
As chains have seen the popularity of single-use cameras grow, they have widened product variety and expanded the number of display locations to trigger higher impulse turns, manufacturers and retailers told SN.
Clemens Markets, Kulpsville, Pa., has found that merchandising single-use cameras at multiple locations triggers plus sales, said Larry Schimpf, director of nonfood.
Clemens, whose single-use-camera sales have "increased dramatically over the past few years," recently started to carry single-use black-and-white cameras. Black-and-white film satisfies a significant customer segment, Schimpf said.
"Single-use black-and-white cameras are relatively new, so the verdict is still out on how well they will do, but it's a [customer] niche that, while it will never be huge, is still there, he said."
Despite the positive disposable-camera sales at Clemens, Schimpf still prefers to handle single-selling units rather than two-packs. Single-use cameras at Clemens, which retail between $4.99 and $14.99, are displayed on a photo department endcap and at checkouts.
"I would have a problem with two-packs. People buy a disposable camera because of the flexibility of the cameras," he said. "You can buy one that's waterproof, one that gives you panoramic pictures and one that's flash. To me, the advantage of the product line is being able to get the one you want to do the specific job."
During the summer months, when picture taking is at its peak, Minyard Food Stores, Coppell, Texas, makes sure its single-use cameras are displayed prominently at such high-traffic points as checkouts and service counters, said Dean Owens, director of general merchandise.
Minyard stores also manage to squeeze additional sales from sleeves of 12 to 20 single-use cameras cross promoted at checkstand racks.
"We encourage store managers to order these for placement at their checkout-counter merchandiser stands, where customers can pull one out easily, which builds impulse purchases," Owens said.
The popularity of single-use cameras is grounded "in a combination of factors," he said, "from convenience, to 'I don't want to invest $100 in another camera,' to the demands of today's fast pace."
Minyard is promoting single-use flash cameras in ads much more aggressively than in past summers, especially at major holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day, as well as for back-to-school.
The chain, which carries single-use cameras under the Fuji and Kodak brands and in private label, "used to think that we couldn't sell flash cameras at those times because it's an outdoor time, but flash outsells our nonflash cameras," Owens said, noting that fill flash is often needed at dusk, when natural light begins to wane.
In addition to disposable black-and-white cameras, manufacturers said, during the summer retailers carry more underwater models and special daylight and flash styles.
Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak is promoting its single-use sport and panoramic cameras through August, using in-ad coupons, on-pack instant coupons and tear-off rebate pads, according to company officials.
"Underwater cameras have a sales spike, with people going to theme parks and camping, and our Dr. Seuss licensed camera does real well with kids going to camp," said Paul Gordon, vice president of marketing at Konica U.S.A., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
"What parents are doing rather than investing in an expensive camera is they may pack up two or three single-use cameras with the Dr. Seuss characters and stickers," he said.
Gordon said single-use black-and-white cameras that appeal "to the Generation X crowd, which has embraced black-and-white, are moving well."
Retailers using clip strips, prepack displays and corrugated gravity-feed displays at high-traffic points do well during summer months, he said.
"This works well for impulse sales near charcoal or in the party-supply area for major holidays like July Fourth, without cannibalizing regular film sales."
"Because 50% of single-use-camera sales are on impulse, having off-shelf displays is important," agreed Herb Baer, group marketing manager for Fuji Film's consumer markets division, Elmsford, N.Y.
"This summer, food retailers are using off-shelf corrugated shippers and gravity-feed tubes of assorted single-use cameras. Displays have lifestyle graphics and instantly redeemable $1 coupons."
Another Fuji promotion this summer is a tie-in with Sea World and Busch Gardens, in which consumers who buy a Quick Snap single-use camera can get a plush Shamu whale doll.