Some reassurrance from Freestyle about Kodak
Dear Valued Freestyle Customer,
The recent announcement by Eastman Kodak Company that they have voluntarily applied for Chapter 11 restructuring comes at no surprise. This is a situation that has been brewing for quite some time and we have received many calls and emails from customers voicing their concern over the future of silver-halide, traditional photographic materials. We have never relied too heavily on any single supplier for our future. As opposed to what you are reading in the media, interest in Film, Wet Darkroom and Historical Photographic Processes is not declining. If it were, Freestyle would very quickly be forced to change course, focusing its efforts on other products. The media tends to dwell on the negative, ignoring the details of a situation to deliver quick sound bites that will capture your attention.
Here are some facts to consider:
Kodak's sales in their film division increased 20% last year, and this division continues to be a profitable segment. They have billions of dollars in assets. Citicorp Group just gave them $950 million to help fund their restructuring efforts which will continue for 18 months.
Sounds like Kodak will be around for a while longer and that Citicorp is pretty sure they are going to get their money back with interest. The film division seems to be doing quite well and may even prosper under new management as a separate entity. Regardless of what happens, Freestyle is prepared to make a sizable investment in product to keep important products available for years to come.
Kodak film is not the only brand of product Freestyle sells. While Kodak is an important and high volume supplier of ours, in actuality, we do more business individually with Harman Technologies in Ilford Brand B&W Film and Paper, Foma, Fotokemika and Adox brands. These brands are totally committed to continuing manufacturing for the foreseeable future and have absolutely no plans to stop production as sales continue to be quite robust. They have already taken necessary steps to restructure their facilities for long term survival.
As individual items have been discontinued over the years, folks have adapted to the ever changing product selection and have continued creating their art and means of photographic self expression. While we are to some extent limited by the availability of products it by no means hinders creativity.
Hopefully some of these thoughts will reassure those who are nervous. Know that Freestyle continues to be THE driving force in traditional photographic products and that our commitment is stronger than it has ever been.
Last edited by brass majestic; 02-11-2012 at 07:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Thank you to Freestyle,a great company to deal with.It's where I buy my film-never a problem.
Very good to hear. I'll continue to be a grateful customer of Freestyle, and help get the word out regarding their ongoing commitment to film.
This press release direct from Kodak says:
"it plans to phase out its dedicated capture devices business – comprising digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames "....
continuing consumer products and services will include:
The traditional film capture and photographic paper business, which continues to provide high-quality and innovative products and solutions to consumers, photographers, retailers, photofinishers and professional labs.
Looks like Digital is Dead
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Kodak have just discontinued the manufacture of all slide films, as Tonto used to say to The Lone Ranger "white man speak with forked tongue Kee Mo Sah Bee".
This doesn't affect Fuji users, but it gives an itch as a warning down the line. The market is big enough for one big manufacturer of reversal films, but not a small player with a small professional take up. What's more intriguing is over several announcements Kodak emphasises it intended to continue with still film... then announces a discontinuation. Looks like the spin doctors have a navigator behind them doing the steeing on behalf of an increasingly gloomy future outlook.
Well, Kodak didn't promise to continue making all the film types they make now. Personally I'd rather see one profitable survivor than two manufacturers struggling to make a profit in slide films. Seems to me Kodak has come out with one or two "new" reformulations of films recently, and given the profitablility of their film division in general I don't see any reason not to take their statement at face value. I think they plan on remaining in the film business, which doesn't mean their won't be future "rationalizations" within their film division.
If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284