Let me respond to the comments.
You have all made good comments and I'm glad I was not the only one that had never heard of this happening. The question is that if Wal-Mart starts doing this, how long before others follow in their footsteps? I checked with Walgreens shortly after finding this out about Wally World and they said they still give you the negs. As to why anyone would use Wal-Mart, my Wal-Mart sends their film to Fuji in Green Bay I think it is so what difference does it make if I use Wal-Mart? I have sent my film to others and it all looks about the same to me. As for developing it myself, not every one takes enough pictures to make that profitable. Nor do I care to be playing around with 11 different chemicals, all at the right temperature just to develop a roll of slides. To the person that said that the girl at the counter may not know what she is talking about, there is a sign right where you drop the film that says it clearly. Wal-Mart used to be super cheap. I could get a roll of 35mm developed for something like $2.75 or there abouts, but after the digital revolution they started raising the price up to the $9.89 or whatever it is now. Funny, but 120 film is cheaper to develop there than 35mm. I get 10 pictures and negs. for about $2.89 or such and if you double that for a 24 roll of 35mm you are still cheaper. My prices are not exact but I did figure this out in the past. Whether it is Wal-Mart or whomever, this could become a trend. Perhaps it will cause many to take a second look at home developing. Ric.
But do tell them why (at a senior level), and may be, just may be, higher level manglement will improve the services. Fat chance, but it only costs a stamp.
Originally Posted by Ricus.stormfire
I have no doubt that it is cheaper and easier for Walmart to destroy the negatives.
For one thing, that would permit them to transmit the scans electronically to the store, where they could be printed and burned on to the CD.
And I also have no doubt that large numbers of their customers never intend to do anything with the negatives, and therefore don't care whether they are returned.
They probably should care, but they don't.
I agree that it is the precedent that Walmart sets that is the big problem here.
I don't think though that those of us who value negatives form enough of their target market to make a difference to Walmart.
The only thing that might make a difference is the problems they might start encountering when people ask to have something re-scanned.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Oh, they probably keep them on ice for 30 days or so and then toss them in the local landfill. By that time the chance of someone wanting a second scan is almost nil.
Originally Posted by MattKing
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They are probably recycling the negatives for the silver.
Got that right! Haven't been inside one for at least fifteen years, maybe longer.
Originally Posted by wildbill
Heavily sedated for your protection.
And people scoffed when we said Wal-Mart was evil.
"It's cheap," they said, and "Wal-Mart sends out to Fuji anyway so what difference does it make?"
Well, now we know.
Ahh, they are doing what others have done for countless generations. The difference of course is that to support those rock bottom prices they need huge volumes. But that is where the niche is at that others can take advantage of. The volume may be too low to support Wal-Mart, but not too low for Walgreens, or someone else. So someone else can move in and take advantage of the situation. I do believe that this is where we are headed.
Originally Posted by Leighgion
It is no different than Kodak. For generations they have been the big Kahunna in film. Fuji came along and began challenging that position. Now Fuji is beginning to pull in its horns because film is no longer the big profit center it was in the past. But Harman Technologies was able to move in and take over from Ilford because they were able to keep their footprint small and overhead low. And they have stayed that way and have really catered to the smaller markets.
I do believe you will see more of this begin to happen, particularly if Kodak does go down. Film will continue, everyone believes that, but when the dust settles this business will look entirely different. Meanwhile there are going to be some huge changes so get ready for the ride.
It is all about making money and most times the smaller guy does not need to maintain the same volumes as the bigger guy. But the money is still there so you can be certain that someone is going to try to get a piece of it. I just hope those "someones" make decent film.
Must be nice living somewhere where you don't have to shop at Walmart.
As to prices, quite often these days Walmart has the highest prices, not the lowest. I have to shop at Walmart, but I also have to be very careful about what I buy there, often the grocery across the parking lot has the same thing for 60% of Walmart's price. Used to be I could get 90% of what I need at a Walmart, now it is more like 40%.
Yep, I wish I did not need to shop there at all.