Polaroid to Launch First of Ten Fotobar Retail Stores

Polaroid will use the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as a platform to announce its plans for a series of experiential retail stores where consumers can "quickly and easily liberate their favorite images from the confines of their digital devices and turn them into museum-quality art."

The company plans to open at least ten Polaroid Fotobar locations in 2013, the first of which will be a 2,000 SF store in Delray Beach, Florida. 

That store, which is slated to open in February of 2013 and will serve as a model for all Polaroid Fotobar locations, has been in design and development for the past 12 months. 

Future store locations in 2013 include New York, Las Vegas and Boston, among others.

Polaroid Fotobar stores will be the first of their kind retail destinations designed to capitalize on the meteoric rise in people taking pictures.

“There are currently around 1.5 billion pictures taken every single day, and that number continues to grow in tandem with the popularity and quality of camera phones,” said Warren Struhl, founder and CEO of Fotobar, LLC.  “Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices.  Why?  Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun.  Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that.”

Every Polaroid Fotobar store will be designed around the consumer experience, with the goal of helping people release their “trapped” photos and display their cherished memories in the form of premium quality art. 

A patent-pending proprietary technology will allow in-store customers to select their favorite pictures on their camera phones and wirelessly transmit them to one of the store’s bar-top workstations for quick and hassle-free ordering within seconds. This platform also allows customers to locate their favorite photos and instantly upload them from popular social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Picasa and several others. Uploaded photos can be enhanced on the bar-top workstations using photo-effect technologies such as contrast, red-eye correction, brightness and filters showing users the outcome as they work.

Once the images are uploaded, customers will be able to choose from a wide variety of materials, substrates and framing options for their individual works of art – all of which are handcrafted and shipped worldwide to the consumer in just a few days. Images can be framed, matted, and/or printed directly onto a variety of unique substrates including canvas, metal, acrylic, wood and bamboo.

The ability to see, touch and feel examples of artworks produced using all of these unique materials is a critical aspect of the customer experience.  As such, each Polaroid Fotobar store will be a gallery of its own, with creative, museum-quality pieces on display all around.

The stores will also be staffed by experienced “Phototenders.” The Delray Beach location will also feature a “The Studio” multi-purpose room that will host photo classes, private parties and include a studio location for portrait photos. 

Polaroid Fotobar store creators envision the stores becoming a recreational and entertainment destination in addition to a place to shop.

All products created by consumers at Polaroid Fotobar retail stores (with the exception of certain poster products made on-site) are handcrafted and shipped from the company’s manufacturing facility within 72 hours. Customers may then return to the stores to make additional products for their personal use or as gifts, or use the same service online at www.polaroidfotobar.com. 

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