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Polaroid Tries to Stay Relevant by Opening Fotobar Stores

Remember when photographs were physical objects and not just digital files? Polaroid sure does, and they want to bring back that bygone era by opening ten real-life brick-and-mortar Fotobar stores where customers can edit and print pictures from their smartphones and other devices. We won’t say Polaroid is aiming this service at the elderly, but the first store is opening in Florida, so that probably gives you an idea of who they expect to use these stores.

The Fotobar store will let users wirelessly send images from their devices to in-store workstations where they can edit and add filters to the images before printing them out. Paper isn’t the only medium option for photos either. Users can print their images on things like metal, wood, and bamboo. Any prints ordered at the store will be produced and shipped from their facilities within 72 hours.

That’s silly.

It’s true that sometimes it’s nice, or even necessary, to have a physically printed image, but Polaroid already offers these services online. Instead of physically going to a store to order these things, customers can just upload a picture to the Fotobar website, edit images, and order prints. Why would anyone go to a store to do this? Especially if there is up to a three-day waiting period for the finished product. That’s like Amazon opening a physical store where you go to order things from Amazon, then go home and wait for those things to arrive in the mail.

Scott W. Hardy, president and CEO of Polaroid said:

Polaroid is about sharing life’s most precious and memorable moments. We have been, and continue to be, about self-expression, creativity and fun. Polaroid Fotobar retail stores represent a perfect modern expression of the values for which we have stood for 75 years.

Though there really doesn’t seem to be anything modern about these stores. There will probably always be a market for printed, physical pictures, but opening a physical store that offers the same services already being offered online seems like it, at best, serves a very niche market.

If you want to order bamboo prints of your photos, you can do so at, from the comfort of your own home.

(via The Next Web, image via jaqian)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.