Staples’ top-of-the-line photo paper has been criticised as the battle over market share in paper, ink and chemicals for digital printing becomes increasingly aggressive.
Wilhelm Imaging Research, a testing lab in Grinnell, Iowa, which was recently hired by Hewlett-Packard, denounced Staples-branded paper, claiming that photos printed on it fade rapidly from exposure to ozone pollution.
Staples has refuted the claims. A spokesperson for the company told OPI: "Staples’ brand photo papers have been tested extensively by the Rochester Institute of Technology and have proven to offer excellent quality in the areas most important to customers – image quality and dry time. They also provide flexibility to print on multiple manufacturers’ printers and are optimised for multiple ink brands."
With 61 per cent of photo prints now made at home, paper suppliers such as Staples and Eastman Kodak are facing stiff competition from printer makers eager to market their own lines of speciality photo paper.
Wal-Mart, meanwhile, is attempting to gain market share by luring its customers to print digital pictures in store.
Analysts also expect the market landscape to be pitted with an increasing number of acquisitions of online photo start-ups. "The pie isn’t necessarily going to get any bigger," Frank Baillargeon, an industry consultant in Eagle, Idaho, told Associated Press, "but it’s going to be sliced up in many different ways."