Zink profits from the Instant-print camera comeback

 In May 2018

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Retro instant photographs aren’t just for Throwback Thursdays anymore: Instant-print cameras are making a comeback because of nostalgic consumers and their novelty interest for younger people. Unit sales of instant-print cameras grew 166% in the year ending September 2016, according to market research company NPD Group. During that same time period, instant-film sales doubled, as more than 3.5 million units were sold. Zink Holdings’ manufacturing facility in Whitsett capitalized on the trend by creating about 30 million packets of inkless imaging paper in 2017.

The paper Zink produces is not limited to just instant-print cameras. It also can be used for portable printers, such as HP Sprocket, which enables people to utilize Bluetooth technology to print photos from their smartphones. The company sells its paper to clients including Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Lifeprint, LG Electronics and Polaroid.

Japanese printing-products company Konica opened the plant 29 years ago. It was later acquired by Zink, a private company based near Boston that was sold to New Jersey investors Chaim Pikarski and Harry Klein in 2015. The company recently hired 70 people, bringing its total workforce to 220. Zink expects to generate around $50 million in annual revenue this year, company officials say.


Bidding big

Guilford County is rolling out some big-time incentives for Publix Super Markets, hoping to woo the Florida-based retailer to Greensboro for a distribution center and 1,000 jobs that would pay an average $42,000 annually.

County commissioners voted in mid-April to refund Publix 80% of the county property tax the company would pay over 10 years, which could be around $17 million at the current tax rate. The Greensboro City Council passed a similar tax incentive in March, promising to refund Publix between $14.7 million and $17.7 million over 10 years.

Publix is expected to announce the location of the new distribution center in August. The $400 million center would be the largest distribution facility in the Triad. Publix has 40 stores open or under construction in North Carolina as of mid-March.

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