Kodak Colorplus 200 (Pic: El Grafo/Wikimedia Commons)
Kodak Colorplus 200 is one of the films that is proving hard to find because of demand (Pic: El Grafo/Wikimedia Commons)

Kodak Alaris is raising the prices on all its films in January, the company announced on Friday (29 November).

Kodak Alaris (which produces and markets Kodak film products) has said the increases were partly due to the increased demand for film, which has meant film producer Kodak has begun investing in extra production capacity.

The price increase will take effect on 1 January 2020. There is no indication yet how large the increase will be.

The announcement comes on the back of a drought of Kodak films, especially in Europe, with popular emulsions such as the Portra films and Colorplus 200 unavailable for weeks or even months at a time in the last year.

The release, which was sent to its distributors and retailers, reads: “2019 has been exceptional year for film, Kodak Alaris has seen increasing demand for film with new interest in traditional photography growing and a decline in the volume of film our key competitor has released to the market.

Overall we have seen the level of customer back orders increase to an unprecedented level – KODAK ALARIS

“Our market share has grown and levels of positivity towards shooting film not seen for many years has returned. These changes have also come with some problems, in recent years film supply has only just kept pace with market demand during the peak season but this year the increased demand has resulted in the highest level of Kodak Alaris film sales for some years leading to supply issues for most of our film lines.

“We have had to prioritise production of the most important film types, for example Professional film which is critical to many professional photographers. Overall we have seen the level of customer back orders increase to an unprecedented level, we understand this creates a difficult issue for our customers and end users but film production has been limited by a finite supply of one of the key components used to produce film.

“Kodak Alaris’s film supply comes from a single dedicated supplier, we are beholden to this supplier for all the film we sell across the world. Our supplier has recognised the increased demand for film and started to initiate plans to increase their volume capacity. A large ongoing financial investment has been made to increase production capacity but unfortunately the benefits of this investment will not be realised until much later in 2020, with some additional benefits being delivered in 2021.”

The release was made public by Finland’s Kamerastore.

Kodak Alaris said it cannot absorb the extra costs involved in Kodak increasing its capacity. It said the price rises will be “significant”.

Kodak logo (Pic: Kodak)

Kodak Alaris also said it is cancelling all back orders for film made during 2019.

“Due to the size of the increase and the high level of back orders we have accumulated in 2019 we need to take the unusual step of cancelling all film and OTUC (One Time Use Cameras )back orders at the time of the price increase being applied.

“Cancelling all the current orders for film and OTUC’s is necessary due to the unprecedented volume of back orders we are holding. If we delivered all this film at the old customer prices whilst buying it at the new prices from our supplier we would lose a substantial amount of money which would damage our film business as a whole. Therefore we need to raise the price of film and apply the price change for all orders shipped from the first of January 2020, this action will ensure the longevity of our ability to supply the market with film products.”

Stephen Dowling
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Torben Jensen
Torben Jensen
1 year ago

Hmh. Explanation from a marketing man or politician….

Alistair
Alistair
1 year ago

This seems crazy?! Increasing prices to cover the cost incurred by expanding production capacity? Surely the increase in output should be substantial enough to drives sales to the extent that it become more profitable for them over a set payback period rather than just offsetting the risk straight to the consumer. I’m pretty disappointed by this announcement – it feels like bad business.

Kodachrome
Kodachrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Alistair

Reading between the lines Kodak don’t expect this film “boom” to last through late 2020-2021. Hipster trends change all the time and they’re cashing in while they can. It’s a shame they’re passing that onto the consumer.

Nathan Crofton-Bond
11 months ago
Reply to  Kodachrome

As somebody who sells and distributes Kodak film in the UK, I can tell you that you’re wrong. The interest in analogue photography (much like vinyl resurgence) is continuing to grow and Kodak are investing in more machines to keep up with demand (why on earth do you think they would invest so much money in new machinery if they thought the trend wouldn’t continue?) The price increases are irritating and rather inordinate but I think in a few years the prices will decrease.

Joshua
Joshua
9 months ago

Really? You might know better as a shop owner, but once people accept paying the increased prices, I doubt Kodak will reduce its prices. Prices only go up, never down.

MMM
MMM
1 year ago

Increasing price will surely decrease sales. Kodak is most expensive film in Europe already. Goodluck trying bigger sales for bigger prices =\

Dan
Dan
11 months ago
Reply to  MMM

If tri-x in 35mm goes over 8 euros then I’m done with it. The only unique film they have that I would keep buying is Ektar, no other color neg film has that pop.

Joshua
Joshua
9 months ago
Reply to  MMM

Yea, this seems like the wrong response to increased demand for film. More expensive film almost certainly will result in decreased sales. Where I’m from some films have nearly doubled in price such as Portra, Ektar, and even Ultramax. I absolutely will not be buying any of those anymore. I used to splurge once in a while, but I can’t afford it anymore. Pretty lame.

Aiden West
Aiden West
1 year ago

Please link to source. I can’t find the press release anywhere.

Dan Ivanov
Dan Ivanov
11 months ago

Okay so does this mean prices will go back down after the new production increase is realized in late-2020? Or will they go the route of insurance companies and never bring the prices back down?

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