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End of Era - Polaroid to Drop Instant Film

February 2008
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In an announcement that was more about “when” rather than “if” Polaroid has announced that they will be dropping the instant film technology they pioneered that spoke to a different generation of “instant gratification” seekers.

The company is closing factories in Massachusetts, Mexico and the Netherlands and cutting 450 jobs as they have stated that they will now focus on newer ventures such as a portable printers for images from cell phones and Polaroid-branded digital cameras, televisions and DVD players. This closure of the aforementioned factories will leave Polaroid with 150 employees at its Concord headquarters and a site in the nearby Boston suburb of Waltham, down from peak global employment of nearly 21,000 in 1978.

Polaroid’s overall revenue from instant cameras, film and other products peaked in 1991 at nearly $3 billion. The company went into bankruptcy in 2001 and was bought four years later for $426 million by Minnetonka, Minn.-based consumer products company Petters Group Worldwide. Polaroid instant film will be available in stores through next year, the company said — after which Japan’s Fujifilm will be the only major maker of instant film.

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