Polaroid has come up with an admittedly brilliant idea of staying in business with an upcoming chain of stores called Fotobars which enable smartphone owners to waltz in and print out their digital shots in a snap.The only problem is that the first Fotobar – a 2,000 square-foot store in Delray Beach, Florida set to open in February – looks a heck of a lot like Apple’s own retail stores.
Not only that, but the concepts surrounding the Polaroid Fotobar seem eerily familiar to the Genius Bar and the Workshop rooms inside Apple’s own retail outlets.
Let’s break it down.
Polaroid, now mostly sought for its eyewear equipment, plans to open at least ten Fotobar locations in 2013.
The Florida store pictured above is slated to open first in about a month from now. According to Polaroid, it will serve as a model for all Polaroid Fotobar locations.
Needless to point out, Polaroid is taking a huge chance with this initiative as the store boasts quite a few design elements akin to Apple’s, including the minimalistic white furniture, the wooden floor, even the lighting.
The Photobar looks exactly like Apple’s own Genius bars. Those computer screens displaying OS X (Snow Leopard apparently) aren't helping with its originality either.
Polaroid says it will be using a patent-pending proprietary technology that will allow in-store customers to take a seat in front of the “workstation,” select their favorite photos either from their phones or the web, make a few quick edits (red-eye correction, etc), and commission a print.
“Once the images are uploaded, customers will be able to choose from a wide variety of materials, substrates and framing options for their individual works of art – all of which are handcrafted and shipped worldwide to the consumer in just a few days,” says the company’s press release.
Customers will even be able to request the help of experienced Phototenders, “each of whom will be a passionate photo enthusiast trained to help guide customers through the process from start to finish,” much like Apple’s own Specialists.
Finally, the Delray Beach location will also feature a multi-purpose room called “The Studio” that will host “photo classes, private parties and include a studio location for portrait photos.”