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    ASDA to Incorporate Photo Processing Into Its Online Offerings

    LONDON -- Wal-Mart's European retail chain ASDA plans to include an online photo shop offering digital prints. The new service, which will launch early next month, will be available online to every U.K. household with Internet access.

    LONDON -- Wal-Mart's European retail chain ASDA plans to include an online photo shop offering digital prints. The new service, which will launch early next month, will be available online to every U.K. household with Internet access.

    ASDA is also developing a photo collection service, which was pioneered by Wal-Mart in the United Stated, called "Click and Collect." Provided by Surrey, U.K.-based digital photo solution provider Pixology, plc, the service will enable customers with broadband Internet access to upload digital images online and pick them up at their local store within an hour.

    "When it comes to photo processing, we're aiming to put customers firmly in the picture, with a new online service that focuses on being quick and easy to use, all at ASDA prices," said Tony Page, nonfood director for ASDA.

    ASDA currently operates 120 photo centers in stores throughout Britain, making it the third-largest photo shop in the country, according to the company. The launch of ASDA's new online service will help extend its reach to every home in the United Kingdom, putting further pressure on struggling photo chains like Boots and Jessops.

    Orders placed using the online service will be delivered back to the customer within two business days. In addition, the new site will feature a range of photo gifts, including personalized photo albums, calendars, baby bibs, and pet gifts. Companies will also be able to upload their logos to create corporate merchandise such as gift cards and greeting cards.

    This year ASDA has accelerated the rollout of all of its online businesses. It has invested more than U.S. $12.9 million on its grocery delivery service, opening up an additional 7,000 delivery time slots; launched an entertainment site with more than 140,000 CDs, DVDs, and games; and introduced an online optical service that sells disposable contact lenses.

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