Deathwatch: Could Kodak have reached the end of the film?
One of the most iconic brand names in the world could be about to disappear as quick as a flash* – that’s because Kodak are in the early stages of filing for bankruptcy. They’ve essentially been scuppered by the rise in popularity of digital picture-taking and hardly anyone wants to buy their camera film any more.
It’s not completely the end of the world as Kodak will be filing a Chapter 11, which will allow them to continue trading while they attempt to sort out their ailing finances. But with their shares now worth 90% less than they were a year ago, it’s hard to see how the company can realistically carry on for all that much longer.
In terms of retailing, Kodak have been trying to shift their focus from camera film to printers and peripherals, but that can’t be a strategy that they expect to reap dividends ad infinitum. They have also been trying to raise some extra dough by selling off their portfolio of more than 1,000 patents – but again, it seems like there is only some short-term gain to be had from that.
Ironically, Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975 but only began to focus* on that market when their film business started to slow down.