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Photo Kiosks – Generation Next Acquires Print Mates™

Generation Next Franchise Brands, Inc. Acquires Print Mates™, Expanding Company’s Unattended Retail Portfolio

photo kiosk printmates
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SAN DIEGO, CA, April 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NEWMEDIAWIRE – Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. (OTCQB: VEND) announced today that it has reached terms to acquire the assets of Print Mates, LLC, a small team of entrepreneurs, software engineers, and photography professionals in San Diego that are on a mission to reinvent the premium-quality photo printing experience by making it fast, fun, and inexpensive to get your photos “out of your phone and into your hand” with the Print Mates™ Kiosk.

Nick Yates, CEO of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, said that the Print Mates assets will be held by a wholly owned subsidiary of Generation Next which will operate separately with its own facilities, staff, and resources. “It is extremely important to us that Print Mates, or any acquisition, is mature enough and has the right team, product and supply chain to operate independently, as a wholly-owned but separate subsidiary. For us, anything less would have been a non-starter,” Yates said, noting that the nationwide rollout of the company’s flagship unattended franchising concept, Reis & Irvy’s, has both his and Generation Next’s “undivided attention.”

“Print Mates™ is a turn-key subsidiary for us.  The team, facilities, manufacturing and product fulfillment; everything is in place. The Print Mates™ Kiosk perfectly complements our product portfolio, and is ready to ship. The timing of the acquisition was designed to allow us to be first to market with a complementary unattended retail concept that is even more autonomous than our flagship Reis & Irvy’s kiosks, requiring only about 30 minutes per month in human maintenance,” Yates said. “The ultimate goal however is to own and operate thousands of these replicating the Redbox/Coinstar model and the team at Print Mates has already established relationships and tests with the country’s largest retail, convenience and grocery chains.

Generation Next is assuming the liabilities of Print Mates, LLC in exchange for the assets. There is no cash consideration being paid by Generation Next to Print Mates or any of its members. The assets acquired include five patent applications, complete engineering documents for the kiosk, customer contracts, supplier agreements, intellectual property, and proprietary software. A contract with a Canadian licensee with a commitment to purchase $7,000,000 of Print Mates Kiosks over a 5-year term is part of the assets acquired by Generation Next. The liabilities assumed by Generation Next net of kiosk inventory value are approximately $300,000.

An Unfulfilled Demand in a Billion Dollar Industry

Due in large part to consumers’ adoption of the smartphone, at least 1.5 trillion photos are estimated to have been captured in 2018. Predictions to 2022 continue to show a compounded annual growth (CAGR) in that figure of greater than 10 percent, so that by 2022 the number of photos captured annually will grow to over 2.3 trillion.  Print Mates™ is an innovative new way to monetize consumers’ craze for the phone camera.

Print Mates™ unattended kiosks are designed to reinvent the premium-quality photo printing experience by making it fast, fun, and inexpensive to get your photos “out of your phone into your hand,” while creating a low-to-no maintenance, extremely high margin business opportunity in unattended retail for entrepreneurs and retailers.  Recent consumer research reports show that consumers in every age group – from tweens to Millennials; from Generation X to Baby Boomers – still desire to preserve their most cherished memories in high-quality photo prints. But until now, professional-quality, third party services that turned digital photos into prints were either too inconvenient, too slow, or too expensive for today’s consumer.

Print Mates™ easy-to-use, patented touchscreen kiosks are promising to close the loop on the consumer photo lifecycle, as well as drive much-needed foot traffic to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses ranging from supermarkets, grocery and drug stores to big box retailers, shopping malls, family fun centers, convenience stores, hotels, airports, and more.     The Print Mates™ Kiosks put reliable and quality photo printing at customers’ fingertips while allowing independent operators and business owners to earn a very high margin from each sale. Customers love using the Print Mates™ Kiosk because they can instantly, easily and cost-effectively print high-quality photos directly from their smartphones or through their favorite social media (Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, Dropbox, and Flickr) photo sharing, or cloud storage accounts in six different sizes of prints in just seconds.

Consumers can also conveniently order decor and other photo products, gifts and accessories ranging from frames, picture books, posters, jumbo-sized prints, and fridge magnets to beautiful canvas and wood prints and have them conveniently shipped to their home with just a few taps. A soon-to-be-released software update will also add an option for passport photos, a product many retailers are asked for daily.

“The team at Print Mates is solving another problem with a simple, unattended retail kiosk solution,” Yates said. “We all have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos stuck in our cell phones and stored on social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. The only reason most of us don’t print them is because we don’t have a convenient way to do so, staring us in the face,” Yates continued. “Print Mates kiosks can be placed in any number of location categories, from grocery chains to hotels and big box retailers, just to name a few.  And the kiosks earn extremely high margins on each sale with some products on the kiosks’ menu selling for as much as $125 dollars. The team at Print Mates has secured agreements to test the kiosks in some of the largest grocery, convenience and big box retail chains across the U.S., representing tens of thousands of potential locations, and our plan is to provide Generation Next, our shareholders, and our franchisees the exclusive opportunity to own, operate and share in the revenue provided by this extraordinary product,” Yates concluded.

Print Mates™ location partners will be supported by a unique marketing program that leverages Google Business to drive consumers in real time directly to their machines whenever they need to quickly and conveniently print their photos.  If a customer types “photo printing” in to the google search engine, it will point them to the closest Print Mates retailer. The strategy will be paired with a national regional marketing program to create awareness of the Print Mates™ brand.

Item 404 of Regulation S-K requires disclosure of any transaction over $120,000 in which the Company is a participant and any related person has a direct or indirect material interest. “Related persons” include directors, nominees, executive officers, five percent shareholders and their immediate family members. The present acquisition of the assets of Print Mates, LLC is a related party transaction as the sole member of Print Mates, LLC, Franklyn Yates, is an immediate family member (Brother) of Nicholas Yates, the CEO and Chairman of Generation Next Franchise Brands, Inc. The transaction has been duly authorized by the Board of Directors of the Company who have been informed of the related party interest.

Generation NEXT Website: www.gennextbrands.com

About Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc.

Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc., based in San Diego, California, is a publicly traded company on the OTC Markets trading under the symbol OTCBB: VEND. Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. is parent company to Reis and Irvy’s Inc, 19 Degrees Corporate Service LLC and Print Mates.www.gennextbrands.com

About Print Mates

Print Mates™ was formed by a team of entrepreneurs, engineers, and photography professionals in San Diego that are on a mission to reinvent the premium-quality photo printing experience by making it fast, fun, and inexpensive to get your photos “out of your phone and into your hand” with the Print Mates™ Kiosk – and creating a golden opportunity for retailers in the process.

Print Mates’™ easy-to-use, patented touchscreen kiosks are promising to close the loop on the consumer photo lifecycle, as well as drive much-needed foot traffic to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses ranging from supermarkets, grocery and drug stores to big box retailers, shopping malls, family fun centers, hotels, airports and more.

The company began a nationwide expansion in 2019 by offering retailers, business owners and forward-thinking retailers across the country an opportunity to own a piece of an emerging multi billion-dollar industry.

Print Mates™ Kiosks and ever-expanding product line of photographic decor, gifts, prints and accessories are proudly Made in the USA.www.printmates.com

About Reis & Irvy’s, Inc.

Reis & Irvy’s, Inc. is a subsidiary franchise concept of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. (VEND). Launched in early 2016, the revolutionary Reis & Irvy’s Vending Robot serves seven different flavors of frozen yogurt, ice cream, sorbets and gelatos, a choice of up to six custom toppings, and to customers within 60 seconds or less at the point of sale. The unique franchise opportunity has since established itself as a high-demand product and currently showcases a franchise network both domestically as well as internationally. www.reisandirvys.com

Feature – Avoid Those Kiosk Project Fails – Reverse Kiosk Best Practice

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The kiosk industry is growing, but the road to self-service success is littered with the remnants of those projects that didn’t quite make the grade.

By Richard Slawsky contributor

Good news for the health of the kiosk industry continues to roll in. A research report issued in early March by Transparency Market Research projects the global kiosk market will expand at a combined annual growth rate of 10.9 percent over the next seven years, topping $30.8 billion by 2024.

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A report issued just a few days later Stratistics MRC is even rosier, predicting that the market will reach $88.34 billion by 2022. Another report, from IndustryARC, predicts that growing competition at the retail level will boost demand significantly.

Despite those predictions, though, not every self-service kiosk deployment is going to be a success. Some operators seem to be determined to wrest failure from the jaws of success, either through a lack of clarity on what function the kiosk is supposed to perform or not viewing the deployment from the standpoint of the end user.

kiosk market size
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So to help those considering an investment in self-service kiosk technology, here are a few suggestions about what NOT to do when planning a deployment:

 

Tip #1 – Don’t forget to include ALL stakeholders.
Obtaining input from stakeholders in the project may seem cumbersome in the beginning but is advantageous in the long run, says Janet Webster, president of Washington, D.C-based consulting firm Creative Solutions Consulting. Invite all key groups within the organization to offer their input.

kiosk best practice
Deduct a few points for accessibility?

“You will be surprised at just how many areas are affected during kiosk deployments,” Webster said. “It’s better to let the groups know up front instead of having an issue later.”

Getting input from stakeholders might have helped the Mayo Clinic avoid a spectacular fail when the Rochester, Minn.-based health care facility deployed health information kiosks in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., in 2011.

“You could go and look up information, let’s say on psoriasis or heart disease or whatever, and the kiosk would print out information for you,” said Francie Mendelsohn, president of Washington, D.C.-based kiosk consulting firm Summit Research Associates.

Unfortunately, while the idea was good, the execution was lacking. Instead of offering a one-page summary of various health issues in a reader-friendly format, the kiosks dispensed what amounted to a medical-school textbook entry on whatever disease the user chose.

“Let’s say you wanted something about one of the signs of impending heart problems,” Mendelsohn said. “You got maybe 20 pages in at best eight-point font. It was just unusable from a customer point of view. They had the opportunity to allow people to sign up for their newsletters and to promote the sale of their publications while offering information, but they just went about it all wrong.”

Tip #2 – Don’t skimp on components

Placement seems to be a rare skill…

Trying to get by with consumer-grade components in a commercial deployment is a recipe for disaster. Using cheap components may save money up front, but it’s likely to cost much more over time in maintenance, lost sales and the eventual replacement of those components.

In addition, multiple breakdowns are likely to foster distrust of the kiosks even when they are operational. If customers approach the kiosk and it’s out of order they may come back a second time, but if the device is out of order the next time, they’re likely never to return.

Jamie Richter, regional sales manager at commercial touchscreen provider Elo, encountered such a situation with a large deployment.

User enrollment on a budget for sure.

“A kiosk fixture company chose to use consumer-grade flat panel TVs inside a kiosk to save money,” Richter said.
“After running 24/7 the panels overheated and started smoking within the kiosk enclosure,” Richter said. “The fixture company had to not only remove all of the panels inside the kiosks, but also replace them with new panels. The cost to retrofit over 500 kiosks already in field was tremendous and a painful lesson about using consumer-grade equipment for commercial applications.”

Tip #3 – Don’t forget to look at the deployment from the eyes of the end user

Although a deployment may look good on paper from the deployer’s point of view, it’s easy to forget that part of the goal of using self-service technology is to create a great user-experience.

Furniture maker IKEA has long used kiosks that allow shoppers to sign up for their loyalty programs, and those devices generally garnered positive reviews. Unfortunately, the company stumbled in their venture into self-checkout kiosks.

While most IKEA stores featured both self-service and cashier-operated checkout lanes, during the deployment the company only opened the cashier lanes on peak shopping days. On other days, no cashiers were available, and shoppers were directed to the self-checkout kiosks.

The scanners quickly became a source of frustration.
“A lot of the stuff you buy at IKEA comes in big boxes, so you can’t just pick it up and pass it across the scanner,” Mendelsohn said. “They did have these handheld devices that were tethered to the kiosks, but the tether wasn’t very long, and if you didn’t approach correctly the scanner couldn’t read the code.”

In addition, there were no instructions on how to use the handheld scanners, leaving shoppers guessing about what to do.

“Because this was so frustrating, a lot of people, myself included, just picked up the merchandise or wheeled the cart to another one and eventually checked out,” Mendelsohn said.

MTA having some problems. Looks like this board conducted its periodical windows update (auto windows update is probably not turned off), the OS update caused a change with the Autologin credentials. I also see two user accounts, perhaps defaulting to a single account for a kiosk would be ideal? And no doubt the lowest bidder won this contract.

Eventually, the negative feedback from customers grew so great that in 2012 the company yanked all of the kiosks from its U.S. stores.

Tip #4 – Don’t overlook the value proposition

Don’t forget to clearly define the purpose of the kiosk, the value of offering a kiosk solution and the operational impact.

Greeting card maker American Greetings was one of the earliest entrants into the self-service kiosk market, deploying thousands of CreataCard greeting card kiosks in thousands of retail locations in the early 1990s.

The kiosk featured a selection of greeting card templates and a pen plotter, allowing users to choose their own design and personalize it with names and sayings. Once the user made his selection, a number of colored pens created the card.

What the company apparently didn’t consider, though, was how a kiosk that could take up to 10 minutes to print a greeting card at a price more expensive than off-the-shelf cards improved the lives of shoppers. Another point of dissatisfaction was the limited number of templates available compared with the number of card styles on the rack.

The final nail in the coffin, though, was the fact that the kiosks didn’t require payment until after the cards were completed.

“They ended up becoming what I would call a kiosk babysitter,” Mendelsohn said.

“They’d have them in stores and people would say, ‘Johnny, go make a card while Mommy shops,” and come back in ten minutes,” she said. “It was quite an interesting thing for a kid to sit there and watch, but at the end of the day, they didn’t buy the card. Of course, the company lost a tremendous amount of money.”

Note: Janet Webster and Francie Mendelsohn are both principals with DigitalBusiness.us which is the premier kiosk and self-service consultancy. Other principals include Peter Snyder, Karla Guarino, Benjamin Wheeler and Craig Keefner.

Here are spme excellent questions provided by Janet Webster with Creative Solutions Consulting.

Questions to consider when planning a kiosk deployment

Why are you offering this self-service solution?

  • Reduce operational costs?
  • Increase revenue?
  • Improve customer satisfaction/engagement?
  • Expand access points?
  • Improve brand?
  • Be more competitive?

Don’t presume you know what the customers want/need; validate your rationale for offering a kiosk. Ask your customers what they want, need, and expect of your business and provide examples of planned kiosk offerings to ensure you’re on the right track (multiple focus groups will help clearly define customer expectations).  

What is the advertising/marketing strategy?

  • How will you let customers and employees know this new kiosk is “coming soon, and “now available?
  • How will customers provide feedback?
  • Don’t presume they will use it just because it’s there!

What are the success metrics and how will you collect the data?

  • Define the baseline and timing for metrics
  • Revenue vs. Performance?  What is the impact of a “down” kiosk?

What if it doesn’t work?

  • How will you notify the customers and employees?
  • How will you replace the new kiosk services to ensure customer satisfaction?

Source: Creative Solutions Consulting
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