Film-processing firm Qualex to slash 100 of 150 jobs at Durham HQ

Posted December 18, 2008
Updated December 19, 2008

Qualex, an Eastman Kodak subsidiary that provides photofinishing services, is laying off two-thirds of 150 employees at its Durham headquarters and shuttering most operations by March.

A spokesperson at Kodak (NYSE: EK) headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., confirmed to that Qualex employees have been told most are losing their jobs.

Citing slowing demand for traditional photo development services as consumers embrace digital cameras and images, Kodak also is shutting down its three Qualex labs that develop film and make prints, two in the U.S. and one in Canada.

The Qualex business unit was no longer profitable, said Chris Veronda, a Kodak communications manager. The cuts reflect Kodak’s refocusing on digital products and services, he added. Kodak has been hard pressed by the global economic slowdown and on Dec. 10 withdrew its financial guidance for this year.

The labs are in Allentown, Pa., Dallas and in Hamilton, Ontario. About 200 workers will be affected at those facilities, Veronda said.

Qualex touts itself as the “largest wholesale and on-site photo finishing company.” It once employed several hundred people in Durham The shutdown of a call center in November 2004 cost 300 people their jobs.

The Qualex headquarters is at 3414 N. Duke St. The company launched in 1988.

One Qualex division, called “Event Imaging Solutions,” will continue to operate. It offers picture-taking at theme parks, malls and special events.

Other businesses that Qualex supports include mini-labs and kiosks for film processing and service and support for thousands of mini-labs and kiosks at retailers, including Target, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger.


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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 19, 2008

    The problem at Qualex was caused by Kodak. When digital cameras became popular the employees at Qualex went to Kodak wanting to expand into products that supported the digital camera. Kodak refused this request and forced Qualex to focus on film based products only sealing Qualex's fate.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Dec 19, 2008

    I was one of the lucky ones to switch to another department during the call center layoffs, and made a switch to Kodak not too long before this announcement was made. It is sad that this sort of thing happens right before the holidays. I can see how people fall into depression.

  • doubletap357 Dec 19, 2008

    They probably would have ended up laying people off in this area regardles of the economy. film processing is doing obsolete and is being replaced by digital technology.

  • runny29840 Dec 18, 2008

    Saving employees jobs is no reason to ask for bailout help. Neither of those companies needs a bailout to stay solvent. Laying people off is part of their plan to remain in business during these troubling times.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 18, 2008

    It is just going to keep going. I wonder why Kodak and Catapillar did not ask for a bailout to keep these jobs?