Blackpool man develops his photo printing business amid lockdown
A brother’s love of photography has inspired a Blackpool man to launch his own business in the town.
John Ormston, 52, has opened Kodak Express and Cable Express in Highfield Road to offer a range of prints, posters, canvas and photo gifts in store and online.
And despite the stop start trading year thanks to lockdowns, John’s business is developing nicely and he has commissioned Blackpool graffiti artist Seca One to do an eye-catching mural on his shop.
John’s elder brother Matthew suffered brain damage at birth and needed care, but loved taking pictures. When he died in 2016 John was looking for somewhere to get pictures printed and realised places were few in the region.
He did some research and found that Kodak Express Digital Solutions was one of the biggest such businesses in the world but with little presence in the North West.
He got a licence and eventually found premises in Highfield Road close to busy shops and the business opened just before the pandemic struck.
John, 52, who went to Highfield High School, said: “My brother loved having his photo taken, and loved taking pictures of wildlife.
“After my mother died, I was looking for somewhere to get pictures printed and also look at different photo gifts as memorabilia, and I saw that Kodak over 30,000 stores worldwide but not round here.
“In the middle of 2019 Megabet bookmakers on Highfield and Orchard Avenue was closing and was up for lease.
“This seemed the perfect location.”
John said he also noticed that there were few stores still doing the full range of TV, computer and audio cables and mobile phone leads so he set up the second part of his business Cable Express to cater for that market.
“I spent a lot of time talking to manufacturers to get items from source so I can keep prices down to compete with inter net sellers, some items I sell 40 per cent cheaper than online stores.
“I have invested up to £100,000 in the digital and photographic equipment and can print almost anything customers want. The canvasses are really popular and photos in frames.”
John, who runs to store with friend Nick Tobin added: “This is a really thriving part of Blackpool and I am hoping people will pop in while they are visiting the other shops. The mural is fantastic, it catches the eye and I hope it brightens up the area.”
Blackpool Gazette: Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, then a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here