Several years ago Kodak made the decision that they would not chase film sales here in Australia. This was expressed by prices that were uncompetitive and resulted in most film sales either going to Fuji or grey market imports. The biggest source of these imports was from the USA.
Over past years, film sales and processing has hit rock bottom, and generally bumped along the bottom, seeing small rises and falls. However, in recent times there has been a significant rise in the sale and processing of C41 (colour negative) film, some of it being used by professional wedding and portrait photographers such as Jose Villa, Katie Grant, Mark Dohring and Dan Wooldridge.
US labs have been successfully promoting film photographers as early as 2013, and several of them have turned it into a big business, attracting processing from Australian photographers. Some of these labs even destroy your film and deliver scans only as part of the service!
Regardless, I digress, this slide away from film for Kodak lead to them not wanting to import, store and sell film here in Australia. They were not alone, Fuji too chose this path. They never said they would not supply it, but they priced themselves out of competition, thus forcing the grey imports. Our cost for much of the film, was three times the price a New Yorker would be paying.
The past few months has seen a reversal in Kodak's policy. I believe it is the result of pressure applied to a customer focussed professional Kodak Alaris rep, Paul Cullity. We at Atkins as well as another Kodak focussed prolab asked nicely and repeatedly. Paul is always listening and saw the opportunity, and we now have a Kodak film supply channel.
To keep the channel open, like the mouth of a slow river, we have to move some stock. Bulk film (20 pro packs or 100 rolls or more) is less than you will pay importing it, and delivery is covered to parts of Australia. Not every Kodak film type is available at such competitive pricing, Kodak Portra 400 in 120 is $10.02 per roll in bulk. Single propack prices have improved a little, but we have to cover storage.
Well done Kodak!