All 59 stores belonging to Blacks Photography will close on August 8th, as the retailer was unable to keep itself relevant in the era of digital photography.
“Technological innovations have changed the way Canadians take and share photographs, with fewer of us using retail photo outlets,” said the parent company’s spokesperson Luiza Staniec.
Founded in 1930 and purchased by its current owner in 2009 for $28 million, Blacks Photography going out of business will leave some 485 employees, mostly in Ontario, looking for new jobs.
Telus Corp., Canada’s third largest wireless carrier, purchased Blacks six years ago and immediately shut down almost half of the 113 stores in order to try and get the chain of stores back on its feet.
As part of the change the stores shifted their displays to more of an art-gallery-like setting and also started selling mobile phones, but they weren’t able to “realize profitable growth”, said Staniec.
Although people are taking more photos than ever before, the advance to digital photography leaves little need for film to be developed, photos printed and framed, etc.
While the future of old-school photography stores such as Blacks is bleak, Telus said it will offer the affected employees jobs at the company’s other businesses or a severance package.
Blacks website is currently down stating “We are upgrading to serve you better”, in what may or may not be related to the dramatic announcement made just a couple of hours ago regarding the comapny’s future.