Eighty-year-old Canadian photo chain, Black’s Photo is being closed down by owner Telus Corp, with all 59 remaining stores to be shut by August 8 this year.
Telus is a leading Canadian phone retailer which purchased Blacks Photo six years ago for C$28 miliion. Many of the stores in the chain are in prime positions in top-tier shopping malls.
Black Photos employs just under 500 staff. The company said it will try to find positions for them within its other operations.
Telus had already closed down around half of the original 113 Blacks outlets prior to the latest announcement. The initial purchase was in the context of a ‘retail arms race’ between Telus and mobile phone retailing competitor BCE, which also purchased a large retail chain, the 493-outlet The Source group of consumer electronics stores. Both companies were essentially competing for mobile phone subscribers.
‘Technology is changing the way Canadians take and share pictures,’ said Luiza Staniec, a spokesperson for Blacks Photo and Telus, adding that they are sharing their pictures on social media sites like Instagram and choosing cloud storage solutions instead of printing out pictures.