The digital age continues to change both the photography industry and the retail industry that goes along with it. Today we learned that Blacks Photography will be closing their doors on all 59 stores in Canada on August 8, 2015.
The move leaves 585 people without jobs as the stores close, though company owner Telus indicated it will try to find positions for those individuals at other Telus retail locations. The Globe and Mail notes Blacks is just one in a growing list of closing brick-and-mortar retailers:
"The closing of the 85 year-old Blacks comes as an array of other retailers have shut their stores amid tough competition, leaving landlords with empty spaces. U.S. discount chain Target Corp. closed the last of its 133 stores in this country this spring, while Best Buy Canada pulled the plug on its Future Shop chain, closing 66 outlets. Other retailers that shut included Sony and clothiers Mexx, Jacob and Smart Set."
Even with store upgrades, Blacks could not find a way to be profitable in the current photography environment. To me, this is a sign that people are storing - not printing - their photos. Has the improvement of smartphone cameras moved people away from any the point-and-shoot and DSLR as well? After all, the camera you have with you when you need one is the best camera to have.
Are you sad to hear Blacks is closing, or is this simply a smart business decision as online retailers become more popular? Are you a photo printer or a JPG hoarder? (I confess, I'm the latter.)
Image Source: WikiCommons