Canada’s Blacks Photography to be shut­tered

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Canada’s Black’s Photography in Au­gust will close its re­main­ing 59 re­tail stores, the com­pany said Tues­day, the lat­est vic­tim of dig­i­tal photography and plum­met­ing con­sumer de­mand for cam­era film and printed pic­tures.

The chain, founded in 1930, be­came Canada’s top photography re­tailer. Over the years it bought up sev­eral com­peti­tors, in­clud­ing the coin­ci­den­tally named Brown’s Photo chain in the United States, which it later sold off.

In re­cent decades,

it was it­self ac­quired and flipped sev­eral times un­til 2009, when telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Telus pur­chased the chain, closed half of its out­lets and re­or­ga­nized the rest to try to bet­ter serve new dig­i­tal users.

Eight stores were re­mod­eled to look like art gal­leries, of­fer­ing fram­ing, cloud stor­age and a smart­phone app to edit and pro­duce prints.

“We’re un­able to sus­tain growth with­out a mas­sive in­vest­ment to (fur­ther) adapt to how Cana­di­ans now take and share pho­tos,” Telus spokes­woman Lu- iza Staniec told AFP.

With bet­ter and bet­ter cam­eras built into most smartphones, sales of stand-alone cam­eras have nose­dived over the past decade.

Mean­while, a ma­jor­ity of Cana­di­ans now share pho­tos by email or text, or through on­line so­cial me­dia or photo shar­ing sites such as Instagram.

Blacks’s 59 stores, mostly in On­tario prov­ince, will close on Au­gust 8, af­fect­ing 485 em­ploy­ees.

Staniec said they would be of­fered trans­fers to Telus re­tail out­lets, call cen­ters or of­fices.

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