Back in 2009, TELUS bought Blacks Photography stores for $28 million and six years later, the company has announced it will be closing all 59 retail locations in August, axing 485 jobs in the process, the majority of them in Ontario.
According to TELUS spokeswoman Luiza Staniec, “Technological innovations have changed the way Canadians take and share photographs, with fewer of us using retail photo outlets.”
She also went on to say some laid-off staff will be given opportunities to work at TELUS or Koodo head offices, retail stores and call centres, while others would be given severance, or a “transition package.”
“Despite the positive momentum and financial improvements our Blacks team has delivered over the last year, we have been unable to realize profitable growth and it would take considerable investment to adapt Blacks to ongoing change.”
The writedown of Blacks will be reflected in the next quarterly earnings report from TELUS, anticipated for August.
When Blacks was founded in 1930 the company sold appliances, later to open its first specialty camera store in 1948.
It’s always sad to see longstanding retail chains disappear, but that’s capitalism. Major electronics chains such as Best Buy and online retailers such as Amazon priced out Blacks. Heck, we could blame on the iPhone as a reason why people stopped buying point and shoot cameras, right?
The last time I walked into a Blacks store, all I could remember were picture frames. You can’t survive by selling nothing but picture frames, folks.
[via The Canadian Press]