A Sign of the Times: BLACKS Photography to Close All its Stores

It’s a sad day for lovers of the good, old-fashioned photograph.

Earlier today, BLACKS announced that it would close all of its 59 stores across the country by August 8th.

This comes six years after Telus purchased the company, and after an intense yearlong attempt to combat the times with a revamp of store locations and new product lines – including products made for Instagram. It even created a super app for printing and ordering pictures and calendars.

As much as we love Instagram, and are ok with the idea of the majority of our recent photos living in our phone forever – never to see the light of day – we’re pretty bummed by this news.

In an age when we’re taking more pictures than ever, we’re also opting to store them on cloud solutions – and photo printing is a primary business at BLACKS.

All 485 BLACKS employees were told the new this morning, and the company will apparently try to find positions for them within Telus and Koodo. A press release issued by the company claimed BLACKS had been “unable to realize profitable growth and it would take considerable investment to adapt BLACKS to ongoing change.”

The disappearance of BLACKS – a company we’ve all known and relied on since childhood – marks the end of an institution for most Canadian young professionals. Ironically, it also comes at a time where we’re rediscovering our love for things of our parents’ times, like the Polaroid camera, the record player, and board games.

Not surprisingly, a growing wave of photographers aren’t fans of the shift to digital, and refuse to part ways with traditional film cameras. Film Photography Day – which took place on April 11th – encouraged photographers to swap megapixels for film.

As for the rest of us, we’d better get that decade-worth of film developed soon.