Telus has confirmed it will shut down all its Black’s Photography stores. The stores will remain open until August 8.
Telus purchased the photo-finishing chain in 2009 for $28-million and used the stores as a platform to sell mobile phones.
The closure of all 59 Blacks Photography stores is testament to its inability to survive in a digital age.
The company tried to overhaul its stores last year, transforming them into a more gallery-like setting, but they haven’t been able to “realize profitable growth,” Luiza Staniec, a spokeswoman for parent Telus Corp., said in an interview.
Most of the stores are located in Ontario, and the closure is expected to leave 485 employees jobless, although Telus says it will try to offer some positions at its other outlets, such as Telus and Koodo stores.
Telus tried to find a buyer for Blacks but was unsuccessful. Last year, the retailer tried to reshape its stores with a new prototype, which shifted the emphasis to displays of merchandise in an art-gallery-like setting, with a focus, for instance, on canvas-wrapped prints. Telus bought Blacks in 2009 for $28-million, closed almost half the stores and invested in improving the outlets as the industry moved quickly to digital alternatives.