Costco will be permanently closing its photo centers next month at all of its locations. A letter was sent to Costco photo department employees informing them of the upcoming closure, on Feb. 14.
“Since the introduction of camera phones and social media, the need for printing photos has steeply declined, even though the number of pictures taken continues to grow,” Costco wrote in the announcement. “After careful consideration, we have determined the continued decline of prints no longer requires on-site photo printing.”
Customers shared Costco’s notice about the closure on social media, including @C_Goscinski, who posted the letter on Twitter:
— Christopher G (@C_Goscinski) January 13, 2021
Hip2Save reported that low demand in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic closed many photo centers in March and April of 2020.
While the days of dropping off rolls of camera film are in the past for most of us, Costco customers took advantage of other services at the store’s photo center, including getting passport photos taken, photo restoration, printer ink cartridge refills and even home movie video transfers from movie reels or VHS tapes.
Anyone who has an order already placed at a local Costco Photo Center has until March 28 to pick up their items. At this time, Costco has not released any information about what will fill the footprint of that retail space .
The good news, though, is that Costco intends to keep offering some photo center services up and running at its online photo center. Because digital technology keeps advancing, Costco plans to continue offering specialized digital imaging services including photo books, blankets, stationery, calendars, canvas prints and even metal or acrylic prints.
All you need to do is visit the Costco Photo Center website, upload your favorite digital photos, and then decide how you want to show them off. Calendars start at $9.99, photo books are as low as $19.99 each, and photo blankets start at $39.99.
Will you miss Costco’s in-store Photo Centers?