Retail giant Costco recently revealed that they would be closing all their photo centers. The closure is set to occur in the middle of February 2021, but the retailer has made some services available online.
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, Costco announced on its website that it would no longer provide in-person photo services. The retailer will close all its photo centers on February 14, 2021.
After the date of closure, customers won’t be able to access several services. These include getting passport photos, photo restorations, ink refills, and YesVideo home movie transfers.
Costco Wholesale storefront in Hamilton Ontario, Canada on July 4, 2014 | Photo: Shutterstock/Alastair Wallace
However, the closures won’t affect some services that will still be available online. The Costco Photo Center site will still provide enlargements, the order and delivery of prints, and greeting cards.
Clients will still be able to get calendars, photo blankets, stationery, and other photo-related items. On the same day, the announcement was made, the company sent an email to its members with more information.
The retailer explained how digital advancements in photo technology had helped drive its decision. The email noted how camera phone and social media introductions led to the decline of photo printing, adding:
"After careful consideration, we have determined the continued decline of prints no longer requires on-site photo printing."
The company has urged its members to collect any remaining photo orders by March 28, 2021. Costco has around 800 stores nationwide, and the photo centers in all of them will be closed by next month.
The current move is part of Costco’s broader changes that they started implementing last year. The retailer has since limited the number of people that are served at its other departments.
In the company’s hearing aids or optical department, people served are limited because of laws about the novel Coronavirus pandemic. The retailer also stopped selling its half-sheet cakes.
The message urged customers to join in order to make use of the facilities.
Last February, Costco also appeared to be making changes in its food courts. At the time, signs were seen at several stores across the nation, indicating an upcoming change to food courts.
The company’s food courts sell things like ice-cream and churros. An Instagram fan account unaffiliated with the retailer shared a photo of a sign noting how a membership card would be required for the food court.
The sign noted how on March 16, 2020, Costco would require a membership card for clients to purchase items from its food courts. The message urged customers to join to make use of the facilities.