Blacks photo chain closing all stores

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TORONTO – Photography chain Blacks is shuttering all of its 59 stores in Canada as of Aug. 8 after 85 years in operation.

Parent company Telus says most of the stores are in Ontario and employ about 485 people.

Telus says an unspecified number of those employees will be offered jobs at Telus or Koodo head offices, as well as at retail outlets or call centres, while others would be offered a “transition package.”

Telus (TSX:T) spokeswoman Luiza Staniec says despite financial improvements over the last year, the company has been unable to turn a profit because of technological innovations that have changed the way people take and share photos.

In September 2009, Telus Corp. (TSX:T) bought Blacks for $28 million.

Telus acquired Blacks from ReichmannHauer Capital Partners, which had purchased the chain in October 2007 for an undisclosed price.

Blacks, headquartered in Toronto, was founded in 1930.