Costco is closing all photo centers, sparking despair among customers

·2 min read
Costco is closing all photo centers. REUTERS/Mike Blake
  • Costco is closing photo centers on February 14 at all of its more than 800 locations around the world.

  • As a result, Costco will no longer provide ink refills or passport photos in stores.

  • Costco members mourned the loss of the photo centers, which the chain has already closed in some stores.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Costco is closing its photo centers in all warehouses.

"The photo department at all Costco locations will close on Sunday, February 14, 2021," Costco Photo Center wrote in a recent announcement on its website.

According to the announcement, the following services will no longer be available:

  • Ink refills

  • Passport photos

  • Photo restoration

  • YesVideo home movie transfer

Costco will continue to offer photo prints, greeting cards, photo books, calendars, business printing, and other services through the Costco Photo Center website.

The retailer had already closed photo centers at some of its 558 Costco locations in the US in recent years, as many of the services can be conducted online. Costco declined to comment on the decision.

Read more: Costco's earnings came in better than expected. From $4 million to $8 million, here's how the retail giant pays its executives.

The news was a bitter pill to swallow for some Costco members.

"There really isn't a good alternative, this sucks," one Reddit user commented in a post about the news. "The photo center at the Costcos by me always seemed really busy."

"The biggest loss is passport photos," commented another. "They were MUCH cheaper compared to anywhere else."

Costco's business has been booming during the pandemic, reporting in December that net sales were up 16.9% in the most recent quarter. Despite the recent online shopping boom, the chain has remained focused on the in-store experience.

"It's still important to get people physically in the store. I don't think brick and mortar is going away," CEO Craig Jelinek told CNBC in December.

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