(GeekWire Image / Kurt Schlosser)

Costco announced Wednesday that it will no longer function photo departments at its retailers, bowing to the increase of smartphones, social media and digital picture sharing.

The Washington-based mostly warehouse-design and style retailer, which operates a lot more than 500 U.S. suppliers, stated in an e-mail to prospects that the picture facilities would near at all Costco destinations on Feb. 14. Images publication PetaPixel was among individuals to very first report the information.

“Since the introduction of digicam phones and social media, the want for printing photographs has steeply declined, even even though the selection of pics taken carries on to increase,” Costco mentioned in its information. “After watchful thought, we have established the ongoing decrease of prints no extended calls for on-site picture printing.”

Costco will continue on to provide photograph printing expert services via its Image Heart website, which ships objects these types of as picture guides, stationery and calendars and prints on canvas, metallic and acrylic.

In-man or woman expert services this sort of as dwelling movie movie transfer, passport picture, picture restoration and ink cartridge refill services will also no more time be readily available in retailers. The enterprise first started off shuttering photo facilities in 2019, citing reduced demand.

PetaPixel identified as the image facilities a “staple of the company’s destinations, normally found just off the entrance to its lots of shops.” Other mainstream retailers, together with drug suppliers these kinds of as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, go on to cling to the in-man or woman printing providers

An approximated 1.4 trillion photographs ended up taken all over the world in 2020, as ubiquitous technological innovation puts cameras in the palms of nearly everyone. And websites such as Instagram, which counts 1 billion monthly lively end users, make sharing seamless and the printing of reminiscences an afterthought.