Boots will not rule out that it may be forced to close its entire fleet of 520 traditional film processing labs, putting hundreds more jobs at risk.

The news comes as a source confirmed to Amateur Photographer (AP) that 160 in-store labs are set to be scrapped, affecting 200 jobs.

AP can reveal that six Boots stores have already seen their labs close as part of the nationwide shake-up.

‘Digital cameras have been around for a long time,’ said the source who suggested that closures are inevitable if the service is no longer being used.

‘While there is demand, the service will always be there.’

However, the source added: ‘We can’t say how things will change in the future.’

AP understands that the chain has not discussed the closure of further labs, other than the 160 already planned.

Boots will, instead, outsource film processing at the affected branches.

The fresh revelations follow a report in AP a few weeks ago confirming that a branch in Surrey had cancelled all in-store film processing.

However, Boots has refused to say where customers’ films will be sent for processing, or whether the service will be more expensive.

Nor would the company tell AP how many workers it employs at its 520 film photo labs nationwide.

Boots expects to redeploy the 200 affected staff, relating to the closures already announced, elsewhere in the same store.

Boots UK said in a statement: ‘The way our customers use photo services in the market has changed significantly over recent years, and as a result, we are updating the service across a number of our stores.

‘We are not closing the photo departments in stores, but adapting some of their services to respond to changing customer demands.

‘Customers will still be able to use the instant print services and will have the opportunity to order lab quality prints and creative products, which will continue to be available via in-store kiosks.

‘We are working to offer redeployment opportunities for those employees potentially impacted by this change.’

Boots has yet to announce the timing of the closures.

  • Jonathan

    I often drop c41 film in to a small Boots close to my office without a photo-lab. I don’t know where they send it but the results particularly colour seem very consistent.
    The in-store labs really vary in quality and particularly consistency. If they were better I’d definitely use the in-store service because of speed and relatively low cost.

  • Edward Worswick

    I still regularly use film as do many other photographers.
    Film processing availability must be preserved.

  • phillip mason

    I work for Boots and I along with many others are being made redundant.According to the letter I recieved they are removing the labs along with albums,frames,cameras and films.Our lab is closing in the first week of July.

  • barry arthur

    Thats no loss.It was their bloody awful processing that got me into digital about 10 years ago.

  • Michael Wilkinson

    I use their printing service for digital files,I hope that stays viable.
    BUT they need to move with the times.Let local people upload their images then collect.
    Currently we have to deliver the images to the store by uploading via a machine then revisit to collect.
    inefficient and certainly not green

  • robert painton

    not surprising as when i used them they were the most expensive over the counter service and not always the best quality very quick to stick a sticker on but didnt like it when you said the print quality was poor it was always the cameras fault.

  • Brian Harris, ex Times, and Independent Newspaper staffer of many years

    NO, No, No….please don’t…this is the last contact with old fashioned D&P. As a pro photographer I always seem to have dozens, hundreds of personal holiday-family snaps on my memory card…as the ‘family’ photographer I feel it is my duty to record family events…sure shot on digital BUT printed to go in the family photo albums….so many images will be lost to future generations if they are not printed..Every three months I take a disc of several hundred images to print up as 5×7’s to my local Boots in Saffron Walden, Essex. The quality is absolutly fine for my family history. If Boots close this service, will I print out these images on my Epsion, probably not. History will be lost….Boots you and I have a duty to help preserve our history…don’t close anymore in house labs !!!
    Brian Harris

  • Mick Kemsley

    As a film man this is unfortunate to say the least but we have to bow to the multitude. Where can I buy the boots films?

  • Mark Amies

    You cannot retweet this, too many characters!

  • Rex

    I don’t understand how they still stay in business. The colour is ALWAYS off when they develop, and that’s not a one-off problem. I had to make my photos red so they can develop it right.