Blacks Photography
2.1 of 5 30 reviews

30 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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A company that is steady declining, with no incentive for employees to not jump ship.

Customer Associate, ASM, Telus Representative, Lab Manager (Former Employee)

Pros-- Depending on your store, location, and staff, the work environment can be tons and tons of fun. I worked for Blacks for several years and encountered many different team environments, some of them ended up being closer than family, others... not so much.

-- A not so bad discount program. When Telus Mobility first purchased Blacks, they provided employees with a dirt cheap unlimited everything plan. After a few years this slowly got phased out, and was replaced with a $15 2GB/Limited calling plan, which was still better than market price. The best in-store discount comes from printing and frame/album purchases, with some discounts on manufacturer orders.

Cons-- The disappearing culture. Blacks used to be about photography (Blacks /is/ Photography), but they're rapidly losing touch with the customers and employees that have backed them since the 70s. Blacks doesn't know whether it wants to be Apple, Shoppers, an online discount superstore, or the Dollar Tree.

-- Recent changes made to the production of photos. Blacks used to be an entirely wet lab, which was changed to a dry lab in fall/winter 2011. The film process is now broken down into hub and spoke stores, however the process is still bass-ackwards and some customers would wait up to and including 90 days for their previously 1-3-or-7 day order to come back. The digital dry prints are still not up to Blacks standard - as an employee I could justify the costly price of prints because of the quality, however the "new" dry paper format is no different from London Drugs or Walmart.

-- Upper, middle, and senior management. Head office was an absolute joke, lots of passing the buck around, attitude, late orders, promises to deliver without delivery. Middle management (regional managers) were hit or miss. I had one regional who was the absolute best -- she still works for the company, and her region is continually top tier. The regional who followed her was a transfer from another Big Box Retailer, and to this day continues to drive the company into the ground.

-- Current store management is a joke. The regional has a very particular style of hiring and promoting managers, and most are under educated, under experienced, and do not present the company on a level you would expect from a business that has been around for 100 years. The turnover is MASSIVE, even for long time, 2-to-9 year tenured employees.

-- Lack of communication, empathy, value, training, pay compensation, and understanding of what makes the business successful.

Advice to Senior Management-- Don't threaten employees who don't have high numbers when they're the ones stuck in the lab because nobody else has been appropriately trained to use the machine and process orders.

-- Take responsibility for your actions and follow up with customers and head office alike.

-- Be responsible and adult. Post schedules more than three days in advance, don't talk to your staff as though they're children whom have just been birthed from the Blacks machine, and don't set unrealistic expectations for yourself, your team, or your store. Nobody benefits.

-- If the store isn't meeting its targets, find out why. Ask your staff why they don't feel confident or happy pushing a new phone on every person who comes through the door. Once you show empathy towards their concerns or reservations, try and resolve them in a way that isn't, "I'm sorry you feel that way."

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Work/Life Balance
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    I love coming to work, never do I dread it!! Your career is what you make of it.

    Manager (Current Employee)

    I have been working at Blacks Photography

    Pros: -Co-workers, -Customers, -Incentives, -Being acknowledged when a good job is done. I understand that everyone has their own feelings towards Blacks. My Regional Manager is… Cons: I am from the SK/AB Region, and the closest Blacks store to mine, is at least 4 hours away. My associates and Customers want more… Advice to Senior Management: Some people aren't checking e-mails/ Returning e-mails within a decent time period.… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities



    Sales Associate (Current Employee)

    I have been working at Blacks Photography

    Pros: implementing some changes to try and make it a better… Cons: bad pay low morale company seems to be losing money rather than making money unable to… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More
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