If you’ve been meaning to have some pictures taken at your local Target Portrait Studio, hurry up: This week, the retailer announced to employees that the remaining studios will close at the end of this month.
There aren’t many of the studios across the whole Target chain: after a handful of studios closed in July, there were only 138 left, and two more have closed since then. Compare that to more than 1,800 Target stores across the country.
The studios are operated by LifeTouch, a company out of Minnesota that has its own portrait studios as well as a business taking pictures for church directories, yearbooks, school pictures, and sports teams.
Target began offering the service in 1996 as department store photo studios faded, but Americans’ photo habits have changed, and that change apparently doesn’t include as many professional portraits as it used to.
Target broke the news to its employees this week, telling them that Lifetouch is leaving the photo studios leases behind on Jan. 28. A Lifetouch executive confirmed the planned closing and the end date to Consumerist.
Other Target stores that have closed their studios have re-purposed the space in ways that are more useful to customers and to the store, like an expanded customer service area for online order pickups, or a licensed Starbucks store.
In a statement, Target told Consumerist that the decision to close all studios was Lifetouch’s, but that the chain looks forward to finding a new use for the former studio space.
“Creating an amazing experience for our guests is at the center of everything we do. As part of Target’s 2017 store remodel plans, we’re evaluating how these spaces will be allocated moving forward.
We thank the Lifetouch team for their partnership in offering their Portrait Studio services to our guests.”