Costco Photo: A Kirkland Signature Perk Gets the Boot

Costco already removed photo centers and services from its warehouses. Now, the online Costco Photo Center is being scuttled.

An array of various print photos
(Image credit: Getty Images)

To those still old-school enough to enjoy print photos or looking for an inexpensive way to get a passport photo, the Kirkland Signature in-store photo centers were a penny-pincher’s delight.

In recent years, Costco eliminated the analog version of that service, closing its photo centers in its warehouses — acknowledging most of its customers were storing their photos in the cloud, carrying them on their devices and not purchasing prints as much. That precious square footage was turned over to more profitable ventures.

But until now Costco kept photo services (including storage) online at CostcoPhotoCenter.com (opens in new tab). That perk will no longer be available beginning January 28, as Costco hands over all photo options for its members to the online photo giant Shutterfly (opens in new tab).

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Costco has begun notifying customers this week of the change. The transition to Shutterfly begins on January 11 and the last day for Costco members to download any photos they have stored at CostcoPhotoCenter.com, to their personal computers, is January 31. That's really not much time if you have a massive photo archive that you need to download and store...somewhere else.

Customers will still be able to get the legendary Costco discount for photo products. Costco members will get a 51% off all Shutterfly orders and also free shipping on orders over $49. That perk will begin on January 11. To opt in, members will need to go to Costco.com and click on “photo.” Costco has advised that all Photo Center account information, address books and photos will be transferred to Shutterfly. Despite that helping hand, this change will still be an upheaval for Costco Photo Center customers.

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Bob Niedt
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Bob is a Senior Online Editor at Kiplinger.com. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty, and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.