Here is a short article by CBC.ca about the background of the Canadian iconic photo retailer, Black's.
I can't say I was surprised by the closing when it was announced- it is due for August 8, 2015. I thought then that I had seldom thought of them except when passing the small store in my local mall. When I began photographing in the 1970's, Blacks was the place, often the only place, to go for camera gear, developing chemicals and paper, or to get your 8mm or Super 8 film developed.I have "Blacks" printed on many slide mounts.
Of course I feel badly for the many people who are losing their job, one that they seemed to enjoy, those few times I went in. And I was part of the problem. The article implies that they were focused more on the amateur market than competitors were, and the amateur market was and is still being filled with better and more convenient technology. The gap widened and continues to widen between those who grab the easy and decent shots and those investing in better quality gear which is more expensive and harder to use; many of the latter group are also in the former.
Kodak used to be the name in photography, the great grandfather of popular photography. It's fallen on hard times, partly because of some poor business decisions and partly because it simply didn't keep up with the market; which I suppose is also a poor business decision.
Here is a link to a pictorial look back at Kodak I think you'll enjoy. Follow the arrows on the right side of the first image.
Some of Kodaks products through the decades are spotlighted here.
George Eastman, Kodak's founder, and Thomas Edison together. Check out the "Watch a demo film" link under the photo of those two inventors and try to imagine how amazing colour film would appear to people in a world that had never seen coloured moving pictures.