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costco photo envelope

It’s been more than two weeks since Costco’s photo site went down after a third-party vendor was hacked, but now the retailer is saying it could take another two weeks before operations return to normal.

While the site initially went down as a precaution, it is now turning into a month-long closure, with the most recent estimates shooting for mid-August to get back up and running. In an new update provided by Costco, the Issaquah, Wash.-based company said the return of the site “would not occur until the middle of August.” Just a week earlier, it had estimated the site would return at the beginning of August.

A company spokesperson did not quickly respond to an email seeking comment, but here is part of the message customers see when trying to access the site:

costco mid august2

Other retailers’ photo sites, including Sam’s Club and Rite Aid continue to be down, as well.

All of these retailers rely on PNI Digital Media to manage their photo sites. It was first revealed that the Vancouver, B.C.-based company, which is now owned by Staples, was investigating the possibility of a data security breach on July 17. Since that time, no new information has been released by the company, and it continues to remain unclear whether any information was stolen, including address, phone number, email address, photo account password and credit card information.

Multiple attempts to reach PNI Digital have been unsuccessful.

Costco does not break out revenues from its photo business so it’s unclear how much the closure could be affecting the retailer’s top line. While photo services are relatively inexpensive, and therefore are likely to make up a small percentage of the company’s revenues, the timing does coincide with the summer travel season when more customers may be interested in having photos printed.

With so many retailers affected, it’s unlikely that customers will have a hard time switching to a competitors’ service. As an alternative, most of the retailers have said customers can visit the stores in person to print photos using in-store kiosks. Costco’s competitors have been more reluctant to provide any estimates for when their photo services may return online.

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