From what I remember, there was a scale back plan in place for the last couple years. A lot of the older photolabs would still process film. While the newer photolabs would send it out to be processed.
I know for certain stores (perhaps even most stores) it makes sense to remove their film processors, but our lab has always been ultra high volume when it comes to film. The day before it was removed i ran 12 rolls, and we had to turn away an additional 14 yesterday when they took it away. At that point I'd question the reasoning behind stopping our ability to process film. Even if it still made economic sense to remove our T15, they could have at least given us some warning to wean our film crowd on to digital cameras.
But that's probably too much to ask for.
Our store got rid of the one hour photo ages ago and replaced it with a simple photo send-out service by Fuji. About three months ago (ish) we stopped that and stuck with the Kodak Picture Maker.
I am extremely glad we got rid of the photo send-out for a number of reasons, some of which included cleaning crew disposing of undeveloped film, and online orders not being delivered to the store when promised (and us having no knowledge of them).
Kodak Picture Maker is good, except when I have to go over there every ten minutes because someone's pictures got stuck in the machine...
As a current photo lab assistant, I sincerely doubt it. The film processor only really accounted for about 15% of my workload. We still have three-ish printers, two scanners, two kodak picture kiosks, and an APEX order controller to worry about. Not to mention all the ordering I do. Its certainly worth the extra dollar an hour to keep it all straight.
I dealt with 2 APEX 7000 printers, 2 kiosks w/6850 printers, a kiosk connected 8800, and an apex connected 8800. That, in addition to 2 printers w/o kiosks, two flat scanners and a rapid print scanner. Not to mention the epson poster printer. I was simply a Photo TM.