Ritz Camera Centers, the nation's largest retail photography chain, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Beltsville, Md.-based company submitted its filing Sunday in federal bankruptcy court in Wilmington, estimating assets and liabilities at between $100 million and $500 million. The list of its top 30 unsecured creditors is led by Nikon Inc. and Canon USA Inc., which are owed a combined $40 million in trade debt.
Source: Business Week 2/23/09
No wonder Nikon is raising lens prices! This is sad news. There are quite a few Ritz and Wolf Cameras (which are the same company) in the Chicagoland area, and I used to buy prints from a local Ritz. The Business Week article goes on to discuss how the company has not done well with the transition to digital, losing significant revenue in the once profitable photofinishing business. This tracks closely to my own personal experience. I stopped using Ritz for prints years ago, in part because I just don't make that many prints anymore, but also because I've found online vendors (such as MPIX) who do a better job. Still, it's nice to have a local option that isn't a Target or a Walgreens, so this is disappointing and I hope Ritz can recover.