Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ritz Camera to shut long-time capital shop - Sacramento Bee

Ritz Camera, a nationwide retail chain and a fixture in midtown Sacramento, is going dark.

The Beltsville, Md., chain's assets have been sold to a pair of liquidators. A U.S. bankruptcy judge in Delaware approved the sale Monday. The shutdown will include the lone Sacramento store, at 2200 J St. in midtown.

"From what I understand, there's been a camera store at this location for 50 years or more," store employee John Parrish said Tuesday.

Ritz Camera & Image, founded 94 years ago, called itself the largest specialty camera chain in the country. It operated more than 1,000 stores after acquiring the old Wolf Camera chain in 2001.

But it has struggled for years with the transition to digital photography, as revenue from film processing dwindled. The Sacramento store is one of only 137 remaining stores.

The company survived one bankruptcy filing, in 2009, but sought bankruptcy court protection again three months ago.

Two nationwide liquidators bought Ritz's assets at an auction last week. There were no bids from anyone interested in keeping the company going, Ritz officials said in court documents.

â€" Dale Kasler

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