As we first reported back in June, Ritz Camera is putting itself on the auction block as it struggles to pull itself out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The public auction will be held tomorrow, and may mean the breakup of the largest camera store chain in the United States. The company ran 800 stores back in 2009, but now only has around 300 under various names, including Ritz Camera, Wolf Camera, and The Camera Shop. That number will soon be trimmed to 137. A number of buyers are reportedly interested in snatching Ritz up, presumably due the fact that the company still generates a good bit of revenue — nearly $200 million over the past year through its brick-and-mortar and online businesses.
If you have any gift cards for any of Ritz’s camera shops, you should think about using them as soon as you can. There will soon be an aggressive trimming of unprofitable retail locations, and who knows what a potential buyer might have planned for the stores?