PetaPixel

Sears and Walmart Unexpectedly Shutter Portrait Studios

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After years of providing portrait services to local families and high school seniors, both the Sears and PictureMe portrait studios (the latter found in Walmart) have closed their doors for good. The news has been breaking slowly via local outlets as Sears and PictureMe employees nationwide found themselves without a job Thursday morning — some having receiving the news as late as Wednesday night.

Visiting either the Sears or PictureMe websites at this point yields the same message, with only the studio name changed:

After many years of providing family portrait photography, we are sad to announce our Sears Portrait Studios are now closed. We appreciate your patronage and allowing us to capture your precious memories. If you currently have an album or have had a recent portrait session, you can order products at searsphotos.com thru April 18, 2013.

If you have had a recent session, your portraits may be available at your local studio.

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According to the St. Louis Dispatch, all 2,700 Sears and PictureMe studios are run by CPI Corp, which is shutting down U.S. operations this week after defaulting on their loans. The company’s fourth forbearance agreement with lenders expires this Saturday, and no additional banks or buyers have stepped forth to save the sinking ship.

In a letter circulating among employees, company CEO Jim Abel explained, quite simply, that the “decline of our business proved too great an obstacle to overcome.”

(via St. Louis Post Dispatch via WCPO)


Image credit: Sears Unexpectedly Shuts Down Photo Studio (1) and (2) by KOMUnews