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Ritz Camera Buying Camera World

5/06/2002 03:15:00 PM Eastern

Beaverton, Ore. - Ritz Camera is reportedly buying Portland-based photography retailer Camera World and its Cameraworld.com e-commerce web site.

Ritz, the nation's No. 1 camera chain, announced today that its e-tail subsidiary, Ritz Interactive, has acquired Cameraworld.com. But in a statement, the company stressed that Camera World's lone brick-and-mortar store 'will continue normal operations and is not part of the acquisition.'

Yet according to an interview with Ritz chairman David Ritz in the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) journal Newsline International, both the e-tail operation and the retail store are being acquired. The parties are currently working out the details of the transaction, which is expected to close this month, the PMA report said.

Ritz's office told TWICE that that the company had no comment on the retail deal at this time.

Camera World ranks 73 on TWICE's CE Registry Top 100, with a combined $81 million in sales last year from its store, Web site and catalogs, down from $90 million in 2000.

Privately-held Ritz, which operates 1,350 stores in 48 states, acquired bankrupt No. 2 camera chain Wolf Camera last fall, boosting it to 39th place from 51st on the TWICE rankings, with 2001 revenue of $326 million.

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