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Ritz Camera Closing 300 Stores

Woodland Hills, Calif. — Ritz Camera Centers will shut 40 percent of its stores nationwide as part of a court-supervised bankruptcy reorganization.

The nation’s largest specialty camera and imaging products chain will close more than 300 of its approximately 700 Ritz Camera locations and sell off some $50 million in retail inventory including digital cameras and accessories, digital-SLR compact cameras, digital frames, binoculars, camcorders and video accessories.

Store closing sales will begin tomorrow, April 4, and will continue until all inventory and fixturing is liquidated.

The sales will be conducted by the same joint venture that liquidated Circuit City’s stores, comprised of Great American Group, SB Capital Group, Tiger Capital Group and Hudson Capital Partners.

Ritz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February amid declines in its camera and boating businesses and demands by lenders to boost its reserves.

The privately-held business began operations in 1918 from a single store in Atlantic City, N.J. Following its acquisition of Wolf Camera in 2001, the chain had over 800 stores in more than 40 states across the country.

The store closings come amid a recent rash of retail liquidations that include Tweeter and Circuit City in CE, and Fortunoff, Gottschalks, KB Toys, Linens ‘N Things, Mervyns, Shoe Pavilion and Steve & Barry’s in apparel and general merchandise.