Wilmington, Del. — Just days before the opening of the PMA trade show, the country’s largest specialty camera chain, Ritz Camera, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Ritz said it has between $100 million and $500 million of both assets and liabilities in a filing made here, according to reports,
In addition to Ritz Camera stores, the chain owns Wolf Camera, Kits Cameras, Inkleys and the Camera Shops, as well as the Boater’s World chain. The company’s lenders had ordered it to boost reserves, and the company’s boating chain had been hampered by previously rising gas prices, Ritz said in an affidavit. The chain also said it was pinched by a reduction in photo finishing revenues.
Ritz said it will seek court permission to obtain $85 million of financing to keep operating while it restructures.
Ritz Interactive, an e-commerce firm that licenses the Ritz name, has not been impacted by the filing, a spokesman said. “We will continue to work with them as a distributor, but we source through multiple distributors, so we have other options.”
Ritz Cameras was
in TWICE’s Top 100 Retailers of 2008, with 1,100 stores and $580 million in sales last year.