Ritz Camera's Future Out of Focus

Beltsville company seeks bankruptcy protection

DOVER, Del. -- The future of Ritz Camera Centers is out of focus after the nation's largest retail photography chain filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors.

The Beltsville, Md.-based company submitted its filing on Sunday in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. The company said will continue to operate as it seeks to reorganize.

The company said revenue from its profitable photofinishing business have declined significantly with the shift from film to digital cameras.

It also said an increase in gasoline prices, along with other economic factors, led to a sharp drop in sales in its Boater's World recreational marine business.

The company listed assets and liabilities at between $100 million and $500 million. The list of creditors is led by Nikon Inc. and Canon USA Inc., which are owed a combined $40 million in trade debt.

Ritz acquired Wolf Camera in 2001, and its retail brands include Wolk, Kits Cameras, Inkley's and The Camera Shop, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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