Shutter Closing On Ritz Camera With Liquidation Saturday

According to the company, shuttering 300 stores will leave 400 Ritz Camera locations operating nationwide.

Liquidation at closing stores will start Saturday, Ritz said.

"Retail inventory valued at more than $50 million will be liquidated at the stores that are being closed," the company said in a statement. "Store closing sales offering substantial discounts on all inventory at those locations will begin on Sat., April 4, and are expected to continue until everything is sold to the bare walls."

Ritz is the country's largest specialty camera and image products and accessories retailer. The company is still run by the same family that built it as a portrait studio in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1918. In February, Ritz, which is based in Beltsville, Md., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid mounting losses in all of its core businesses, which includes camera sales, photo processing and marine equipment through its Boater's World Marine Center chain. All 129 Boater's World stores are set to close by the end of June.

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Ritz's liquidation will be conducted by a joint venture comprising Great American Group, SB Capital Group, Tiger Capital Group and Hudson Capital Partners.

According to Ritz, thousands of products will be discounted during the liquidation, including digital cameras and accessories, digital SLR compact cameras, digital frames, binoculars, camcorders and video accessories. Other popular electronic items also will be marked down.

The Ritz bankruptcy and subsequent store closings follow a recent trend in retail, where a host of national chains are forced to close their doors due to slumping sales and a drop in consumer spending.

The most notable victim of the recession in the consumer electronics space was Circuit City, which closed its doors for good last month after a lengthy liquidation.

Circuit City, which was the No. 2 consumer electronics retailer behind Best Buy, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2008 and closed 155 stores. The 60-year-old company then shuttered its remaining 567 outlets after attempts to find a buyer failed.