What Drove Ritz Camera To Bankruptcy?

Ritz Camera, considered America’s largest camera store chain, has declared bankruptcy. Ritz filed for Chapter 11 protection in Wilmington, Delaware over the weekend.

Ritz Camera Bankruptcy

Ritz Camera’s bankruptcy filing comes as creditors seek money from the chain, published reports indicate. As much as $65 million is documented as being owed. Ritz Camera’s bankruptcy papers report assets and debt of $500 million each. Slumping sales and an overall drop in consumer spending are blamed for the downfall.

The largest creditors named in Ritz Camera’s bankruptcy documents are Nikon (owed $26.6 million), Canon (owned $13.7 million), and Fuji Photo Film (owned $8.4 million).

Ritz–based out of Beltsville, Maryland–has more than 1000 stores across the U.S., with locations in 45 states. It also operates a boating supply business, Boater’s World, which is included within the Ritz Camera bankruptcy filing. Ritz says that business was experiencing a sharp drop in sales as well, made worse by high gas prices over the past months.

Ritz had acquired the nation’s then-second largest camera store chain about eight years ago. The company bought Wolf Camera after it declared bankruptcy in 2001.