Sears, Walmart photo studios shut down

Just weeks after Olan Mills shut its doors, after years of taking family and yearbook portraits, another longtime photo studio has closed down suddenly.

This time it is the Sears Portrait Studio, along with the PictureMe Portrait studio inside many Walmart stores.

The website for Sears Portrait Studio has a statement up saying the following:

After many years of providing family portrait photography, we are sad to announce our Sears Portrait Studios are now closed. We appreciate your patronage and allowing us to capture your precious memories. If you currently have an album or have had a recent portrait session, you can order products at searsphotos.com thru April 18, 2013.

The PictureMe Portrait studio website , meantime, was no longer working on Thursday afternoon, April 4.

The St Louis Dispatch reports that CPI Corp., which operates the Sears and Walmart studios, is shutting down after defaulting on its lenders.

Business Dried Up for Studios

Store photo studios, which did big business in the 1970s through the 1990s, have been closing in recent years due to the move to digital and smartphone photography, where anyone can create, crop, and edit a family photo online.

In addition, the demand for paper photo albums has all but disappeared. Olan Mills fell victim to similar changing tastes.

Sears will still allow existing customers to order prints through April 18, 2013, through Searsphotos.com

Walmart has not yet issued a statement as to how customers can access their photos, though some Walmart stores use other photo vendors that are not shutting down.  Customers should call their local Walmart if they have photos there.

As always, don't waste your money.

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