COLUMBIA, Mo. - More than 2,000 portrait studios in stores like Sears and Walmart abruptly closed all of their locations nationwide Thursday.
St. Louis-based CPI Corp. said in a two-paragraph statement on its website that it's saddened by the announcement and that it is trying to fulfill as many customer orders as possible. It urges customers with questions to contact their local store.
The Associated Press left messages with CPI seeking comment early Friday.
CPI has struggled in recent years as the popularity of digital photography cut into its sales.
The company last month announced in a federal securities filing that it has received a fourth forbearance agreement from its lenders, and that it had until Saturday to meet its loan obligations.
The Sears Portrait Studios location at Columbia Mall began turning away customers on Thursday.
In a release posted to the Sears Portrait Studios website, the company announced their closing:
"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.
If you have had a recent session, your portraits may be available at your local studio."