“Treasured” memories like the above will soon be a thing of the past. Out of the blue, the company (CPI) that runs thousands of portrait studios inside big retail stores such as Sears and WalMart is closing its doors.
In fact, go to Searsportrait.com, and this is ALL you see:
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.
Now, before you blast Sears or Walmart, remember that CPI, in business for 60 years, is just a vendor for the retailers. They are deeply in debt, and their time has come. CPI says that much of the blame goes to the proliferation of camera phones.
Their employees are shocked, to say the least, and more than a little worried that CPI might not make good on their current orders. Some are taking matters into their own hands. One employee “hastily burned as many undelivered portrait packages as she could onto compact discs on Thursday. By Friday, she tried to spread the word to those customers that she’d be at a nearby pet store’s parking lot Saturday with those CDs.”
So, if you have a pending portrait order with a local CPI, you might want to pick up the phone. To CALL them, not to take pictures!
So, what do you think? Will you miss the old portrait studio? Hey, I never used one, but it is kind of sad to lose a minor American tradition such as this.
On a brighter note, here are some bad family portraits from around the web! Awkward Family Photos, More Awkward Family Photos
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