Many electronics firms and retailers are finding that they simply can’t continue operating in the current global economy. Consumers simply aren’t buying products and retailers large and small are failing.
The latest casualty of the economy is Ritz Camera, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Ritz Camera is the country's largest specialty camera retailer with 1,100 stores across the nation.
According to filings made in conjunction with the bankruptcy, Ritz has between $100 million and $500 million of assets and liabilities. In addition to the Ritz Camera stores the chain also owns Wolf Camera, Kits Camera, Inkleys, Camera Shops, and the Boater's World chain.
Ritz cites an increase in gas price, which had previously affected its Boater's World chain and that a reduction in photo finishing revenue as main contributors to the bankruptcy filing. Ritz is asking the courts to allow it to obtain $85 million in financing to keep operating while it restructures.
Ritz points out that the ecommerce firm Ritz Interactive is not affected by the bankruptcy filing. The ecommerce firm merely licenses the Ritz name. A Ritz Interactive spokesman said, "We will continue to work with them (Ritz) as a distributor, but we source through multiple distributors, so we have other options."
By far the largest casualty of the global economic crisis so far has been the folding of Circuit City. The company is currently being liquidated and the liquidation sale so far has moved about $1 billion in inventory.