CPI Corporation that operates Sears Portrait studios, PictureMe or Kiddie Kandids portrait studio, and Bella Pictures announced that all of their U.S. store located portrait studios are now closed. This message is on their Web site:
After many years of providing family portrait photography, we are sad to announce our PictureMe 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 myonlineportraits.com thru April 18, 2013.
If you have had a recent session, your portraits may be available at your local studio.
Now this closing right now appears to only affect brick and mortar studios located in Sears and Wallmarts under the names Sears Portrait Studio, PictureMe and Kiddie Kandids, the Bella pictures website is still up and running. Bella Pictures provides photography and videography for weddings across the nation.
While it does not appear that Bella is closing at this stage, it is very obvious that the parent company is going through some major financial turmoil. At Michiana Weddings we have never been a fan of the company being that they take events in a market and then send out emails trying to find local vendors, usually inexperienced college students or people just entering the market. Our recommendation always meet your photographer, cinematographer before even signing a contract and check out their specific work.
Being how important wedding photography and video is for brides, grooms and their families, if you have hired Bella for your wedding we would recommend developing a back up plan in case Bella Pictures suddenly vanishes too. For those looking at hiring Bella we would recommend giving it a lot of thought and have them tell you who the local photographer and write it into their contract before you sign the contract. This way if the company suddenly vanishes you can return to the local photographer and still get copies of your pictures.
Company Information New York Times:
CPI Corp. (CPI) is engaged in the professional portrait photography of young children, individuals and families. As of February 4, 2012, it had 3,058 studios. throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, under lease and license agreements with Walmart Stores, Inc. (Walmart) and license agreements with Sears, Roebuck and Co. (Sears) and Toys R Us – Delaware, Inc. (Toys R Us or TRU). The Company also offers wedding photography and videography services and products through its subsidiary, Bella Pictures Holdings, LLC (Bella Pictures or Bella). The Walmart studio operations are operating within CPI under the trade names PictureMe Portrait Studio in the United States, Walmart Portrait Studios in Canada and Estudios Fotografia de Walmart in Mexico, collectively PMPS or the PMPS brand. As of February 4, 2012, the Company operated 1,895 studios in Walmart locations globally.