Ritz Camera & Image, LLC
Ritz Camera & Image, L.L.C. (“RCI”), based in Beltsville, Maryland, is the largest specialty camera and image chain in the U.S. It is the only nationally recognized retail brand focused solely on the consumer camera and imaging market. RCI is the industry leader in providing cameras, accessories, photographic and digital imaging equipment and other image products. As of the date of the filing of its Chapter 11 petition, it operated 265 stores in over 30 states throughout the country. Furthermore, RCI is the only company in the camera and imaging market that has a major retail as well as online presence through RitzCamera.com.
Since emerging from a previous bankruptcy in 2009, RCI made significant strides in returning to profitability. As part of its restructuring efforts, RCI rationalized its cost structure, divested underperforming stores and streamlined operations. It made a profit in the second half of 2011 and merchandise sales were significantly improved through May 2012. Even with this recent success, however, RCI was restrained by a lack of sufficient liquidity to sustain its operations with its current store count. Accordingly, RCI filed for Chapter 11 protection to reject its unprofitable leases, improve its cash flow and restructure its balance sheet.
SSG was retained to help find potential buyers for RCI. After an extensive marketing process, RCI sold its website as a going concern, intellectual property and select stores to C&A Marketing, Inc. In addition, it sold its inventory to a joint venture comprised of Hilco Merchant Resources, LLC and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, LLC. The transaction closed on September 11, 2012.