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Portrait studio closures affect area Sears - abc27 WHTM

Portrait studio closures affect area Sears

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Remember getting you portrait taken at Sears? Many do. Now it's no more.

Over 2,000 portrait studios nationwide have closed. Many of them were in Sears and Walmart stores. 

No more smiling faces in bow ties or photographers holding stuffed animals behind cameras.

The location at the Colonial Park Mall is deserted and dampened. A sign is on the counter that reads, "This Sears Portrait Studio is closed. We are sorry for the inconvenience. If you are here to pick up your photos please find the nearest Sears Associate and ask them to call store leadership for help."

If you call the studio, you receive a similar recorded message. If you visit CPI Corp's website, the company in charge of the operation, it reads, "After many years of providing family portrait photography, we are sad to announce that all of our U.S. portrait studios are now closed. We appreciate your patronage and allowing us to capture your precious memories. We are attempting to fulfill as many customer orders as possible. If you've had a recent session, your portraits may be available at your Sears, PictureMe or Kiddie Kandids portrait studio. For assistance, please contact the customer service department at your local store."

The St. Louis-based group has been struggling for years as the popularity of digital photography grew. For some, it's the end of a tradition.

"I was really surprised because when my daughter was younger I used to take her there every six, nine months...all the time," Susquehanna Township's Barb Dabrishus said.

"All three of my children...I had their baby pictures done there. I was just able to do it myself now," Harrisburg's Paula Shermeyer said.  "I believe its a sign of the times, with today's technology it's not necessary to have your portrait done."

We also discovered the portrait studio in the Mechanicsburg-area Walmart has also closed. For more information, you're asked to contact your local retailer.

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