A Colorado-based camera and photo services company is moving into the former Ritz Camera shop in midtown Sacramento and hopes to have the doors open by Friday.
Mike's Camera, which bills itself as the premier photographic specialty retailer in Colorado, spent Monday sprucing up the store at 2200 J St. and was ordering merchandise in an effort to open as soon as possible.
Ritz, a national retail chain, saw its assets approved for sale in September to a pair of liquidators by a U.S. bankruptcy judge in Delaware.
Mike's Camera said its move to Sacramento was part of a 10-store expansion that will create more than 80 jobs in Northern California and Colorado. All locations are former Ritz stores.
Besides five new stores in Colorado and the one in Sacramento, Mike's Camera is opening in San Francisco, Mill Valley, Menlo Park and Dublin.
"We are excited to be able to bring our unique services into so many new locations," said Alex Christianian, chief operating officer of Mike's Camera. "We look forward to introducing our customers to a wide range of possibilities on all the fun things they can do with their images."
Christianian said the midtown store will offer photo printing, imaging services and custom framing, along with a wide selection of cameras and photography accessories.
"Our focus has always been to help people do more with their photos and encourage aspiring photographers and professionals," Christianian said.
Ritz Camera & Image, founded 94 years ago, operated more than 1,000 stores after acquiring the old Wolf Camera chain in 2001.
However, Ritz struggled amid the transition to digital photography as revenue from film processing dwindled. The Sacramento store was one of only 137 remaining at the time of the September action by the bankruptcy court.
The company survived one bankruptcy filing, in 2009, but sought bankruptcy court protection again in June this year. Before the 2009 filing, the company had stores in Citrus Heights, Davis, Elk Grove, Folsom, Roseville and two Sacramento locations under the Ritz Camera and Kits Cameras banners.
Mike's Camera was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Boulder, Colo. It also operates stores in Denver and Lone Tree, Colo.