Ritz Interactive buys CameraWorld.com

Ritz Interactive,

which mails the Ritz Camera catalog, acquired Portland-based CameraWorld.com and its namesake catalog on May 1. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The CameraWorld store in Portland, OR, was not included in the acquisition.

According to reports, CameraWorld.com, which launched in 1996, saw its online sales fall 25% in 2001, while store sales dropped 10%. Making matters worse was CameraWorld.com decision to invest millions on an Internet strategy.

According to Ritz spokesperson Marc Malkin, the company has not yet decided if it will continue to mail CameraWorld’s catalog or if it will merge the title into its own book. “There’s nothing definitive. It’s all under review,” he says. But about 65 employees at Cameraworld.com’s Portland headquarters will be laid off.

In addition to RitzCamera.com, Irvine, CA-based Ritz owns WolfCamera.com, which it acquired in October 2001, and boating and fishing site BoatersWorld.com.

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