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In-store Photo Firm Said Closing 51 Studios in Wal-Marts

CPI Corp., an operator of portrait and digital photography studios, is reportedly closing 51 of its studios in Wal-Mart stores this year because the PictureMe Portrait Studio business it acquired last June failed to reach certain comparable store sales targets in fiscal 2007.

St. Louis-based CPI's U.S. agreement with Wal-Mart included a clause whereby Wal-Mart could force the closure of 500 studios each year until certain comparable store sales targets specified in the agreement were met, according to a report in the St. Louis Business Journal. The two companies have approved an amendment to that agreement, however, which provides for the closure of 51 studios this year, prospectively eliminates the provisions of the agreement requiring 500 studio closures if specified comparable store sales targets are not met, and provides for a reduction in minimum studio hours of operation requested by the company.

CPI said it could not disclose which studios it would close, according to the report.

CPI Corp. offers photography services in approximately 3,100 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico, principally in Sears and Wal-Mart stores.
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