CLEVELAND - Northeast Ohio families report the closing of PictureMe Portrait Studios, located inside local Walmart stores, came without warning.
Consumers looking for family pictures have contacted NewsChannel5 Troubleshooter Joe Pagonakis hoping their photo sessions and picture orders will somehow still be honored.
Leslie Edwards of Wooster called 5 On Your Side after she paid $247 for pictures and photo albums, only to find PictureMe Portrait Studios closed.
"I was informed by a friend of mine that the studio went out of business last week, and I was like no, I just had my pictures done there," said Edwards. "Well, beyond my belief she is right, according to Walmart, where the studio was located, some people came in last week and shut it down. They went bankrupt, so now what?"
NewsChannel5 confirmed the PictureMe Portrait Studios website is down. The company posted the following statement:
"After many years of providing family portrait photography, we are sad to announce our PictureMe Portrait Studios are now closed."
"We appreciate your patronage and allowing us to capture your precious memories. If you currently have an album or have had a recent portrait session, you can order products at myonlineportraits.com thru April 18, 2013."
"If you have had a recent session, your portraits may be available at your local studio."
NewsChannel5 contacted Walmart Headquarters in an effort to get further help for consumers who have been left without hundreds in family photographs.
Walmart responded immediately, instructing consumers to check back at Walmart PictureMe Portrait Studio locations over the next week to see if Walmart staff members can locate their pictures.
Walmart agreed to provide refunds on pictures that could not be found, if the consumer presents the proper receipt.
Walmart apologized to consumers, and made it clear that it didn't own PictureMe Portrait Studios, that the company simply leased space in their stores.
Refunds are limited to pictures only, and do not include any merchandise purchased at the studio.
NewsChannel5 and newnet5.com will continue to follow-up on this developing story, and bring you updates as soon as they are available.