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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Without prior notice to its employees or customers “The Picture People Studios” suddenly closed last week.

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The studios were located in Sears stores here in the Pittsburgh area and across the country. Since the closure, the company has been silent, until now.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Fletcher Rumbaugh)

The Picture People Studios in the local Sears stores remain dark, but after days of trying to reach the company, finally a phone number and a recording confirming the companies demise last Thursday.

The message tells customers: “Due to significant financial challenges, adverse business conditions, and unforeseen circumstances. TTP Operating, Inc., the company, or Picture People, is no longer able to continue its business operations.”

For customers with paid picture plans, with gift cards and outstanding pictures paid for and waiting for delivery, there is a small glimmer of hope, emphasize small.

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The message goes on to say: “While the company is unable to continue its operations, we are hopeful it will be able to continue under new ownership soon.”

A suggestion of a possible new owner was also tossed out to employees as they were told to take the money to the bank and lock up for good. And the recording doesn’t leave you with the impression it’s anywhere close to a sure thing.

The message says: “If new ownership emerges, we will contact you directly to re-book your appointment and offer you special incentives for the inconvenience.”

The recording does not offer any timetable.

“Please understand that due to the circumstances and the uncertainties of the company’s affairs, the ability to respond promptly or provide additional information may be limited,” the message says.

The Picture People line then invites this” “Please leave a message with your specific issues and we will try to respond as soon as possible.”

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Only there’s no following beep, and no way to record a message or option to transfer anywhere.