Friday, February 3, 2012

Lifetouch Photography Closing Two Chattanooga Operations; 383 to be Laid Off

image: Lifetouch management just "expressed itself" to some of its workers - GTFO

This time it was a merger rather than outsourcing which caused a mass layoff action. Here is the Columbus Republic with the details:
The Lifetouch photography company is cutting 383 jobs in Chattanooga as it closes two facilities acquired in its recent purchase of longtime competitor Olan Mills.

A spokesman for Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Lifetouch said Monday that the two locations to be closed over the next several months, a photography lab and pre-press facility and a separate printing facility, were acquired when Lifetouch bought Olan Mills in November.
The article didn't give many other details, but I found this little tidbit from Wikipedia about the company to be interesting:
In 1978, 100 percent of the company's ownership was transferred to its employees, and it now promotes itself as the largest employee-owned company in the photography industry.
So I guess the "owners" of the company didn't want any more competition. Actually, it's amazing that in this modern age of digital photography that such a company is even still viable.

Bonus: Portrait photography, like Def Leppard, seems SO 1980s


  1. A little more to the story...Olan Mills contacted Lifetouch in September, 2011 regarding a sale to Lifetouch. The deal was closed in November, 2011 and at that time, there were approximately 4500 OM employees. Lifetouch hired all of them within a few weeks. While it is very painful that 380 employees will lose their jobs in Chattanooga, the other 4000+ are still employed and will be, thanks to the purchase.

  2. At least the Olan Mills employees received a severance. It was better than what they're doing to their own loyal employees.

  3. Yeah both companies are crap. They don't pay their employees fair and their very greedy and they are both breaking many labor code laws around the nation..... They have gotten away with it for years and years but with the economy down in the dumps the employees aren't taking it anymore and now both companies are gonna pay dearly...... Feel free to take a minute and google all the court case and class action case they are in.....

  4. So I needed to add to this.. As of Jan 27th all Meijer locations studios that were Olan Mills studios where closed ! Just like that 2 weeks notice. Also only a few Kmart studio were left open the rest were closed also. So let's see they bought Olan Mills Hired all employees without looking at background checks or if they had felonies then when Christmas season was over they fired anyone that didn't pass. Then a yr later they let all go.Hummm sounds like they just wanted Olan Mills gone and had a contract with Mr Mills for a yr to keep employees. Well that's fine because they will be going down slowly as all those they let go open their own home based studios and do what they won't do.. OUTSIDE photography.

  5. Well Anon.. as of May 1, 2013 Olan Mills kmart store workers (170 stores) district managers area, musm, stl, pre sellers... need I go on. found out our last day will be 5-16-2013 all the remaining Olan Mills in Belks will be converted to Flash Digital Portraits.. so Goodbye Olan Mills name :( & yet this is the ONLY thread I see anywhere close to telling what has happened!

  6. Lifetouch didn't purchase Olan Mills for their studio division. Those had long since become obsolete. Just to replace their archaic equipment alone would have made the purchase a waste of money. Olan Mills was purchased solely for its strong church division, an area of Lifetouch that could use the business. The studios weren't profitable. What business that isn't viable stays open? ? None. It's a horrible situation but is not a reflection on Lifetouch. If Olan Mills hadn't been run into the ground and left to die, tgere wouldn't have been any sale in the first place.

    And now there's more studio companies closing. The shrinking market is adirect result of people selling for cell phone snap shots, sacrificing quality for price. Again, not a company problem but rather an industry one.

  7. They just closed the kc plant.

  8. They are now closing some of the Florida stores as well. Inclusing the Ocala and Gainesville studios.