Apparently the abrupt closing of CPI Corporation has also affected some Walmart stores -- at least in the Tri-Cities.

Newstalk 870 reported Thursday the abrupt overnight closing of the Sears Portrait Studios.   The independent contractor who supplied the service, CPI Corporation, announced it was shutting down its 2,700 locations in Sears and Walmart.

A Sears manager at Columbia Center Mall said CPI employees were told Wednesday night not to report to work the next day. We learned today that's true of those at Walmart, too.

Earlier in February CPI announced it was going to close 346 under-performing stores in Walmarts. However, the company said it would continue operating stores in Sears, Walmart and Babies-R-Us.

A call to the Kennewick Walmart Thursday indicated the studio there was closed. CPI Corporation also operates studios under the name of Picture Me, which were often the ones in Walmart stores.

A recorded message on the Picture Me phone line in the Kennewick Walmart indicated they were not taking any more reservations after March 30 -- but it said nothing about closing. CPI abruptly ceased operations quickly. Several Walmart workers were not aware the Picture Me stores was closed.

According to news reports, the abrupt closing affects ALL of the U.S. based Sears and Walmart Picture Me studios. Those in Canada, where the company is based, are said to remain open.

According to the St.Louis Post-Dispatch, there is some potentially good news for recent Picture Me customers:

The website for PictureMe Portrait Studios, which were inside Walmart stores, directs customers to order products through 'If you have had a recent session, your portraits may be available at your local studio.'