HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Property management for Valley Bend Shopping Mall in Huntsville told WHNT News 19 that they cannot comment about the closing of Portrait Innovations, a photography studio headquartered in North Carolina. The store closed over 100 of its locations across the country at the end of 2019, including one in Huntsville.
Customers who paid for portraits and haven’t received them were left with no instruction. Many of those customers still want the products they paid for.
One customer told WHNT News 19 she had portraits of her children taken just after Christmas and was told she could pick them up in the new year.
“I came by on the second and everything was gone," she said. "Everything was completely removed from the building.”
She comes by the closed studio every single day to see if anyone is at the building or if anything has changed.
"At different times during the day, on my lunch break, after work... I have other people check for me on the weekends. I mean, I’ve been coming every single day," she said.
Portrait Innovations' website no longer exists, emails bounce back, and corporate phone lines are down.
WHNT News 19 has been trying to get in touch with someone who knows something about accessing the building.
The Huntsville business license office provided contact information for the Portrait Innovations franchise owner, but our messages and calls have not been returned.
WHNT News 19 learned that the Valley Bend property owners are DRA Advisors LLC in New York, but when we tried to contact them, we were forwarded to the property managers based in Montgomery.
Crawford Square Real Estate Advisors confirmed they manage the property at Valley Bend Shopping Mall, but when we pressed for a possible solution for customers who want their portraits, they recommended contacting Portrait Innovations and said they "had no control over the property." They later acknowledged they were aware of problems with the company and couldn’t comment further.
The customer we spoke with said she's noticed changes to contents inside the store, so someone does have access to the building.
WHNT News 19 will continue pressing for answers from the property managers.