A chain of independent camera shops run by Wilding Photographic Ltd have closed this week while bosses decide over the future of the 63-year-old business.

All seven Wildings Digital Camera Centres, which are based in the North West, are currently shut.

Staff at the Wigan-based firm this morning refused to explain why the shops are closed, how long they have been shut for or whether they will re-open.

As explanatory notices have not been placed on the shops, nor on the business?s website, customers remain in the dark over the reason for the closures.

Records held by Companies House show that Wilding Photographic Ltd is still an ?active? business.

However, phone calls to each of its shops remained unanswered this morning as Amateur Photographer (AP) sought an explanation, and information for any customers who may be concerned.

AP understands that company director Jeffrey Wilding Lea will decide about the future of the business by Friday.

And he expects to be able to issue a company statement by next Monday.

The firm, which trades as Wildings, started life in 1948 as a commercial studio.

It began selling photographic gear in 1960.

Priding itself on the quality of its advice and service Wildings now runs camera stores in Bolton, Chorley, Macclesfield, Manchester, Northwich, Wigan and Wilmslow.

Services offered by Wildings include camera repairs, passport photos, canvas prints and photo restoration.