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(Reuters)   Ritz Camera processes Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Story developing   (uk.reuters.com) divider line 55
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1520 clicks; posted to Business » on 23 Feb 2009 at 1:11 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-02-23 12:35:27 PM  
Does this mean I can get crackers on liquidation?
 
2009-02-23 12:37:36 PM  
Niiiice.
 
2009-02-23 12:40:01 PM  
hurt by the recession and consumers' shift to digital photography.

Hurt by maintaining a mom&pop camera shop paradigm, while other dealers went online.

Killed by Adorama & B&H...
 
2009-02-23 12:49:00 PM  
Ritz Camera Centers Inc, which said it is the largest shiattiest U.S. specialty camera and imaging chain, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

hurt by the recession and consumers' shift to digital photography.


what, they didn't see this coming? seriously, most local photo shops are way better than ritz. they fail at being a franchise.
 
2009-02-23 12:49:13 PM  
impaler: Killed by Adorama & B&H...

I love B&H. You order something in the store, and it travels across the ceiling to the register.
 
2009-02-23 01:08:20 PM  
They weren't hurt by the shift to digital. Almost everything they carry is digital, and has been for some time. I'm guessing they've been hurt by the plethora of decent point-and-shoot cameras, plus the fact that you can upload pics to any number of retailers that you might already be visiting...like Walgreens, CVS, or Walmart.
 
2009-02-23 01:08:20 PM  
No wonder my camera + lens has been on back order for so long. I just canceled my order and I'm going to buying the same damn package at B&H, for $30 cheaper.
 
2009-02-23 01:14:15 PM  
RodneyToady: impaler: Killed by Adorama & B&H...

I love B&H. You order something in the store, and it travels across the ceiling to the register.


What is B&H? I must see this for myself.
 
2009-02-23 01:15:43 PM  
Yeah, B&H and Adorama are awesome.
 
2009-02-23 01:18:46 PM  
Isn't Ritz Camera one of the bait-n-switch / hard upsell outfits?

You know, you see an ad for a $900 camera for $500, you order it, and the order confirmation is for a "reasonable substitute" (off brand, cheap) and then they try to get you to buy $1500 worth of lenses?
 
2009-02-23 01:19:27 PM  
www.abovethelaw.com

/obligatory
 
2009-02-23 01:19:43 PM  
JohDHJ: RodneyToady: impaler: Killed by Adorama & B&H...

I love B&H. You order something in the store, and it travels across the ceiling to the register.

What is B&H? I must see this for myself.


34th St. and 9th Avenue. (new window) Their online prices are good but the effect just isn't the same as their little product movers.
 
2009-02-23 01:38:48 PM  
doublesecretprobation: Ritz Camera Centers Inc, which said it is the largest shiattiest U.S. specialty camera and imaging chain, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

hurt by the recession and consumers' shift to digital photography.

what, they didn't see this coming? seriously, most local photo shops are way better than ritz. they fail at being a franchise.


that's BS, they weren't.

As said, there's tons of Mom & Pops that offer much better service, you can haggle prices, and most have ebay stores to take care of net purchases.

Mid to high end camera shops tend to market themselves to a certain consumer, one who expects the guy behind the counter to be a advent hobbiest that knows the equipment and what he's talking about.

Ritz wasn't that, but had the same prices.
 
2009-02-23 01:40:55 PM  
inthrees: Isn't Ritz Camera one of the bait-n-switch / hard upsell outfits?

You know, you see an ad for a $900 camera for $500, you order it, and the order confirmation is for a "reasonable substitute" (off brand, cheap) and then they try to get you to buy $1500 worth of lenses?


No. Absolutely not.

I worked for Ritz off an on for four years (getting a kick, etc). What's killing them is not digital cameras... it's that nobody prints their digital pictures. The margin on cameras is very poor; the margin in photo developing is much higher. They were still doing ok while disposable cameras were a hot thing, but now that digital cameras and camera phones are ubiquitous, the market is just that much tighter.

90% of the people I worked with while at Ritz (5 different stores in 3 states) were really into photography and many were professional photographers on the side, far beyond what you'd ever find at Best Buy or Walmart or whoever. But that just doesn't help them in this economy. It's all about price, and they just haven't been able to compete on price.
 
2009-02-23 01:49:39 PM  
This makes me shutter.
 
2009-02-23 01:52:32 PM  
TyrantII: doublesecretprobation: Ritz Camera Centers Inc, which said it is the largest shiattiest U.S. specialty camera and imaging chain, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

hurt by the recession and consumers' shift to digital photography.

what, they didn't see this coming? seriously, most local photo shops are way better than ritz. they fail at being a franchise.

that's BS, they weren't.

As said, there's tons of Mom & Pops that offer much better service, you can haggle prices, and most have ebay stores to take care of net purchases.

Mid to high end camera shops tend to market themselves to a certain consumer, one who expects the guy behind the counter to be a advent hobbiest that knows the equipment and what he's talking about.

Ritz wasn't that, but had the same prices.


I know I just posted, but I can assure you I worked with lots of people who were beyond hobbyists.

1st store - 2 professional photographers, 2 photographers trying to pro (one with a degree), and 2 hobbyists.
2nd store - 2 professional photographers, 1 person trying to get started, 2 hobbyists, a printer that'd been in the field for 15 years, and a crazy woman (later fired).
3rd store - 1 pro, 2 trying to get started, 1 hobbyist, and an art major
4th store - 3 pros, 2 trying to get started, 2 hobbyists, and a lazy manager (also later fired)
5th store - 1 pro, 2 trying to get started, 2 hobbyists, and a vaguely angry metal dude who printed.

The sample size isn't huge, but I certainly never encountered a store where the staff was as clueless as best buy. If anything, we suffered from the artsy folks being a little too socially awkward to actually sell stuff.

/Not saying B+H ain't great. Cause they are.
 
2009-02-23 01:52:45 PM  
I've always had good luck with Abes of Maine.
 
2009-02-23 01:56:59 PM  
inthrees: Isn't Ritz Camera one of the bait-n-switch / hard upsell outfits?

Nahh, I think they were legit, they just sucked like circuit city.

/the only ritz cameras I ever saw where tiny little spaces in malls. Barely any room to walk around inside once they stuck in the scanners and the like.
 
2009-02-23 02:02:54 PM  
You could picture this coming. The negative numbers were right there in black and white. Nothing out of focus about that.

/I suck at this game
 
2009-02-23 02:03:06 PM  
It was an experience walking into B&H on an early Sunday morning in Christmas time. All the stores are closed except for them.
 
2009-02-23 02:05:14 PM  
stoliman03: I've always had good luck with Abes of Maine.

Ahahahahaha

For those actually taking stoliman03 seriously, do a little online research about Abes of Maine before putting up a dime
 
2009-02-23 02:09:49 PM  
mebiuspower: It was an experience walking into B&H on an early Sunday morning in Christmas time. All the stores are closed except for them.

The flip side to that is that they will randomly close for a week in, say, April.

/always seemingly right when I need a piece of gear for a job ASAP
 
2009-02-23 02:13:13 PM  
did they fail to focus on capturing a profit?
lens see what devolps after they take a shot at this.
 
2009-02-23 02:17:13 PM  
schief2: mebiuspower: It was an experience walking into B&H on an early Sunday morning in Christmas time. All the stores are closed except for them.

The flip side to that is that they will randomly close for a week in, say, April.


Also, they're closed on Shabbat (Saturday).
 
2009-02-23 02:17:43 PM  
I hate Wolf/Ritz. They suck donkey ballz.

I asked them to develop my medium format(6x7 cm) film. they sent it out and when it came back, there was fuzz and dust on the negatives and on the scans ! After I complained to their headquarters, the locals "lost" my next set of negatives ! I hate these a**holes !

/just received a new tripod from B&H Photo.

//get my stuff printed on-line through PhotoPrismColorLab.com, they do beautiful work.

///get my film developed at Reliable Photo in Skokie, or Helix in Chicago
 
2009-02-23 02:23:09 PM  
No love for subby? I thought it was a pretty clever headline. Certainly above-average for the week.

/not subby
 
2009-02-23 02:30:35 PM  
B&H is great. My father and I have used them for years. Great prices, awesome customer service and really fast shipments.

I havent used them in a while since I currently work for a local camera store chain - I get nice discounts on Nikon gear, prices actually lower than what Nikon sells to the stores.

As far as printing digital pictures, most of my customers print something or other, be it one or two images from their card, or doubles of every single image. Digital photography has made it much easier to take more shots, so those who tend to make prints end up ordering more of them.

Also, my store is located in an affluent neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland, so my customers have more money to burn on vacations, camera gear, prints for friends and enlargements for their homes.

Am I sad to see Ritz reorganize? Not really. In general, they suck.
 
2009-02-23 02:30:46 PM  
dragonchild: No love for subby? I thought it was a pretty clever headline. Certainly above-average for the week.

/not subby


+1, but it's Monday, dB.

I notice a trend. Good customer service leads to bankruptcy filing.
 
2009-02-23 02:31:30 PM  
schief2: The flip side to that is that they will randomly close for a week in, say, April.

/always seemingly right when I need a piece of gear for a job ASAP


So does Adorama.

Must be a camera salesman conference or something at that time huh?
 
2009-02-23 02:40:26 PM  
sarek_smile: I hate Wolf/Ritz. They suck donkey ballz.

I asked them to develop my medium format(6x7 cm) film. they sent it out and when it came back, there was fuzz and dust on the negatives and on the scans ! After I complained to their headquarters, the locals "lost" my next set of negatives ! I hate these a**holes !


You took your pro film to a company that caters to the public and you're upset that they screwed up?

When I used to shoot medium format, I always took the film to a pro lab for processing.

--

Ritz prices were always competitive with B&H, even in the stores. I bought quite a bit of gear from them over the years because I could go to a store and inspect the gear I was buying.
 
2009-02-23 02:45:31 PM  
impaler: schief2: The flip side to that is that they will randomly close for a week in, say, April.

/always seemingly right when I need a piece of gear for a job ASAP

So does Adorama.

Must be a camera salesman conference or something at that time huh?


Passover.
 
2009-02-23 02:45:59 PM  
tomlennon: Good customer service leads to bankruptcy filing.

I never knew Circuit City and giant banks had good customer service.
 
2009-02-23 02:46:38 PM  
I worked for Ritz Camera back in the day.

I started at a Pittsburgh store, moved back to Ohio and worked at the Solon and Richmond Town Square stores.

That all ended the fall of 2001.

In a district meeting for the greater Cleveland stores, our DM told us that (and I'm not kidding) that because of September 11th, people are learning very quickly that "they can't take it with them" and that we should use the fears everyone was experiencing to get them to buy cameras, film, and prints on archival paper, "just in case."

I walked out.
 
2009-02-23 03:03:47 PM  
Damn.

No more peanut butter cracker sandwiches.
 
2009-02-23 03:06:30 PM  
Just one more dinosaur, gone by the wayside.

You either adapt or die.
 
Ant
2009-02-23 03:08:28 PM  
In the olden days, when you took a picture with a camera, you didn't get to look at it right away (unless you wanted to pay ~$1 per print for Polaroid film. That was really expensive back then), it needed to be processed first. You'd take the pictures with the camera, then drop off your roll of plastic coated in light sensitive emulsion to be "processed". In about 5 days, you'd get back an envelope full of blurry and over exposed prints.
 
2009-02-23 03:22:36 PM  
mesmer242:
it's that nobody prints their digital pictures.


I think this will be the lost photo decade. No one prints digital photos and years from now all of the DRM, crashed hard drives, and file format issues will probably ensure that very few photos survive.
 
hej
2009-02-23 03:25:06 PM  
inthrees: Isn't Ritz Camera one of the bait-n-switch / hard upsell outfits?

You know, you see an ad for a $900 camera for $500, you order it, and the order confirmation is for a "reasonable substitute" (off brand, cheap) and then they try to get you to buy $1500 worth of lenses?


No, they charge full MSRP right up front. There is no attempt to fool you into thinking you're getting a deal out of them.
 
2009-02-23 03:26:48 PM  
'Helix in Chicago'

We had a Helix here for years but they were notorious for poor service, not wanting to back up warranties, etc.

And speaking of screw-ups, local specializing in Minolta had to close when Minolta dumped their camera lines cuz Minolta was all they carried.

My Max.7000 was a GREAT camera. The guy there was pretty cool, too.
I broke the back of the camera and he told NOT to get it fixed unless I really wanted to; said it would cost as much or more as a new 6th generation one and my old lenses would still work.

Nothing like a honest sales person.
 
2009-02-23 03:59:58 PM  
Some Bass Playing Guy

Yeah, that was my entree' into medium format and I had not yet found Reliable Photo in Skokie. They have done a great job with my film.

Then, the Catherine Edelman Gallery told me that I should be using an 8x10, large format camera. So, I got a Toyo. Although, I have not started to use it yet.
 
2009-02-23 04:05:40 PM  
HempHead: mesmer242:
it's that nobody prints their digital pictures.

I think this will be the lost photo decade. No one prints digital photos and years from now all of the DRM, crashed hard drives, and file format issues will probably ensure that very few photos survive.


Every couple of months I get the best of my snapshots printed. I don't trust that all my photos will survive digitally. Nothing beats a hardcopy (ask me about the accidental hard drive format of '06). I also prefer to buy my music on CD and rip it at the quality level of my choosing. I also prefer my newspapers, books and magazines to be in a format I can bring into the crapper, or read propped up in bed (without cooking my frank and beans).
 
2009-02-23 04:23:16 PM  
Never heard of them. I always go to B&H.
 
2009-02-23 04:24:49 PM  
lordargent: /the only ritz cameras I ever saw where tiny little spaces in malls. Barely any room to walk around inside once they stuck in the scanners and the like.

The one in my town is fairly large...probably about half the size of the Comp-USA that it shared a plaza with.

Always received decent service from them. Maybe I'll be able to pick me up a new lens or two for my Canon...
 
2009-02-23 04:36:07 PM  
I tried to patronize Wolf Camera last November. Problem was they wanted almost $250 more for the same Canon Rebel XSi than what Amazon did. Hell, even the Rebel XS was almost 100 more at Wolf than the XSi was at Amazon. Anything other than a point-n-shoot, and you can bet I'm going to do some research into prices. I would much rather support my local camera store, franchise or not, but when the price difference is that great you would have to be a fool to act otherwise.

I would assume that Wolf/Ritz/Whatever camera should be well aware of this situation. Either they can do something to compete effectively, or they can not. It's not clear to me whether or not they simply can't offer the price that Amazon does (e.g. not enough volume), or it's all markup and they can't run an efficient enough operation. Either way, this is for them to figure out or else their business will continue to suffer until it dies.
 
2009-02-23 04:52:35 PM  
Holy crap, they're still around? I haven't seen one of those stores in a mall for quite some time.
 
2009-02-23 05:16:17 PM  
They'll be gone in a flash.
 
2009-02-23 05:24:10 PM  
I tried to get the local Ritz to match the price for a new D300 the same as B&H. The store manager said to me, and this is a direct quote, "Oh christ, another know-it-all internet shopper."

I took my business to B&H (as I do with 99% of my photo needs)

/Just checked prices on-line. Ritz and B&H are matched on the D300
 
2009-02-23 05:40:48 PM  
Used to work for Ritz Camera. The store I worked at closed 3 years ago. David M. Ritz is a prick!!!!!
 
2009-02-23 06:40:50 PM  
TigerzDad: /Just checked prices on-line. Ritz and B&H are matched on the D300

And Amazon is a 1/4 grand less than both.
 
2009-02-23 07:44:44 PM  
There used to be a great chain out here called Photo Drive-up. Had photo processing, camera sales, the best video rental selection at the time, and they always ran a full-page ad in the Sunday comics with all kinds of coupons. Then they got bought up by Wolf Camera, changed the signs on the shops they didn't close down, got rid of the videos and stopped running the ads. It was a sad day when that happened.
 
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