December 21, 2014, 08:10:35 AM

Author Topic: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy  (Read 10610 times)

pdirestajr

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2014, 09:17:19 PM »
Sad news. As a New Yorker I routinely chose Calumet over B&H and Adorama because of their staff. There is just something about "taking a number" in Adorama, or the whole "system" at B&H that always feels a little cold to me. The guys at Calumet in NY were always helpful and smart. My office is also in the same building as theirs, so it will be extra sad to lose them. No more playing with lenses at lunch time...
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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2014, 09:17:19 PM »

jrista

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2014, 10:09:28 PM »
I think Calumet has had enough financial problems that they are having a tough time getting supply from manufacturers. That would explain why you generally have to special order everything from them...they can't get any supply until it's a guaranteed sale.

I think management, somewhere along the line, massively screwed something up, and it's ultimately going to cost the company everything. Kind of sad. So many brick and mortar camera stores have gone up in smoke recently. We used to have both Mikes Camera and Wolf Camera here in Colorado. Wolf Camera decided to pick a fight with Canon...obviously, they lost, and they are completely gone now, bankrupt.

Mikes Camera moved into most of the old Wolf Camera stores, but they really don't look all that much healthier these days...they too are trying to push photo classes and training at $100+ a pop, print services, any kind of repeatable service they can think of, because they don't seem to be able to move physical product. (And it's no surprise, they mark up the prices on most things astronomically high, which isn't competitive with online, and because they get so few sales, they feel they can't reduce prices, etc. etc. down the rat hole...)

Maybe we'll see camera manufacturers start to act like smartphone manufacturers. Instead of these general purpose stores that sell all brands, we'll see the Canon Store, and the Nikon Store, and the Sony Store.

preppyak

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2014, 10:46:11 PM »
Well, and Calumet also made the mistake of buying up the Penn Camera stores in DC. I think they did other similar things in other markets; which means they had a lot of stores to cover, and some in areas where they werent needed. Buying up a failed business and not making it work certainly didnt slow their end

unfocused

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2014, 11:08:36 PM »
Look at the form http://www.photobusinessforum.com/images/calumetphoto_case_14-08908.pdf. The box they checked says $0 to $50,000.

I think this pdf filing is only for the online business calumetphoto.com, the parent or the stores business was probably a different entity.  Here is an article from the Chicago Tribune that seems to make more sense.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-13/business/chi-calumet-photographic-closes-20140313_1_chapter-7-bankruptcy-protection-facebook-page-facebook-and-twitter

Yeah, you're certainly correct. That helps explain things, as I couldn't imagine how they could only have $50,000 in assets. Thanks.
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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2014, 11:52:25 PM »
Well, and Calumet also made the mistake of buying up the Penn Camera stores in DC. I think they did other similar things in other markets; which means they had a lot of stores to cover, and some in areas where they werent needed. Buying up a failed business and not making it work certainly didnt slow their end

I work in downtown DC--within easy walking distance of the Calumet DC Store--and I'm not sure that I would say that Calumet made a mistake when it bought up the Penn Camera stores in DC. I think it was a good move that in the end was poorly executed.  For one, they did not buy up all of the Penn Camera stores, only three of them, and each in a distinct geographic market.  And from the time they bought them until today, there was/is relatively little competition from other photographic stores in the area. As far as I can tell, with the demise of Ritz camera, there are only two other camera stores in downtown DC. There is a well-stocked camera store in Loudoun County, but it's like 30 miles west of the city. For an area with the population size and relative affluence that we have here, Calumet should've been able to make a very good go of it. To me, they had a number of problems. Their stores always seemed to be significantly under stocked. And they would be out of stock of just the simplest things. That said, I always found the employees to be very helpful. For me, the biggest loss is going to be a local place that can produce quality large-size prints.

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2014, 03:12:27 AM »
Giving no notice to the rank and file employees is becoming more common. Less likely to be things like theft on the way out.

Nah, there's still plenty of theft, its just theft of wages owed.  According to the interview, Calumet was bouncing paychecks and then locked everyone out of the stores when they closed.  There's still customer cameras that went in for sensor cleanings locked up in some store fronts.
That's just so wrong ... it reminds me of a big private airline in India that went bankrupt in 2012, but has not returned ticket money to many of the passengers for the flights that were cancelled, ... in order to retain their customers, several travel agents had resorted to refunding customers from their own pockets and writing off the amount as bad debt ... since August 2012, the bloody airline did not even pay salaries to its employees, and still owes over INR. 350 crore (approx US$ 58 million) to its employees ... but the owner of the company hosts high profile & lavish (read that as expensive) events. What is more sickening is that this airline was promoted by the owner, in 2005, as an 18th birthday gift for his son ... but has scant regard to the children of the employees who served his company for years.
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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2014, 06:06:23 AM »
I once ordered a 70-200 F4 L IS lens from these guys. Shortly after ordering, I found a practically brand new one locally off Craigslist for way cheaper.  So I asked for and was granted a return by Calumet. I shipped my completely unopened packaged right back to them (I didn't even open the Calumet packaging, let alone the Canon packaging). Later on I checked my credit card online statement to see if I got refunded.

They did refund me.......and also charged me a $60 restocking fee for a package that I didn't even open.

If that's how they ran their business, I say Good Riddance!

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2014, 06:06:23 AM »

expatinasia

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2014, 08:51:19 AM »
My condolences go out to the Calumet staff.

It is funny times we live in when it comes to retail.

All my books are now electronic (and purchased via amazon.co.uk), and I buy them via my laptop which I bought online (also in the UK), I buy my CF cards (which are made in China) online in the US and get them sent all the way back to Asia, and I still save a lot on the prices here. That last bit still does my head in today. I mean I am buying something that was made a few hundred kilometres away, and yet to buy it cheaply it has to be shipped to the US and then bought online through a US-based store and sent back again! How nuts is that?!!

I go into brick and mortar shops like Sony Stores and see what they have, play with them, go home and compare prices all over the internet and all over the world.

The only brick and mortars that now get my business are those that offer things like 12 or 24-month interest free payment plans. Most online retailers have not yet worked out how to do that, but when you are buying a 2nd 1D X, or a 300 or 400 f/2.8 is ii etc, incentives like that can be very attractive.

Strange times, indeed.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 12:55:33 AM by expatinasia »
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JonAustin

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2014, 09:34:09 AM »
Sadly, just another sign of the times.

It's extremely difficult to simultaneously serve locally and compete globally. Pricing pressure is stiff, and knowledgeable retail staff has been displaced by online reviews and feedback from previous purchasers.

We've transitioned from handling the gear in a local store and then buying it there, to handling it in the store and then buying it online, to buying it online without first handling it, and then just sending it back if it doesn't meet expectations upon receipt. No wonder the brick and mortar stores are drying up.

I think the end is in the foreseeable future for nearly all specialty electronics stores. What we will have left is the big box stores for entry- and mid-level gear, and the online merchants for the high-end, specialty gear. The only local specialty shops will be those that can continue to differentiate in some unique or special way that appeals to its surrounding customer base.
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Vivid Color

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2014, 09:38:40 AM »
I always found the employees to be very helpful. For me, the biggest loss is going to be a local place that can produce quality large-size prints.

OK, maybe the loss of Calumet's printing services isn't as big as I thought it might be. Just a few minutes ago, I tried to frame a 16x20 print I had picked up at Calumet a couple of weeks ago. I had checked the print out, but didn't notice anything amiss. I've had a number of my friends look at this print and none of them noticed anything either. However, when I went to put the print  into a frame, I discovered that the print is not 16x20, but a least 1/2 inch smaller in both dimensions.

zim

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2014, 03:43:41 PM »
How many apple-esque stores have Canon opened so far, was there not an announcement some time ago about them doing that?
Seems to me that’s the way to go I don’t think they even need to have tills just come in try and learn. Very soon the only way to try before you buy is going to be CPD for Pros and trade shows for everyone else, not a good business model.

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2014, 06:32:19 PM »
How many apple-esque stores have Canon opened so far, was there not an announcement some time ago about them doing that?

I thought they were opening one in London but I have yet to see a sign of it appearing.

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2014, 07:31:48 PM »
How many apple-esque stores have Canon opened so far, was there not an announcement some time ago about them doing that?
Seems to me that’s the way to go I don’t think they even need to have tills just come in try and learn. Very soon the only way to try before you buy is going to be CPD for Pros and trade shows for everyone else, not a good business model.

Canon has opened a service center for professional support and sales of their digital imaging and video products in LA but nothing beyond that as their Cinema EOS brand is in it's infancy.

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2014, 07:31:48 PM »

Bennymiata

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2014, 08:36:34 PM »
Brick and Mortar retailers are discovering that today's retail business has changed markedly and I guess it's been very difficult for many of them to realise this, and still keep going the way they always have rather than trying to re-invent themselves to suit today's market conditions.
It's not just camera stores either.
Here in Sydney, there are many empty retail stores for rent and I feel for the owners of these now empty stores as many had their whole lives and their money tied up in these.
The camera market has changed a lot.
The internet has really made it tough for B&M retailers as it is now so easy to compare prices worldwide, and when you look at some of the pricing offered by on-line sellers with little or no overheads, compared to the B&M shops with huge rents to pay as well as staff, the B&M retailers aren't all that much dearer in many cases, but people feel that B&M's are ripping them off, so many are now turning to the net first without even going into the stores.
Many camera stores relied on the sales of cheaper P&S cameras, as many people who buy them do little research and how much can you save on a $200 camera?
The sales of these P&S cameras has dwindled down to a trickle now, as everyone just uses their phones, and this has hurt them a lot.
People aren't getting many prints done anymore either, choosing to just leave the pics on their phones or computers, so there is another good profit earner down the drain.
I think we will see many more camera retailers close up, and I wouldn't be surprised to see over 50
% of them close down in the next few years, unless they can come up with something  to get people to come in a buy from them.
Things like extended credit, maybe even hiring out gear and teaching people about photography, and giving really good service and advice.

I'm sorry for the employees, as it looks like they may never get their back pay etc., but I do think the writing is on the wall for many retailers that still believe they can trade the same way now as they did 30 years ago.

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2014, 01:28:56 AM »
In the big picture, what does this actually mean? Lesser cameras being sold? Camera business moving more towards online stores? What?

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Re: Calumet Photo Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2014, 01:28:56 AM »