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Current Events

Calumet Photo Abruptly Declares Bankruptcy, Suddenly Closes All US Stores

By Anthony Thurston on March 13th 2014

Earlier today in a brief message on their Facebook account Calumet Photo announced the immediate closeing of all their stores in the United States. According to the announcement, the company’s European stores will remain open. “It has been a joy to share our passion for photography with you all of these years,” the message went on, ” We’ll miss each other and we’ll miss all of our customers. Thank you for everything.”


According to some unconfirmed (meaning, I have not seen any official confirmation of this myself), this decision came through with little to no warning, even to employees. Managers were told last night of the closing. Some reports are saying that employees showed up to work this morning to find a note on the door saying that they were closed.

There are also reports of rented items still being out (one report cites a $6,000 lens), how employees are not even allowed to enter the store to get personal items that they may have left inside. Not a good situation all around, and definitely not something you would have expected from an outfit with as good of a reputation as Calumet.


There is one small glimmer of hope though for some, according to a newer post on their Facebook page the company is exploring options to reopen a few select stores in the US. “Stay tuned, as we are exploring opportunities to reopen select locations to keep serving our customers.” The post goes on to say “We will post any updates here if there are any.”

It’s all a mess. We will keep you updated as we find out more. What are your thoughts on this Calumet business? Share your comments below to join the discussion.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  2. Orlin Nikolov

    They’ll be back!

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  3. Steve

    This is quite the shock for me. I think it was within the last year that Calumet bought the failing (but beloved) PennCamera chain in the DC area. They’d only reopened some of the locations a few months ago, it’s sad to see them close up shop so soon.

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  4. Filip

    Calumet’s US Facebook page has disappeared.

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  5. Daniel S.

    I have been a Calumet costomer for 10 years and am sad to see them go, but I am not that surprised. I went to the Boston store last August to get a hard case for my gear and boy was I shocked! The place looked like it should be a closing for good the next day. Usually I feel like a kid in a candy store looking at all the new gear, but there were only a handful of cameras on display (a few low end DSLR’s and point and shoots) and half the shelves were empty. It was depressing!

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  6. fahfah

    I got an email from them YESTERDAY (March 12) announcing they were taking pre-orders for the new Hasselblad and 18 month financing available. They had to know yesterday that this was coming.

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  7. David Addams

    The bankruptcy filing declared less than $50,000 in assets vs. at least $10 Million in liabilities.

    As to the property inside the stores belonging to customers or employees: the bankruptcy proceedings will require opening the stores to audit the merchandise and fixtures inside. This should provide an opportunity to retrieve personal property and return rented equipment.

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    • David Addams

      Update on asset declaration. Turns out there are multiple filings associated with the bankruptcy.

      The “under $50,000 in asset” declaration is associated with the website. (It gets its own filing.)

      The Calumet Logistics lists $50,000,000-$100,000,000 in assets and liabilities. Calumet Photographic list $50 Million -$100 Million in assets and a maximum of $50 Million in liabilities.

      They all list the same business address.

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  8. dave b.

    man…bummer…hope they can make a comeback…

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