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Calumet Photographic: Back From The Dead?

By Anthony Thurston on May 2nd 2014

Remember the shock back in March when Calumet Photographic suddenly closed its doors one morning, to customers and employees, after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? The news had come out of nowhere, and left customers without their rentals, and employees without personal items left it the stores. The whole situation was a mess.


But at the end of it all Calumet offered a glimmer of hope, saying that they may try to open select stores back up. Then things went silent and we have heard little news of them since, until today that is.

[REWIND: Calumet Photographic Abruptly Closes Door to Customers and Employees]

According to a report over on The Phoblographer, Calumet Photographic has been purchased by C&A Marketing. That is the same company and swooped in and bought Ritz Camera back when that company folded. Now, apparently, they have purchased Calumet and have plans to open some of the stores – not all, sadly – that had been closed.

C&A Marketing says they don’t know what the physical stores will look like quite yet, for customers or employees. But they will be reactivating the online services of the Calumet soon. So if you are one of the many customers that had items in for repair or rentals, C&A Marketing is recommending that you check the Calumet website as soon as it is back online (as of this writing it is not yet).


What are your thoughts on this? Are you happy to see Calumet making a return or do you think things should have been left alone? “Natural Selection” (Survival of the Fittest) and all that jazz. Leave a comment below to discuss.

[via The Phoblographer]

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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. Drie L

    It is sad to see Calumet file for bankruptcy but I am glad C&A will be bringing it back to life. Now the question is how far will they go in bringing them back? We will have to see but I think this is a good move for C&A and helps them expand their market.

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  3. Kal Umet

    Well, I can tell you, being a former Calumet (and Ritz) employee, that it would be extremely unwise to hire the same corporate executives that ran Calumet and Ritz. It so happens that a former Ritz exec was hired as regional manager of Calumet. He really knew nothing about the industry and had a few short comings as far as social etiquette and how he treated his employees. And as a poor judge in character, he brought in some of the worst former Ritz employees to work at Calumet. His partner in crime, also a former Ritz exec, took over as president ( Taking care of their workers was not in their best interest. Before them, was an account executive that knew nothing of the industry and hired top level positions within friends and family. And those people were severely unqualified. Let’s hope that C&A (who just purchased Calumet) puts the RIGHT people in position. CalPhotoUS doesn’t need to own this market anymore. In addition, the arrogance and drama that lies within that group is part of the problem that led to Calumet’s demise. Let’s hope the judge realizes this.

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  4. D Driedger

    Regarding the human face associated with online shopping, Calumet posted a number of items for sale on eBay after they went into bankruptcy, presumably as clearance items. Check out their feedback from a number of buyers who had legitimate sales and then Calumet not only refused to ship the items, but also completely ignored any correspondence with these buyers.

    If this is the same group of people who will be setting up the new stores, this is akin to taking your money and then just walking away from you. I can appreciate that they may have changed their minds about selling the clearance items since they were going to be reopening, but if this is how they treat their contractual obligations, I would suggest that the people making decisions do not have the highest ethical standards. That to me is what is most disappointing because it speaks to how they will treat their customers in the future.

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  5. Tanja Barnes

    I was so disappointed to hear the demise of Callumet, my preferred brick and mortar photography store in Los Angeles. Sabrina was a sales clerk there that often assisted me with my purchases and she was great — personable, knowledgable and professional. The human face of customer service and the exchange of product information is something one cannot get when shopping on-line. Hopefully, Calumet be back in this market this summer. I’ll be waiting when the doors open!

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