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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Bye bye Ritz Camera?....
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02/23/2009 04:46:10 PM · #1
Linkie

"The company said revenue from its profitable photofinishing business has declined significantly with the shift from film to digital cameras"
Really... Where can you buy insight like this comment :roll:
02/23/2009 04:54:06 PM · #2
Looks like I'll have to do all my camera gear shopping online before long... =/
02/23/2009 04:58:05 PM · #3
Im not surprised. The one I had local to me closed up a few weeks ago. :=(
02/23/2009 05:01:04 PM · #4
I expect this means they will be closing some non-profitable locations, but it doesn't necessarily mean they are toast. It's a Chapter 11 filing, as far as I know, which means they will reorganize, and that their creditors will probably have to take a beating. Their two largest creditors are... wait for it... Canon & Nikon, owed a combined $40M.
02/23/2009 05:11:39 PM · #5
Wow! That really sucks!

I bought two camera kits, the D70s & D40, a tripod, and a 55-200 lens from them.

They always seemed to be reasonably priced a couple months out of release.

I'm one of those people who really hates to buy things like cameras online.....I want to touch and mess with it first, and Ritz was always a way for me to have the hands-on thing.

I hope they survive!
02/23/2009 05:12:25 PM · #6
I always thought Ritz was overpriced.
02/23/2009 05:16:18 PM · #7
amen
02/23/2009 05:17:31 PM · #8
Originally posted by kirbic:

I expect this means they will be closing some non-profitable locations, but it doesn't necessarily mean they are toast. It's a Chapter 11 filing, as far as I know, which means they will reorganize, and that their creditors will probably have to take a beating. Their two largest creditors are... wait for it... Canon & Nikon, owed a combined $40M.


Yeah.... It's only chap-11, so they will get to shaft their creditors and restart the mess along the time honoured tried & true business path :-/ Sorry - that's cynical... I should say restructure and bring a new fresh approach to the world of no-so-cheap-and-nasty film development :-)

No issue for me... They permanently lost me as a customer years ago, just thought it was news.
02/23/2009 05:19:57 PM · #9
Yeah, I think that most of their stuff is over priced and I rarely actually buy from there, but for occasional impulse shoppers like myself, having a store around that keeps a good stock of stuff is always nice.
02/23/2009 05:32:08 PM · #10
Originally posted by Phillydigishooter:

I always thought Ritz was overpriced.

We have two WolfCamera stores here and both are within a mile of my home. They are overpriced and only stock mid-line lens. The don't stock any f/2.8 lens, mostly kit lens. The only thing I liked about the store were the local printing when I needed a large print or bulk print.
02/23/2009 05:36:14 PM · #11
Originally posted by Phillydigishooter:

I always thought Ritz was overpriced.

Originally posted by Patrick_R:

amen

Well, different experiences, I guess.....

Like I said, a couple months out from release, I paid the going rate for both my D70s and my D40 kits, and I actually paid $50 less for the 55-200.

They have always treated me very courteously and I paid fair prices.

I referred a friend; he bought his wife a D80/18-135 kit for the going rate as a walk-in as well.

There's always some warehouse whore somewhere with prices too good to be true, butg as far as basic street price outside of new release, they're pretty much the same as everyone else.

I have nothing but good experiences and fair dealings through four transactions.
02/23/2009 05:39:06 PM · #12
Originally posted by SDW:

We have two WolfCamera stores here and both are within a mile of my home. They are overpriced and only stock mid-line lens. The don't stock any f/2.8 lens, mostly kit lens. The only thing I liked about the store were the local printing when I needed a large print or bulk print.

How many photogs that are going to buy a lens like that would even go to a place like that?

Be reasonable.....those are specialty items, why would a mass merchant stock them in a small store?

My local professional store doesn't carry a lot of high end stuff, either, they will get it in a big hurry, but who carries a lot of stock in big ticket items like that other than major WDs?
02/23/2009 05:44:16 PM · #13
I bought a few consumer lenses for film bodies there and fine, they are happy to sell anything they have right there.

When I wanted to get more serious and wanted more expensive stuff - they were rude and condescending....
- Didn't have any bodies to try (happy to order if I paid them though).
- Outright LIED (several times/different salespeople) about questions I asked.
- LIED about not having stuff for me to see (I can see it in the box behind you dick).
- Made up anything to sell what they had right there or could sell order unseen.

Done... If I am buying sight unseen, then I am doing that at somewhere like B&H with great prices. Never been back since.... although I did find a decent place I buy some stuff from that has people that have some clue.
02/23/2009 05:50:48 PM · #14
yeah - i've never been a fan of ritz - sadly it's the only local camera store around.

everytime i asked for something specific i was told they'd have to get it from the warehouse... ) ie: they had to order it ). i just went ahead and ordered it myself. from b&h...

oh well..

02/23/2009 06:00:01 PM · #15
I hate to see another place going down the tubes, but I have to agree they had it coming. If I want a truly disappointing experience, I know I can get one there. The people working at our Ritz never have a clue when you ask them a question, and you can be sure that whatever you want isn't in stock.

I was really honked off when I pre-ordered my D300 as it was about to be introduced, and people had them in hand at every other place on Earth before I finally canceled the order and bought it elsewhere.

I've heard them saying that they blame their poor business on the evolution of digital these past several years. Well, if they haven't had the foresight to re-adjust their strategy over the years, what can you expect? If a company refuses to move into the future, they're going to be talked about in the past tense real quick.
02/23/2009 06:04:42 PM · #16
too bad the banks don't seem to follow the same rules...

err - i am off topic.........

Originally posted by alanfreed:

I hate to see another place going down the tubes, but I have to agree they had it coming. If I want a truly disappointing experience, I know I can get one there. The people working at our Ritz never have a clue when you ask them a question, and you can be sure that whatever you want isn't in stock.

I was really honked off when I pre-ordered my D300 as it was about to be introduced, and people had them in hand at every other place on Earth before I finally canceled the order and bought it elsewhere.

I've heard them saying that they blame their poor business on the evolution of digital these past several years. Well, if they haven't had the foresight to re-adjust their strategy over the years, what can you expect? If a company refuses to move into the future, they're going to be talked about in the past tense real quick.


02/23/2009 06:22:13 PM · #17
dang. Hmmm, might explain though why I haven't gotten the $500 runner up check for their yearly photo contest ;) Was gonna turn around and spend it with them anyway on a new lens.
02/23/2009 06:27:14 PM · #18
I was just getting supplies today form my local camera shop and the man who works there knows Mr. Ritz. He said that he has money hidden away and is likely going to file chapter 11 bankrupcty but then reopen when the economy gets (somewhat) back on its feet so he can make bank.
...shhhhh (you didn't hear it from me) :)

Message edited by author 2009-02-23 18:31:13.
02/23/2009 08:02:14 PM · #19
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

[quote=SDW] We have two WolfCamera stores here and both are within a mile of my home. They are overpriced and only stock mid-line lens. The don't stock any f/2.8 lens, mostly kit lens. The only thing I liked about the store were the local printing when I needed a large print or bulk print.

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

How many photogs that are going to buy a lens like that would even go to a place like that?

You would be surprised in a market that only has that one company in town. Enough to make it profitable to stock a few PRO lens.

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Be reasonable.....those are specialty items, why would a mass merchant stock them in a small store?

If I was a manager of a local store that had the monopoly on photography equipment (no other photography stores within 100+ miles) I would stock at least one of three most popular PRO lens.

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

My local professional store doesn't carry a lot of high end stuff, either, they will get it in a big hurry, but who carries a lot of stock in big ticket items like that other than major WDs?

The stores here didn't carry any high end lens however they did carry Canon 30,40,and 50D bodies. And a good selection of Nikon bodies. The did have a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III one time. If they can have a $8k camera in stock, I think they can afford a few lens besides the kit lens.

Sometimes people may need a lens for a shoot and have to make the purchase the same day and are willing to pay the few extra bucks. I also believe if you can get the product in the customers hands the browse-to-buy ratio improves. That is true with camera bodies and lens.

I think Wolfcamera would have been more profitable if they would have offered rentals at their 1000 locations.

Message edited by author 2009-02-23 20:06:02.
02/23/2009 08:21:07 PM · #20
Sounds like I'm about the only one who's ever had good luck with Ritz......

Hey, if that's the case, then they reaped what they sowed.

It's funny, there's two of them here, and they've always had a nice selection of product, their help was always courteous, competent, and friendly.

The two "pro" shops in the area, well......not to put too fine a point on it, they're assholes.

They have the most incredibly arrogant attitude that the one I wouldn't darken their door if they were the only place on earth that had what I wanted....for half price, and the other store I maintain relations with ONLY because I may need a pro shop someday. They have probably one of the most misrable human beings I have ever met as their "star" person. Yeah, she knows her stuff, but not anywhere near well enough to carry the attitude. If she was as good as she thinks she is, she certainly wouldn't be working as an employee in a little camera shop in Harrisburg, Pa.

And the worst thing is that my mother spent a lot of money at the one I won't go into when she was a photographer, as did I early on, and the second one, I knew the owner personally.....he used to stop by my British car shop to shoot the breeze, and I bought an A-1 and some lenses from him as well as got a LOT of processing and enlargement work done. I don't know what happened when digital came in that he didn't maintain the style that he had for years that kept me coming back.

I don't spend money with places that act like they're doing me a favor to sell me equipment, especially in a situation where when cultivated, a customer is a guaranteed return when you get them really into the craft.

So.....my last sales were from Ritz, I did buy my 18-200 VR off the local shop 'cause they took a couple lenses that I didn't want in trade, and when it comes time to get a D300, I'm gonna be just like everybody else and shop for the cheapest deal from a trustworthy warehouse.
02/23/2009 10:02:00 PM · #21
this is true of any high end retail item ( and even many specialty small scale items ). if you can get the item in the customers hands - so to speak - they are much more likely to buy it... doesn't just apply to camera gear.

it might be less of a factor with the whole internet and online reviews and what not - but for a lot of people touchy-feely makes the sale...

Originally posted by SDW:

I also believe if you can get the product in the customers hands the browse-to-buy ratio improves. That is true with camera bodies and lens.


Message edited by author 2009-02-23 22:02:22.
02/23/2009 10:29:46 PM · #22
Darwin in action. They are positioned between Big Boxes/Walmart/Costco and high end retail/internet. Tough place to stay alive,seems like a temporary market to me. I did get my Sigma wide angle from them, same $ as the internet and I had it in my hand that day. But they really knew nothing about it. Too bad we can't have the best of both- price, convenience, knowledge, community, moral fulfilment........
02/23/2009 10:47:34 PM · #23
I was just there today for some large Prints....
02/23/2009 10:48:56 PM · #24
I bought my Sony A700 from Ritz. They were the first ones to have it available. Once in awhile I'll pick up a couple of prints from them as it's easy to do a quick stop when out in town. I've picked up a handful of filters from them also. Most of the other high ticket items I buy from B&H.

I do hope Ritz is able to survive this...
02/23/2009 11:07:43 PM · #25
Originally posted by delin:

Darwin in action. They are positioned between Big Boxes/Walmart/Costco and high end retail/internet. Tough place to stay alive,seems like a temporary market to me. I did get my Sigma wide angle from them, same $ as the internet and I had it in my hand that day. But they really knew nothing about it. Too bad we can't have the best of both- price, convenience, knowledge, community, moral fulfilment........


The problem is that knowledge costs money. To get knowledgeable help, you have to pay them more. Too many times people come in, ask the pros for all the info to help them make their decision, then go down the street or onto the internet, and buy the equipment for bottom dollar. Then they wonder where the good shops went.

The rest, good customer service, honesty, etc. should not cost extra.
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