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Old March 13th, 2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

Wow.

I feel for the employees to get laid off with apparently no warning at all.

Calumet Photo in the US Officially Declares Bankruptcy, Gave Employees Zero Notice

Calumet Photographic abruptly shuts down, files Chapter 7 - chicagotribune.com

For Chicago Helix shut down not too long ago & now with the Calumet stores gone I don't think there are any decent photography stores left in the city.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 01:18 PM   #2
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Re: Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

I "think" the only one left might be Central Camera on Wabash. I don't like the way they did this. Customers who have stuff in the repair shop, people that have orders in waiting for the merch, employees not having any answers about paychecks, benefits etc. Low class in my eyes.

I guess B&H is gonna get a lot more business.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 01:24 PM   #3
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Re: Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

Looks like they're planning to do the same thing as Jessops in the UK and open a few select stores ... they might have an investor in the pipeline.

Taken from their facebook page:

"Stay tuned, as we are exploring opportunities to reopen select locations to keep serving our customers. We will post any updates here if there are any."

It's disgusting that they gave their staff no warning what so ever. It's times like this that leads many people in to depression and big problems in life.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 02:28 PM   #4
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Re: Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

I saw someone else mention Dodd Camera at 2840 W. Armitage Ave.

It shocks me the way they went through this.

My office had a shoot yesterday with rented equipment that was picked up Tuesday & returned last night in Philly. If they had closed two days earlier it would've been a huge headache to scramble to find replacement rental gear for an out of town shoot.

I'm sure others are having a stroke trying to get equipment for their shoots today / tomorrow or this weekend. At least in Chicago there are a few other rental houses, but in the smaller cities that Calument had locations in, it has to be very stressful.

I also read on reddit that someone just got a giftcard for $5k to buy a new camera at Calumet. F&#$ I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

But seriously, I feel for the employees. I hope they at least get their last paychecks.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 02:52 PM   #5
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Re: Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I "think" the only one left might be Central Camera on Wabash. I don't like the way they did this. Customers who have stuff in the repair shop, people that have orders in waiting for the merch, employees not having any answers about paychecks, benefits etc. Low class in my eyes.

I guess B&H is gonna get a lot more business.
There's still Adorama, but I almost always prefer B&H instead.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 03:52 PM   #6
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Re: Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

First Helix, and now Calumet (formerly known as Standard Photo). And any of you my vintage will certainly remember Altman Camera, also on Wabash.

I think Don has it. B&H will probably pick up more orders, or maybe not since Calumet was not selling much the last few from my sources.

Roy in rental is a great guy and I hope he finds something.

Poor handling of the situation by management for sure. Shame on them for that!

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Old March 13th, 2014, 04:36 PM   #7
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Re: Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

I forgot they were Standard Photo. Helix got all my money back in the early thru late 70s when I was doing still work. Wabash had ALL of the names. Man I loved Helix back then. It was like B&H. Go in, roam around, try everything even if you weren't buying.

Yeah, people with gift cards, employees checks, people that have stuff in repair...Not a good way to end business.

As for renting, there are enough places in Chicago that I think most people will be OK. Renting from B&H or any other out of town place is problematic because so much comes at the last minute...I'm thinking some of the larger AV companies might be licking their lips on this. Let's face it, what is rented? Lights, backdrops, lights, more lights...usually most still photogs which of course is what Calumet specialized in, use their own cameras. Still cams are a lot easier to fly with (as an example) then video stuff.

Regardless, I think there are still enough places around here including a Zacutos location downtown (Ontario and Orleans) that most people will not miss too many beats.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 06:30 PM   #8
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Re: Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

I empathize with the employees, but I'm not sorry to see Calumet go.

My only experience there was a "Best Buy" experience, i.e., I only went because it was an emergency and I didn't have time to order what I needed. Also like Best Buy, I paid twice what I should have for a product that was about half as good as what I would have ordered from B&H.

I remember my high-school B&W film teacher raving about Calumet. We ordered our Fujifilm, Ilford, and developing chemicals from them I think.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 08:50 PM   #9
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Re: Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

years ago it was a good place to do business with. Over the years for whatever reason they lost their edge and I guess that's why they are no more.
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Old March 14th, 2014, 10:43 AM   #10
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Re: Calumet Photo closes US stores, files for bankruptcy... didn't tell employees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
As for renting, there are enough places in Chicago that I think most people will be OK. Renting from B&H or any other out of town place is problematic because so much comes at the last minute...I'm thinking some of the larger AV companies might be licking their lips on this. Let's face it, what is rented? Lights, backdrops, lights, more lights...usually most still photogs which of course is what Calumet specialized in, use their own cameras. Still cams are a lot easier to fly with (as an example) then video stuff.

Regardless, I think there are still enough places around here including a Zacutos location downtown (Ontario and Orleans) that most people will not miss too many beats.
I think Chicago will be fine, but I just had a co-worker who had a shoot in Philadelphia & rented from Calumet on Tuesday & returned on Wednesday. I know Calumet was in a number of cities, so I hope that in those smaller cities there are still rental services that will service the need.

Further maybe those rental houses can have a small stock of new / used items for purchase. Things that you need last min, like extra media, gaff tape, bulbs, etc. even if it is at a mark up from what you could order from B&H / Adorama, being able to walk into a local rental shop & buy a 64GB SDXC card could be a savior when you can't wait 2-3 days.
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