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Old Oct 1, 2012, 2:32 PM   #1
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Default Ritz Camera is closing down

I just came from the storefront at the Beltsville, MD, HQ, and they're all boxing things up and marking things down.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 8:58 AM   #2
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Sad to see another store closing.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 9:27 AM   #3
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Our's put up the closing sign about a month ago. They had everything marked down 40/50% . I went there the first week but there were no cameras or lenses, just accessories. I wonder who they sold the good stuff to ? This particular store was never very good, only had limited supplies and would always tell you they would order it for you. Plus their staff was not well trained.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 2:37 PM   #4
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It's not much of a surprise. My experience with Ritz mirrors Donp's. The big box stores like Best Buy and even Walmart had comparable selections and staff knowledge was similar. Ritz was always trying to push their own re-branded lenses too. I really think brick-and-mortar photography stores need to change their model. They need to offer more products/services. For example - microadjust calibration; free clinics for people buying from them - photoshop classes, etc. Something that gives them a competitive advantage over the internet or Best Buy. But the digicam market is just like other consumer electronics there are SOOO many models it's tough for a sales staff to be very knowledgeable on all the products. Starting to get that way with ILCs as well. So, that kind of brings brick and mortars down to the same level as the big box stores.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 3:09 PM   #5
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For the most part, my experience witrh Ritz has been at the HQ, and the people there were always pretty sharp. And the Ritz on-line store survives along with 5 (?) storefronts that, as I understand it, rival BestBuy stores.

But Penn Camera does most of what you suggest, and their last 12 locations just got taken over by Calumet.

WallyWorld and Amazon are taking over the world, because people only care about price, not service.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 3:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
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WallyWorld and Amazon are taking over the world, because people only care about price, not service.
I agree. But on the other hand, the small store has to actually provide a service the others do not. For example, local hardware stores continue to survive because they provide a lot better knowledgeable service than the big box stores do. I really haven't seen where the local Ritz stores in my area provided a service above and beyond what people could get elsewhere. Prints? Please. Comparable prints were obtained easier elsewhere - upload online and pick up at WalMart or Walgreens or Costco. Professional quality? There are labs much better. Sales knowledge? My experience was they were no more knowledgeable on the basic equipment than the sales reps at Best Buy. For serious amateurs, they're a lot less knowledgeable than members of forums like this. Long ago I stopped going to Ritz or Dodd as it was evident their knowledge was limited compared to what I could learn on forums. And, for newbies their knowledge was similar to big box sales staff and the big box stores were more convenient. So, while I do agree price is a big part of it, the other part was they just can't provide services people actually want that trumps the convenience of similar services available on-line from the comfort of people's own homes.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 11:17 PM   #7
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I purchased my first DSLR, a K-100D, from Ritz in Fairfax, VA. I gave it to my son after I got my K20D, and he uses it all the time.

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Old Oct 6, 2012, 12:47 PM   #8
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Saw on main website they will re-open Nov 1st under new ownership.
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Old Oct 6, 2012, 1:08 PM   #9
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The website will re-open. It's being taken over by C & A Marketing, Inc. of New Jersey. The storefronts are being managed by liquidators, after which they'll be closed.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 2:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
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WallyWorld and Amazon are taking over the world, because people only care about price, not service.
Price? Really?
Possibly greater selection that no brick and mortar store can match, but think about price. It is controlled by the manufacturer precisely so Amazon and the big box stored don't undercut. If there is a "sale" it was authorized by the manufacturer and is the same everywhere. I can get a D600 for $2099 at both local camera stores, Best Buy, B&H, Adorama, Amazon and a variety of other places. Likewise with the $99 P&S I got my 82y/o mother before her trip. All competing models were priced the same at every store. Ritz, (Circuit City, Comp USA and others) folded in spite of the price fixing by the manufacturer.

Have something similar going on with a mattress where the price fixing destroys dealer loyalty. Recently bought an iComfort mattress and in the 120 day window to either return for refund or exchange (1x limit) offered by the manufacturer (and some apparent compensation to the dealer on returns). May want the next model up which the dealer could accomodate but that is it as I am locked in, or the dealer could transition to a different brand to begin that brand's trial. My best deal based on the manufacturers rules is to get a refund, then go to a different dealer for the next model up AND start a new 120 day trial without penalty locking me in. Thanks to price control, it is the same price everywhere, and Serta's competitors offer similar programs.
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