C&A Marketing Inc., a leading global manufacturer, distributor and online reseller of cameras and photographic equipment, has acquired most of Calumet Photo’s US-based assets including IP-related entities and buyer’s rights. The 75 year-old, Chicago-based chain abruptly closed its 14 stores and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in March 2014. Calumet built its venerable brand by catering to professional photographers and serious enthusiasts, providing them a retail experience and destination for “pro-level” brands like Mamiya, Hasselblad, Phase One and Leaf Imaging. In keeping with their ‘pro-centric’ model, Calumet also operated a comprehensive, high-end photography rental business that C&A will reopen in the near future.
C&A Marketing is an industry veteran in the imaging space, having over 20 years’ experience in sourcing and retail operations in the photographic industry. As the Polaroid Licensee for instant digital imaging products, Sports Action cameras, IP home security cameras and photo accessories, C&A plays a significant role in the resurgence of that iconic American imaging brand. C&A also acquired all retail, inventory and IP-related assets of Ritz Camera & Imaging in 2012 and has since returned the storied brand to profitability. The company plans to incorporate the Calumet assets acquired in today’s bankruptcy proceedings into its Ritz portfolio. C&A views this acquisition as a key component to now providing the highest level of photography professionals the best in products and services.
“There’s a strong social component to photography and imaging that doesn’t exist with most other retail categories,” said Harry Klein, President of C&A Marketing. “Whether you make a living with your camera, as is the case with many Calumet customers, or you are a casual photographer -- pictures are personal. We know what didn’t work for Calumet and we know what’s working for Ritz and Polaroid and our other imaging-related entities and we are prepared to invest the time and capital to rebuild. Ideally, it’s about finding the sweet spot and adapting what we know to bring back the Calumet brand in a manner that restores the confidence of the existing customer base and designed to ensure long-term success in the current and future photographic environments.”
While many other imaging retailers have been closing their doors, C&A is expanding, including the recent acquisition of four Cardinal Camera stores as well as expanding RitxPix.com. With its online imaging business, a high-end full-service printing facility in Hapeville, Georgia, and state-of-the-art mini-printing labs in each Ritz Camera store, C&A has broadened its photography printing business, by offering photo restoration, large size printing, medium format film processing, custom high quality photo books, photo gifts and a photo archival service called Scanman Photo.
“Calumet is a brand that over three quarters of a century built an enviable international reputation by servicing a very demanding customer base--the photography professional,” explained Chaim Pikarski, C&A Marketing’s Executive Vice President. “We clearly have the background and the DNA to meet and exceed that customer’s expectations, as well as the resources to support these pros in terms of inventory and services. Calumet has a strong, loyal customer base which is the best foundation to build and rebuild on. Regardless, if we move forward with a variation of the traditional retail model, on-line or a hybrid representing both, Calumet’s customers can look forward to their loyalty being rewarded in the very near future.”
C&A Marketing is currently evaluating which, if any, stores to re-open but will be reactivating all of Calumet’s on-line properties in the next few weeks, as well as reopening its rental business. For more information, please visit use http://camarketing.com/calumet.
About C&A Marketing, Inc.
C&A Marketing is a leading manufacturer, distributor and online reseller of cameras and photographic equipment. Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, N.J., C&A is the Polaroid Licensee for instant digital camera, sports video camera, IP home security cameras and photo accessories. In addition, C&A owns and operates 14 Ritz Camera and Image stores across the United States including Camera World, Wolf Camera and Inkley’s Camera. C&A also continues to expand the RitzPix.com imaging business. With over two decades in business, the depth and breadth of their inventory is constantly expanding as is their presence and reputation in the consumer electronic marketplace.