Calumet Photographic to Liquidate, Closes US Stores

calumet-FBCalumet Photographic, the 75-year-old camera supply and rental company, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Chicago Tribune reports.

This morning, Calumet announced on its Facebook page that it had closed all its stores in the US, though its stores in Europe remain in business.  Calls to Calumet stores in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles were not returned, and the company’s website is down.

Calumet’s bankruptcy filing lists 585 creditors, including photo manufacturers such as Canon, Fuji, Manfrotto, Phase One, Hasselblad, Cambo, Mac Group and many others.

PDN will continue to follow this story.

13 Responses to “Calumet Photographic to Liquidate, Closes US Stores”

  1. eric Says:

    It’s sad for photographers in other cities (with fewer options), but in NYC, Calumet was so overpriced compared to everyone else. I’m not surprised about this. They certainly never got my business unless I was desperate.

  2. Tim Says:

    What everyone doesn’t realize is that Calumet was taken over by Ritz Camera executives. And we all know where Ritz ended up, TWICE. Coincidence?

  3. Marian Says:

    Calumet had the best staff, I didn’t care if the prices were higher, I could always count on service.

  4. Marvin Says:

    The management had very little to due with the changing photo marketplace. US customers only want the cheapest price and Adorama, B&H and others are more than willing to work on super low margins that brick & mortar stores need to keep the doors open. In time, all the brick & Mortar stores will be gone and there will be no place to get service. Service is a commodity, just like products and it has a price that Americans are untrained to pay for. We only know price – not value. Around the world, products are sold at higher prices with profit margins that keep the doors open and trained, knowledgeable people employed. There is something to be said for social responsibility. We can pay higher prices and lower taxes or keep cutting prices, cutting jobs and paying higher unemployment and welfare.

  5. Shaun Says:

    I had a rental lens out the day they closed, I was called and asked to return it to Oak Brook on Friday. I did. However, haven’t been able to secure the Profoto head that was in repair and ready for pick-up from the Chicago store. A lawyer will cost more money than it’s worth and not worth an insurance claim. Glad I didn’t have my camera bodies in for cleaning!

  6. Raymond Says:

    I had a great relationship with the people at the Philadelphia store. I am sad to see them close. The lowest price is not always the best choice. United States corporate thought is going down the tubes.

  7. Nadine Says:

    Anyone know how I get my 1000. credit I have on file?
    I haven’t received any calls on that!
    I was a dedicated customer for over 23 years, I can’t believe this has happened.

  8. George Says:

    To Marvin above: I feel bad about Calumet, but they were overpriced.
    Also I can’t fault B&H or Adorama.
    I never had any problems with them and received outstanding service from them. I live very close to NYC, so I would just pop in when needed with no hassles. I don’t know about peoples’ issues if they were far away, But I have ordered online and by phone with no hassles.

  9. Michael Anton Says:

    Where am I going to rent the occasional obscure item, such a gyro stabilizer from now?
    First Lens and Repro, now Calumet…who’s next?

  10. Michael Anton Says:

    Where am I going to rent the occasional obscure item, such a gyro stabilizer from now?
    First Lens and Repro, now Calumet…who’s next?

  11. Andy Jon Says:

    Sadly its very very unlikely you will get that back. If they liquidate you will have a very low claim against the assets. The banks and preferred creditors will have a high claim. If there are any funds left you may get cents in the dollar back. Maybe 5-10 cents for every $1 owed.

  12. Richard Says:


    If you had held on to that rental tem that you were holding you might have had something to negotiate over.

  13. BJ Says:

    Richard, if Nadine had held onto the item, Calumet or the bankruptcy court would simply have cashed her deposit for the value of the item. The deposit is pre-authorized when you check it out.