Photographers around the country were stunned to hear the news yesterday that camera chain store Calumet Photography has filed bankruptcy and closed abruptly. Its website and Twitter disappeared without a word, but before its U.S. Facebook page disappeared, the company posted:
"After 75 years of business it is with a heavy heart that we announce our immediate closing in the United States (our European stores will continue). It has been a joy to share our passion for photography with you all of these years. We’ll miss each other and we’ll miss all of our customers. Thank you for everything."
It turns out management learned the news the night before, but most employees were not given any prior notice of the sudden closure. Also left in a lurch are the customers, some of whom depend on Calumet for photography needs, or who currently have cameras or other photography equipment at the shop for repair or rented in their possession.
The Chicago-based chain has several stores around the country, including one in San Francisco on Bryant Street. When I attempted to call the SF store yesterday around 5 p.m. to find out any more details, I was immediately transfered to the normal prerecorded voicemail; it seems like you can leave a message, but it's still unclear whether anyone will return your call or even hear it. Petapixel updated its post yesterday that before its FB page went down, Calumet announced that some of its select locations may reopen to serve customers. Chicagoist also mentions that some competitors have already taken to FB to announce that they'll honor Calumet gift cards. But currently there's no news for those in limbo.
If anyone has any inside info from Calumet, especially the San Francisco location, leave a comment below. And if you're not sure where to go now that Calumet is closed, Samy's on Bryant St. is a good option for those who need photo equipment.
Photo by Brian Gillespie via Flickr