C&A Marketing Buys Up 75-Year-Old Calumet Photographic at Bankruptcy Auction

C&A Marketing Buys Up 75-Year-Old Calumet Photographic at Bankruptcy Auction


Ridgefield Park, NJ—C&A Marketing Inc., a global manufacturer, distributor and online reseller of photographic equipment, acquired most of Calumet Photo’s U.S.-based assets during bankruptcy proceedings, including IP-related entities and buyer’s rights.

The 75-year-old, Chicago-based photo specialty chain had 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.

C&A Marketing is currently evaluating which, if any, Calumet stores to reopen but will be reactivating all of Calumet’s online properties in the next few weeks. In keeping with Calumet’s pro-centric model, it operated a high-end photography rental business that C&A will also reopen in the near future. The company also plans to incorporate the acquired Calumet assets into its Ritz portfolio.

“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.”

“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,” added 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 that is the best foundation to build and rebuild on. Regardless, if we move forward with a variation of the traditional retail model, online or a hybrid representing both, Calumet’s customers can look forward to their loyalty being rewarded in the very near future.”

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, C&A Marketing has more than 20 years’ experience in sourcing and retail operations in the photographic industry. It is the Polaroid licensee for instant digital imaging products, action cams, IP home security cameras and photo accessories. In addition, C&A owns and operates 14 Ritz Camera and Image stores across the U.S., including Camera World, Wolf Camera and Inkley’s Camera. It also continues to expand the RitzPix.com online imaging business. With a high-end full-service printing facility in Hapeville, Georgia, and mini-printing labs in each Ritz Camera store, C&A has broadened its photography printing business by offering photo restoration, large-format printing, medium-format film processing, custom photo books, photo gifts and a photo archival service called Scanman Photo. camarketing.com