Wolf Camera Liquidation May Be on the Near Horizon

Ritz Camera went under the hammer yesterday at a public auction, the latest chapter in the company’s efforts to figure out a profitable business model in the increasingly Internet-driven business of selling camera gear. Among the things on the auction block yesterday was Wolf Camera, the competing chain of photo retail stores that Ritz acquired back in 2001. If you’re a fan of Wolf Camera shops, here’s some bad news: their days may be very numbered.

A source just informed us that all Wolf Camera shops are slated to be liquidated. He heard from a Wolf store manager friend that the chain was purchased by a liquidation company at the auction, and that exact time frames will be announced soon.

The story of Ritz Camera and Wolf Camera is slightly humorous in the way that history has repeated itself.

Wolf Camera purchased a 450-store chain named Fox Photo from Kodak back in 2001 for $64.5 million. This acquisition proved to be its downfall, as the unprofitable chain sank Wolf into bankruptcy. Ritz Camera purchased Wolf Camera that same year, after Wolf had been forced to shut down nearly half of its 700 locations.

After the purchase, Ritz Camera ballooned to nearly 1,200 camera stores, before filing for bankruptcy itself in 2009.

As we stated a couple days ago, if you have any unused gift cards or other forms of credit with Wolf Camera, you’d better hurry up and use it now before it’s too late!

Image credit: 35/365 Taking flight by The Suss-Man (Mike)

  • Atlanta Owner

    It doesn’t surprise me at all. They’ve never had good prices, sales were sparse and not that good, and according to employees I’ve talked to, David Ritz was never even remotely receptive to employee or customer feedback and suggestions. That’s a recipe for disaster for ANY company, though I’m sure they’ll try to find a way to blame Obama for it (roll eyes).

  • Patrick McLeod

    As always everything will be liquidated at marked up prices and no deals will be had.

  • Dr. Know

    they’ll try to find a way to blame Obama for it (roll eyes).” Who in turn will blame Bush (roll eyes).

  • Anon

    It’s not just Wolf, was told by employees of Ritz that the whole company’s being liquidated outright.

  • anonymous

    I know it is just phrase but there isn’t anything humorous about hundreds of people losing their jobs.

  • Wolf Camera

    Sadly, this company never got out of 1979. It’s retail philosophy just doesn’t work in the 21st. century. Never took an employee’s view point seriously. Treated employees with marginal respect when non-tangible programs were not sold. Years ago! There slogan was, “Our expertise is free” In the end they wanted to charge $100.00 just to learn how to turn a DSLR on. All I can say is I learned a great deal about retail from this organization. I learned what NOT to do to your employee, your customer and organization. Glad it is over! Humbled and said for all the good men & women who worked so hard for so many years and got the unemployment line as their benefit…

  • CT

    I worked for this crap organization for 6 years. Happy to see them go. One learned never to ask questions because the moronic mangers knew more than people that actually worked with customers. I’m dancin’ on their grave.

    While it is not humorous that many are losing jobs, losing a job here is not like losing a good job. And seeing management out of work warms my heart. The way they treated employees – may they be out of work for a long time.

  • tod

    I have been with Wolf/Ritz Camera for 33 years working in the Nashville Tennessee stores. I agree that the Corp. Management failed this company. The stores managers took a lot with very little pay as did the associates. In the days, Chuck Wolf ran a great company and all his employees respected him. It is sad that so many good people are losing their jobs and a very loyal customer base now only has Walmart and Drug stores to do their imaging services. With the right people running this company it could have been great.

  • anonymous

    I wish I had read
    this 2 months ago, I have a gift card that is useless now :(