RitzCamera.com is NOT Filing Bankruptcy

There has been a terrible amount of inaccurate reporting on a variety of different forums and blogs today regarding the bankruptcy filing by Ritz Camera Centers, Inc. I want to briefly clarify and correct some of these major inaccuracies.

While this may be confusing to some, Ritz Camera Centers, Inc., which consists of the brick and mortar retail chains of companies like Ritz Camera, Wolf Camera and Camera World, is not the same company as Ritz Interactive, Inc., which operates a number of online retail sites, including RitzCamera.com, WolfCamera.com and CameraWorld.com, among others.

Brick and mortar retailers have been hit hard by the economy, as we’ve recently seen Circuit City in the process of complete liquidation.  However, Ritz Camera Centers, Inc. (not RitzCamera.com) is filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is a reorganization process – not a liquidation process.  They will probably close some stores in the process of reorganization, but are not liquidating and closing all the Ritz Camera stores.

A number of people have reported that Nikon’s $26M+ claim and Canon’s $13M+ claim against Ritz will result in a total loss to these companies.  Not true.  Remember, Chapter 11 is reorganization.  Part of the process is figuring out how to pay creditors their money – especially creditors that you need to keep happy.  It is a huge churning process, but Ritz Camera Centers, Inc. needs to emerge from the bankruptcy proceedings with a happy Canon and Nikon if it wants to keep these cameras on its store shelves and stocked in warehouses.  As a result, Ritz will need to reassure Canon and Nikon in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process that it can continue to pay its debts.  If it can’t do so . . . well, then we might start speculating about the liquidation of the brick and mortar chain – because with Canon and Nikon off the shelves, they can’t really be a viable camera store.

Ritz Interactive, however, appears to be doing just fine:

Ritz Interactive, Inc., the e-commerce network that includes RitzCamera.com, WolfCamera.com, BoatersWorld.com and other leading online-shopping sites have been named to Internet Retailer’s 2009 Hot 100 Best Retail Web Sites.

The Internet Retailer’s Hot 100 Web Sites offer many lessons on how to inspire, inform and serve web site shoppers, and also how to reach out beyond ecommerce sites to connect with consumers. The Hot 100 Web Sites were chosen for their innovations that go beyond the primary web site and their performance metrics which include response time, site availability and consistency.

According to Ritz Interactive president and CEO Fred H. Lerner, “We have a very straightforward philosophy; we present our customers with options. This stretches from payment options; whether it is credit cards, Google Checkout, PayPal or Bill Me Later, or choices in navigation methods and customer service.” “We’re all about convenience to our customers.”

(Source: December 2008 Press Release)

I hope this post clears up some of the confusion and bad info out there.  You can keep your pre-orders and keep making orders at RitzCamera.com without concerning yourself with any bankruptcy woes.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Eric –

    A helpful, well-stated post. Few people have the background to know the difference between various types of bankruptcy. This will clear up a lot of questions, and should be more widely linked before people start freaking out.

    Zach

  2. sally says

    I suppose the obvious question is why are there 2 different camera companies called Ritz Camera (the web site vs. the neighborhood stores). Are they trying to confuse the customers by using the same name? The retail stores and web site usually seem to have the same products and same prices and same promotions and even the same logos. If the web site and retail stores have a highly intertwined business relationship, why cannot they use that relationship to solve the stores’ financing problem instead of stiffing their suppliers?

  3. says

    I would like to know how Ritz camera intends to pay their Grand Prize winners and other winners the money that they were promised. I’d like to know how they can present these photographs on their website with a dollar figure attached and not pay what they’ve promised.

  4. Sammy says

    I think it is BS that the Tax Payers will be asked to help protect Ritz Camera, but the .com because it is seperate does not have to charge taxs in most states. Take YOUR money you made on the .com side and bail out the neighborhood stores! And while you are at it put the product in your stores instead of making people order it!

  5. John says

    Love the post! It’s complicated stuff to people who aren’t versed in Ritz world. It goes deeper than just legal and financial stuff. Apparently a large portion of their staff are about to mutiny! A friend of mine works for a Ritz and sent me this website which has been kept pretty much down by the company.

    http://whyritzisfailing.bravehost.com