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.