Monday, February 23, 2009

Commentary: Ritz Camera Centers Financial News

Message from president & CEO, Mitch Goldstone in reaction to Ritz Camera Centers Inc. financial woes

The news of Ritz Camera Centers Inc. filing for bankruptcy protection is an ominous warning and important lesson for all retailers.

Along with all members in the photo imaging community, the news personally affected myself and everyone at Our industry is more like a family - linked together and supportive. My company’s thoughts go out to Ritz Camera, lead by the photo imaging industry icon, David Ritz and all his employees. This news is also a lesson for what happens when we encounter economic turmoil, seasoned with vast technological changes.

The largest U.S. camera store chain seeking bankruptcy protection days before PMA [International Photo Marketing Association] brings deepening clouds of despair, but also provides an important lesson. It is time for the photo industry to accelerate is goal to reinvent itself for today’s new market opportunities. While extending my thoughts to David Ritz and the entire Ritz family - many of whom I have been privileged to know and admire for two decades – I use this news as an opportunity to remind the photo industry that this is the time to rethink your business model and use technology, the Internet and smart retailing to recapture the intimacy and emotions of photography. has been successful by abandoning the old way of doing things while reinventing our entire business. This is also the moment that all our colleagues must also embrace the new “2.0 Model” for returning to profitability.

[Note: Fred Lerner and Ritz Interactive, which operates 14 e-commerce sites is a separate, diversified and independent company from Ritz Camera Centers].
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