Calumet Photographic suddenly declares bankruptcy, closes stores
posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 1:49 PM EDT
For years, Calumet was one of the big names in photographic gear. Now, seemingly without warning, the organization has declared bankruptcy and closed its doors, not even giving its employees warning. Posting on Facebook, the organization said:
After 75 years of business it is with a heavy heart that we announce our immediate closing in the United States (our European stores will continue). It has been a joy to share our passion for photography with you all of these years. We'll miss each other and we'll miss all of our customers. Thank you for everything.
However, the way Calumet has gone about this has left a bitter taste in the mouth of many. Employees over Facebook are complaining that they were given no warning, and came in to work to find a shuttered store, and weren't even let in to reclaim personal belongings. As one person put it "So my wife is just told NOT to come to work.. she's out of a job.. NO HR mention, NO mention of final paycheck, NO mention of what to do about insurance? NOTHING?! Really???"
There's also no mention of what's happening to people who have already ordered products or services, rental gear that's currently out, and all the employees currently left in the lurch.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Calumet has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and has listed between $50 million and $100 million in assets and $10 million to $50 million in liabilities. However, this court document obtained by Photo Business puts their assets at just $50,000, a frankly horrifyingly low number. To make it more confusing, there appear to be multiple Calumet related filings here, muddying the situation even further.
The single ray of hope? A follow up Facebook post saying "Stay tuned, as we are exploring opportunities to reopen select locations to keep serving our customers. We will post any updates here if there are any."