More information comes to light about the last days of Calumet
posted Friday, March 14, 2014 at 1:06 PM EDT
Yesterday, Calumet Photographic suddenly closed its stores. For many (us included) this move came out of the blue—but the story behind the scenes seems to suggest that this may have been in the works for a while.
PhotoRumors reports that Calumet had trouble paying its employees, citing a "payroll issue" for recent difficulties, and claiming that checks were being sent out. The company sent a letter to employees, claiming "As you already know we had issues with payroll this pay period. Due to these issues, there will be no direct deposits for this pay date, instead employees will be issued a live check."
It's unclear if these checks ever came through.
PetaPixel has an interview with an ex-Calumet employee, which paints the picture of the writing having been on the wall for some time—as fewer and fewer companies were willing to provide Calumet with gear. As the employee says:
We had been having trouble getting equipment in stock for a long time. The first obvious things were products like Nikon cameras and lenses. Whenever we asked why there was a problem managers would blame Nikon or whatever the supplying company was. Eventually the problem spread to Epson, Sony, Fuji and various others. It’s hard to say how many vendors we were on credit hold with but most likely all of them. Most recently, Canon was the only supplier we were receiving stock from. Finally, once UPS would no longer pick up shipments from the company, things seemed obvious.
The Phoblographer contacted former President of Calumet, Peter Biosotti, who claimed that there were hints of this coming for some time.