Another once-popular chain store is closing, the victim of changing consumer tastes, the switch to smartphone photography and the overall shift to online sales.
Ritz Camera is shutting its remaining 137 stores in the US, including its two Cincinnati stores in Kenwood and Rookwood over the next three weeks.
Owners were unable to turn around the 94-year-old chain, after two bankruptcies.
The chain's website, however, along with six west coast stores, will be sold to other buyers, and are scheduled to reopen in November. The rest will be gone forever.
Signs on the stores promote discounts of 40 percent to 60 percent off (the website says 50 percent off).
However, we checked and found that's off original prices, not the most recent price. And it doesn't mean everything in the store is 40 percent to 60 percent off, despite what the signs say.
We found accessories like camera bags, tripods and picture frames at 30 percent to 50 percent off.
But most cameras and specialty lenses were just 15 percent off.
One viewer told us she found the same Canon camera still cheaper online, despite the markdown at Ritz..
Another told us a Nikon lens that was $249 a few weeks ago was marked down to $225, which is hardly a major discount.
Ritz Employees say they are not the ones setting the prices, but have to price items based on what the liquidator tells them.
So if you decide to check out the sale, be careful, because the deals may not be all that great, unless you are shopping for accessories.
And remember, as with almost all liquidation sales, all sales are final. That means if the camera or lens you purchase is cracked, for instance, you have to take it up with the manufacturer. You can't return it to Ritz.
But don't blame the employees, who will be out of work in a few weeks. And whatever you buy, don't waste your money.
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