Calumet Photographic

  www.calumetphoto.com
  www.calumetphoto.com

Calumet Photographic Reviews

Updated June 19, 2014
Updated June 19, 2014
25 Reviews
1.8
25 Reviews
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Christof Bergmann
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    BAD MANAGEMENT DOOMS GREAT CAMERA COMPANY

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Calumet Photographic full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Discounts, talking to people who enjoy Photography, Great coworkers who understand and helps with daily stress.

    Cons

    People who shouldn't do any photography pretending to know being able to do photography taking up our time which could have been spent real professionals who came to seriously ask for help and advise and who actually support the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit being Ritz Camera. This was a pro Store and not a cheap Ritz. Former Ritz managers never understood that you can't be everything to all people. Choose the side that supported you throughout the years who come back again and again instead of the Walmart customers who waste time and never buy anything.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Would not work for the same management team again.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Washington, DC

    I worked at Calumet Photographic full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great staff and customers. Good networking possibilities. When the product was available, times were great for everyone. Was excited when I was taken on by Calumet after Penn Camera folded, great product selection.

    Cons

    Where does one start after the company folded? Commissions were a moving target on how they were paid. Add to that in the end of days (year) for the company product that was needed was not in stock.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is a tough one to answer. Key is for any future for CalPhotoUS is run things how you would like to be treated. Don't push warranties or 1-ON-1 training. Your staff's reputation is on the line.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Calumet closed all stores - Files Bankruptcy 3/12/14

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Escondido, CA
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Escondido, CA

    I worked at Calumet Photographic full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good employees. Good customers. Had a good reputation.

    Cons

    Bad management followed by more bad management. No wonder the company failed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It doesn't really matter now, but it use to be a great place to work. It's unforante that the mgmt never listened to the ee on the front lines on what customers wanted. They always purchased things that were not going to sell.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    They treat thier employees rotton

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Calumet Photographic full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work with all the great employees

    Cons

    You have to work the company way

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get out

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Long suffering

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Oakbrook Ter, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Oakbrook Ter, IL

    I worked at Calumet Photographic full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good people to work with

    Cons

    Electronics is a hard business to stay profitable in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Skip the big name brands and get more profitable items to sell.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Challenging industry in challenging times

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Calumet Photographic full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Many good people and interesting if you are a photo enthusiast.

    Cons

    Since 2008 retail photo industry has not been much fun. Not only challenging economy but 3 natural disasters in 2 years affected supply.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ownership and management need to hit the reset button to see if it can help fill the void from the businesses that have left over the years.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Doing business as in the stone ages, not being cognizant of current business climate to allow for a directional change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Management
    Current Employee - Management

    I have been working at Calumet Photographic (more than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent, knowledgeable staff, dedicated on levels to make the company succeed, able to balance customer service whether in retail, educational, corporate or government.

    Cons

    Never had merchandise to supply for orders, always had excuses, never paid bills, purchased far to many brick & mortar, the beginning of the end! One needs inventory to make sales, was consistently in short supply. High turn of store managers everywhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn what is trending, seek the markets where the money..Online purchasing, government backed entities, if company will fold very soon!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    From "Where The Pros Go" to "Where No One Goes" in 3 Years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate

    I worked at Calumet Photographic full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You get to commiserate with coworkers about the lack of stock and the lack of honesty coming from the hierarchy of the company. You get to laugh at the false promises made by management. You get to guess how many, if any customers might actually walk out of your store with the product they need or want.

    Cons

    Coming from Ritz Camera, I thought Calumet would be my dream job, unfortunately, the dream was my worst nightmare.

    We (Calumet) never had the cameras or lenses the customers needed nor could we get them. There were always excuses from Calumet management (usually the President, Brian Carroll or one of his Ritz sidekicks) blaming the manufacturers, the weather, the bank or another worldwide catastrophe.

    Calumet has a low base salary with commissions based on profit. You have to make a minimum amount of profit for Calumet to qualify for your monthly commission payout. Unfortunately for me, it to long to figure out Calumet's scheme. Not having inventory means you have nothing t sell and therefore, cannot make your minimum and therefore they do not have to pay you any commission. Unless you're very lucky, no matter how they "spin" it, you're barely being paid minimum wage at Calumet.

    After 4 months, totally disgusted, I took a sales job with a competitor of Calumet. Lo & behold, they have cameras, they have lenses and believe it or not, they can get stock. It appears paying your bills trumps all of the Calumet excuses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    For once be honest with your employees. For three years you've given your employees nothing but excuses. Institute a commission program that doesn't penalize employees because of management shortcomings. It is time to exit Brian Carroll from the premises due to ill health - the employees are sick of him!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Turnaround Artist - Mission Accomplished

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Calumet Photographic full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Calumet's first and only good turnaround in three years, they replaced their president.

    Cons

    In 2010, Brian Carroll was appointed president and brought into Calumet as a self-proclaimed "turnaround artist" -- Mission Accomplished.

    Unfortunately, Brian took an iconic profitable company and turned it around to the point that it is teetering on irrelevance among professional photographers. Some of Brian's greatest Calumet turnarounds:

    Turnaround: took a knowledgeable retail staff and replaced them with low cost employees.

    Turnaround: made sure his well-stocked stores now have little or no meaningful inventory.

    Turnaround: experienced management replaced with novices to the industry.

    Turnaround: transformed Calumet from profitability to the brink of extinction

    Amazingly, anything is possible for the fired & poor choices. Brian started a new company, LCK & Associates touting its (and his) turnaround capabilities. Does LCK really mean, "Left Calumet Kicking"?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the bleeding, your overexposed and can't be Photoshopped. You waited to long - pull the plug.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Look At The Big Picture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Advisor to Calumet Vendor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Advisor to Calumet Vendor in New York, NY

    I worked at Calumet Photographic as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Current Owner (Halpern family) are smart people - they see a future - company came from a deep financial pit - seems to be slowly coming out - Calumet can't do what it had been doing for the last 10 years and survive . . . it has to change . . . it has not been profitable so rather than shut it down it looks like Halpern bought it as investment (disclaimer: I don't know the Halperns, never met them - all this is based on web research)

    Cons

    It's a tough industry - many postings here said to focus on customer not on profits . . . then they complain there isn't enough inventory. Look around people . . . how many camera stores do you see thriving? Without profit there can be no inventory or payroll . . . it's a very very tough industry . . . especially with companies like Canon who will sell direct against the retailer at basically dealer cost . . . you better hope your employer puts a priority on profits or there won't be any employees - this isn't the government, no retailer can be sustained on debt forever.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Looks like there is communication gap and misunderstandings abound . . . You do have some good people and there are many who have great insight . . . unfortunately those who promote "customer service" over enough profit to pay the bills show their lack of understanding - which can encourage management to ignore them . . . everyone needs to take a deep breath and try to see it from the other person's perspective.

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