Calumet Photographic Reviews | Glassdoor

Calumet Photographic Reviews

Updated January 9, 2017
28 reviews

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1.6
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Christof Bergmann
11 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "BAD MANAGEMENT DOOMS GREAT CAMERA COMPANY"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  2. "No Comment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Services Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Technical Services Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This place had a great legacy, unfortunately that legacy came to an abrupt end when the company was taken over.

    Cons

    The company does not exist anymore.

    Advice to Management

    re-think your strategy, obviously it does not work.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place gone down"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Sales Representative in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Technical Sales Representative in Chicago, IL
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People are awesome, great pay benefits

    Cons

    Company shut down without notice , Bad Management, President Brian Carroll killed Calumet

    Advice to Management

    ompany shut down without notice , Bad Management, President Brian Carroll killed Calumet


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Would not work for the same management team again."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Calumet Photographic full-time (More than a 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 Management

    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.


  5. Helpful (1)

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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Escondido, CA
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Escondido, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  6. "Long suffering"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Oakbrook Ter, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Oakbrook Ter, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

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


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Turnaround Artist - Mission Accomplished"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Out of Control"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    All That is Left, a Legendary Name in the Photo Business

    Cons

    In Photo Terms, No Focus

    Advice to Management

    From supremely great to catastrophically disastrous in less than 2 years, the period known as the Carroll Years.

    Still a few smart employees left, the Company has a great legacy, so although doubtful, there is a slight chance of a turnaround.

    Unfortunately the Company is under-capitalized, visionless, and shortsighted and in the hands of an inexperienced, bankrupt Ritz Camera JV team.

    What was once the employee, customer-centric leader in the photo industry has morphed into a company with no identity and few benefits that can’t get out of its own way. The President is responsible for this debacle. Brian has driven Calumet well past the exit of relevancy. His lack of leadership skills is only surpassed by his absence of industry knowledge. The President has surrounded himself, with “yes people” meaning there is now more deadwood at Calumet than in a petrified forest. Brian’s mantra, it wasn’t his fault, and he can’t admit he doesn’t know something, or learn from others. If Barnum & Bailey won’t hire you, and you really want to work in the circus, then Calumet is for you.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Frustration!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Calumet Photographic full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people working for me

    Cons

    Terrible upper management, No inventory, always on credit hold!

    Advice to Management

    Learn the photo industry


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Poor and unfair treatment of employees, poor inventory, decieful practices."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Outsider Looking In in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Outsider Looking In in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Calumet Photographic full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Carry a fair diversity of pro merchanidse such as lighting gear. Not cameras and lenses.

    Cons

    Poor regional as well as corporate management. They are more interested in bottom line as opposed to quality and knowledgeable staff. They treat their employees as object as opposed to treating them like loyal people. They are unable to fulfill inventory needs because most manufacturers will not ship them because of poor credit. They are over expanded based on greed and not necessity.

    Advice to Management

    I am not an employee but a knowledgeable industry person looking in. Get rid of the regional manager in the Washington DC area he is a left over from the family owned Penn Camera company that Calumet bought out of bankruptcy and lies, and is deceptive not only to his employees but to customers as well. His goal is to look good to management by doing his dance and and setting up conditions to cause the firing excellent employees who get paid "too much effecting the bottom line."


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