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07-02-2019, 08:41 AM   #1
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Creve Couer Camera (St. Louis) Closing Last Store and Liquidating Inventory

Creve Couer Camera, the venerated Missouri camera store chain, is closing it’s last store and liquidating it’s inventory. CCC had a 40+ year history as a Pentax Dealer and purchased Co-Op Pentax radio and TV holiday ads as recently as 2015. At one time CCC was the 9th largest Pentax Dealer in the country and was a leading dealer until the very end of RIcoh full-service support. I bought my K-1 and DFA28~105 there from retail stock on release day in 2016 and regularly shopped the new used gear counters.

In recent years CCC had been dropped by RIcoh Imaging NA during the messy wind down of RIAC and mismanagement of the K-1 rollout in 2016 but their Rep obtained K-1 merchandise direct from RIcoh. The owners cite ‘showrooming’ competition with Amazon and sales tax as prime causes of reduced sales.

That leaves Schiller’s Camera as the largest remaining independent camera dealer here.

St Louis Post Dispatch article

07-02-2019, 09:06 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Creve Couer Camera, the venerated Missouri camera store chain, is closing it’s last store and liquidating it’s inventory. CCC had a 40+ year history as a Pentax Dealer and purchased Co-Op Pentax radio and TV holiday ads as recently as 2015. At one time CCC was the 9th largest Pentax Dealer in the country and was a leading dealer until the very end of RIcoh full-service support. I bought my K-1 and DFA28~105 there from retail stock on release day in 2016 and regularly shopped the new used gear counters.

In recent years CCC had been dropped by RIcoh Imaging NA during the messy wind down of RIAC and mismanagement of the K-1 rollout in 2016 but their Rep obtained K-1 merchandise direct from RIcoh. The owners cite ‘showrooming’ competition with Amazon and sales tax as prime causes of reduced sales.

That leaves Schiller’s Camera as the largest remaining independent camera dealer here.

St Louis Post Dispatch article
That's sad, considering the Pentax angle and what looks like another needless Pentax/Ricoh marketing and sales support blunder. Although probably that's not what did them in.
07-02-2019, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #3
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While it is sad from a Pentax perspective, the overall loss to the local St. Louis photography community is the greater tragedy. I feel your pain.


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07-02-2019, 12:21 PM   #4
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Sign of our times, unfortunately.

Same thing here. I buy my camera equipment from one of the few camera stores still in my burg. I don't even press them to match prices anymore...two reasons. They are more expensive, but not by much compared to online and I want the store to exist. The staff are knowledgeable, service is excellent and the staff live here, not elsewhere. No Pentax/Ricoh stock available in store, but they can and do order what I want.

Afraid I'm in the minority.

07-03-2019, 07:25 AM   #5
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Sign of the times for sure. There hasn't been a camera store in my city since Ritz Camera went belly up in 2012. I think the closest camera shop to me--if it's even still in business--is about 100 miles away. I've had to accept reality and all of the camera gear I'm presently using has come to me courtesy of eBay.
07-03-2019, 07:51 AM   #6
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I hate this.

In some ways these places are akin to the neighborhood hardware store or locally owned grocery. Places that are fun to step into, but often have higher prices than the big box stores and grocery stores have and so they are gradually vanishing.
07-03-2019, 09:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I hate this.

In some ways these places are akin to the neighborhood hardware store or locally owned grocery. Places that are fun to step into, but often have higher prices than the big box stores and grocery stores have and so they are gradually vanishing.
Exactly. My neighborhood hardware store people can show me how to fix things and then sell me the correct tools, and the right fasteners in single lots instead of baggies. The people matter.

OTOH the current owners bought the chain from the founder ten years ago and had debt service. Payroll had dropped from 156 EE’s to 70, but that’s still 70 paychecks to meet.

My son owns a Lacrosse Equipment Store - he has no debt . . .
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