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New Camera Store Up and... Walking In Paoli

The store moving into the former Ritz location is now open, but it's not up to full speed.. quite yet.

Cardinal Camera is now up and at least walking if not quite running at full speed quite yet.

They're working on it as fast as they can. For now the prints are in color but the employees are in black. The workers at the store on Monday afternoon were busy helping customers with printing and processing both digital and film photos. The store is partially stocked with new camera equipment. More is coming. A lot more, according to the staff.

Cardinal Camera arrived two weeks ago as workers in the former Ritz store were bracing for unemployment after Ritz's scheduled shut down on September 30. Cardinal, a family-owned camera store chain based in Montgomery County, purchased the lease and much of the processing equipment in the Paoli and ten other Ritz Camera locations from New Hampshire to North Carolina.

It's important to note that Cardinal did not buy the Ritz Camera company, only leases and equipment.

Cardinal had posted "grand opening" signs in the window announcing it would open on October First. A Cardinal manager told Patch that the new store opening date was what they were pushing for and that the new store would open for film processing but without a lot of camera and related inventory in place.

A problem with internet connections that were unexpectedly not ready delayed the grand opening five days to Saturday, October 6.

Local customers did not seem fazed by the delay as they returned to the store for film processing. Monday afternoon virtually every self-serve computer was busy with customers when TE Patch stopped in the store.

Ritz had a loyal and enthusiastic customer base in Paoli and customers now have a shop with a different name, but familiar faces. Everyone working Monday afternoon was a former Ritz employee who had been hired to staff the new store. Not every Ritz employee is still there, a few had gotten new jobs in the time between when Rotz announced it was closing and Cardinal announced it was opening in the Paoli Shopping Center location.

Important Information for former Ritz Customers

because Cardinal did not buy out Ritz, they also did not buy out Ritz obligations like gift cards and Ritz Company warranties. A Cardinal corporate official and employees at the store said the company will try to honor coupons if it can, but since Cardinal received no money to back Ritz gift cards or warranties it won't be able to honor those.

Bob Byrne (Editor) October 10, 2012 at 10:35 AM
If you have a problem with equipment you purchased from Ritz, it's probably worth brining it in to Cardinal. While I am not here to cheerlead for them, I have been impressed with how forthcoming Cardinal has been with me in answering all kinds of questions about the new store. One thing has been repeated to me over and over: Cardinal is focused on making customers happy and educating customers about anything and everything to do with photography. Cardinal did not buy out Ritz and that's key to understanding why they can't honor Ritz gift cards, for example. The money that went to Ritz for those gift cards did not to to Cardinal, so it would literally be money out of Cardinal's pocket. Given the number of Ritz locations involved Cardinal, a relatively small, family-owned business could not absorb those costs. However, if you have a question about a warranty or equipment you purchased at Ritz it might be worth taking it to Cardinal. If it's a manufacturer's warranty they can probably help with that and they are anxious to help with questions about how equipment sold by Ritz works. (For instance what does that little wheel do-hickey on my SLR do... or how do I keep my photos from being blurry with my new telephoto lens?) I'm taking my camera in tomorrow to get answers!

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