COGNICAL,, the parent company of Zibby, announced this week that it has raised $10 million in equity and debt financing, which it plans to use to "help e-retailers grow sales to nonprime and underbanked consumers."
As more brick-and-mortar retailers close their doors—Circuit City, Blockbuster, Ritz Camera, CompUSA and Dixons, among others—and Amazon becomes more and more powerful, I am constantly asked by our manufacturer customers about how best to navigate an increasingly challenging landscape.
The retailers listed in Dealerscope’s registry of the Top 101 CE retailers in the United States and Canada rang up $233.49 billion in 2012, a modest 2.76 percent increase over the $227.22 billion earned in 2011. Chained to a weak economy, stubborn unemployment, sluggish sales and anemic stock performance, many CE retailers—including powerhouses such as Best Buy (1), Staples (8), Gamestop (10), Office Max (16), Sears (19) and Office Depot (23)—announced plans to close many bricks-and-mortar stores this year.
C&A Marketing, Inc., has announced the reopening of 18 Ritz Camera & Image retail locations, as well as the online RitzPix.com. The move follows C&A's purchase of the Ritz brand following its bankruptcy earlier this year.
With the recent implosion of Ritz Camera & Image, the ongoing struggles of Best Buy and the highly visible bankruptcy of Eastman Kodak, the photo industry is witnessing a seismic shift.
Fox Business reports Ritz Camera & Image LLC, Beltsville, Maryland, filed for bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court on Friday, less than three years after it emerged from its first bankruptcy. Ritz was purchased in a bankruptcy auction in 2009 by RCI, a group led by Ritz Camera President David Ritz, for about $33.1 million for the chain's 375 stores.
Ritz now operates almost 300 stores in 34 states, and listed their assets and liabilities of between $50 million and $100 million in the filing, according to Reuters.
Edward C. Ritz, a photo specialty retail pioneer and a cofounder of Ritz Camera, died on March 30. Family-owned Ritz Camera Centers (the predecessor to Ritz Camera & Image) was founded as a portrait studio in 1918 by Benjamin Ritz , in the Ritz Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.