I used to work for Ritz Camera, a couple of times, actually. That was in another life time, before there was digital anything, before many of you were even born. I will tell you that the company cared for its employees and advancement opportunity was there. The money was Ok, yes, there were spiffs and inducements to market some things more than others--it is a sales job.
One difference between retail sales and working at Ritz, in those days, was that everyone working there was a photographer and had practical experience with the equipment, processes and technology. I worked at the store on Veirs Mill Road in Wheaton in the mid 70s and later on Wisconsin Ave inside the DC line with Floyd.
Floyd was a hoot, a bit particular that everyone ought to do things his way I don't think Floyd took many pictures but he sure knew how to work the diplomatic corp who frequented the store.
The most fun was the Veirs Mill store, next to a real old fashioned kosher meat market. Bob Fruit was the manager in those days and he may have been Jewish because he could deal with the butcher's wife--you would not have lived through it had you parked in front of their store. There are crimes, abominations, inhumanities, and random events--and then there is the mistake of parking in front of that kosher market and going into Ritz Camera. The world kept spinning despite Hymie's wife, I don't think she ever actually killed anyone and if you bought a deli sandwich from her, you absolutely got your money's worth. However, you did not endear her heart sufficiently to got into Ritz Camera first and then the deli!
I also worked at Industrial Photo in Silver Spring, a much more sophisticated operation but a topic for some other lifetime.
Ritz's prices were too high. Even back then, in the 70's, when they would hold a warehouse sale in Beltsville, the deals were not all that good.
All else withstanding, I hope they survive the setback. I knew "uncle" Dave but Mony Toueg was the brains that kept them going (in those days) and he was a VERY decent man to work with. I always looked forward to having Mony come out to inspect the store, do his sales training and inspiration bit, he was easy to like.
There were also some really cool folks to work with, Bob Fruit, Bob Hoenig, Kerrie, Joe, Sher, Will, Big Al. In those days, Olympus was the strongest 35mm frame around, the F1 was Canon's big deal and the F2 was Nikon's hustle. Dollar for dollar, cameras are cheaper now than then.
I'll say this and quit. Ritz became too big and killed off market niche suppliers, small business owners and now we have the internet. Ritz is just another small fish in a large sea. What goes around, comes around?