The downfall of Ritz Camera has allowed Boulder-based Mike's Camera to significantly grow its operations in its home state and expand into California.
Mike's Camera, the 45-year-old camera and imaging services retailer that operates three stores in Colorado, plans to open 10 new locations, company officials announced Monday.
The new Mike's Camera stores will be located in downtown Denver, Wheat Ridge, Thornton, Greenwood Village and Colorado Springs, as well as San Francisco; Mill Valley, Calif.; Menlo Park, Calif.; Dublin, Calif.; and Sacramento, Calif.
Mike Camera officials said the new locations are expected to open within the next week.
Alex Christianian, chief operating officer, said the company has been considering expansion "for quite a while." Customers come from as far away as Pueblo and Casper, Wyo., he said.
"We felt like this was a good opportunity for us to be more accessible to our customers," Christianian said.
In addition to photography and video equipment, the new Mike's Camera locations will offer photo printing and imaging services such as archiving and custom framing.
"We're a one-stop shop for everything imaging," Christianian said.
About 80 jobs will be added as a result of the store openings, Mike's Camera officials said.
The five Colorado and five California locations previously were operated by the defunct Ritz Camera & Image. The Beltsville, Md.-based Ritz -- operator of Wolf Camera stores in Denver and Colorado Springs -- filed for bankruptcy this year and started liquidating its remaining 137 stores last month.
Christianian said Mike's Camera didn't purchase any of the Ritz Camera inventory, but is simply taking over the locations.
Ritz's collapse came amid increasing competition from Internet retailers and a dwindling of the customer base because of the rise of camera-equipped smartphones.
Research firm IBISWorld this summer estimated that pressures compounded with broader economic woes would result in sales at camera stores dropping 8.5 percent to $2.8 billion in 2012.
"Although consumer and business spending is beginning to pick up in 2012, online camera sales and alternative devices are expected to dominate such purchases," IBISWorld analyst Agata Kaczanowska said at the time.
Christianian said his company generally hasn't seen customers turn to online sales. The knowledgeable, friendly staff members at the stores sets the chain apart from online retailers, he said. The stores also offer an extensive roster of workshops and seminars.
Camera Staff Writer Amy Bounds contributed to this report.
Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or email@example.com.