I don't see how this could be regarded a good thing. Even if I hated the store (actually I thought it was spotty but kinda okay) I wouldn't wish this outcome upon photography, on the general amateur population (which may not want to order via credit card online), nor ultimately the American taxpayer.

Let's see, where do we stand. Circuit city is bankrupt; BestBuy is rumoured to be not far behind. Ritz is gone. Options are disappearing. Not just for photography but for damn near everything.

This is not good in the long run... regardless of what you think of these establishments. They are not disappearing because of the issues mentioned above... they are disappearing because there are many ways to evade taxes by buying online and computers are cheaper clerks than.. real clerks. Hence online retailers are essentially subsidized with respect to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. This will change... but maybe not before people are buying groceries online. It's not good. Not good at all. And apparently most folks won't know that it's not good until the damage is irreparable and the purchasing options are down to B&H and Adorama.

This is all fine for those of us who can hop in the car and drive up to Manhattan and see firsthand what we are buying... but what about the 200 million other folks in the U.S. and beyond.

(N.b. I definitely have my issues with Ritz but I also am willing to complain to mgmt. and/or address the clerks with my issues... and in most cases they were immediately resolved. I think the local stores serve a vital function in the local photographic economy, that is my beef with some of the comments above.)