Unfortunately, my speculation on the fate of the downtown Ritz Camera has come to fruition, with the store on Fenton Street now scheduled to close following a liquidation sale. Beltsville-based Ritz Camera is liquidating 300 stores and our location made the death list. While certainly not its biggest customer, I did patronize Ritz at least a few times, which is more than I can say for a lot of stores in Silver Spring (e.g. all of City Place) so I do lament its passing somewhat. The Ritz Camera up 29 in the Burnt Mills Shopping Center seems to have escaped the ax for now.
The liquidation sale is scheduled to start tomorrow. Those thinking you will be getting a great deal on a DLSR camera should be forewarned that these liquidation sales are a scam. The liquidators will raise the price to full MSRP then "discount" it from there, resulting in a new price that is actually higher than Ritz was selling the item for prior to the liquidation. You could potentially get some deals toward the end if there's anything left besides ugly picture frames. I'm going to try and buy some discounted 120 film, if possible.
So what could you possibly find to replace the Ritz these days? How about a GameStop? Sure, they may have the most annoying employees on Earth, but it's one of the few retail chains doing well in this economy, and right now there's nowhere around to buy video games. Just my 2¢. Hopefully they will find replacements for this and other departed stores. God forbid we end up anything like The Boulevard at the Capital Centre.
Speaking of troubled retailers, you may see some changes at our Borders, where they are re-focusing on books by reducing their selection of music and movies. Borders isn't in bankruptcy yet, but that day could come soon.
At least there's some positive retail news for Silver Spring. In a long-overdue development, two older buildings on Georgia Avenue are finally getting rehabbed and being made available for lease. One is the former armed forces recruiting center which until now had trees growing inside of it. The other is down a few blocks at Ripley street. It's odd that now that we are in the midst of an economic downturn these are finally being renovated. You'd think this would have been done years ago, especially in the case the recruiting center building, which is an eyesore and an embarrassment to what is supposed to be a "revitalized" downtown. (Ironically, it is right across the street from the "Silver Sprung" office...)
Here are the two buildings in their pre-renovation states: