Roberts Camera plan to close its 20-year-old store in Carmel and consolidate operations at its downtown Indianapolis location, the company announced Tuesday in an email to customers and vendors.
The Carmel store, 12761 Old Meridian St., is slated to close after March 27. A closeout sale will begin March 1.
Owners of the 64-year old business—which was founded as a discount jewelry store in 1957 by Robert and Rose Pallman—cited several reasons for the decision.
“The changes that we have seen in the camera industry along with the shift to online shopping combined with the impact of COVID-19 have allowed us to take a very long, hard look at the best way to move our business forward,” the company said in its email. “We have made the very difficult decision to close our Carmel store and consolidate many of our staff and services at our downtown Indianapolis store.”
Roberts operated downtown from 1970 to 2014 in a 21,000-square-foot store at 255 S. Meridian St. before moving to a 35,000-square-foot facility at 220 E. St. Clair St., between North Delaware Street and Fort Wayne Avenue.
“We believe that centralizing our operations into one facility will improve our efficiencies and allow us to create a better, superior shopping experience for you,” Roberts said. “This move will help us to expand product lines and inventory availability. We will centralize events and create better organization around our services like rentals and our photo lab by having better quality control and creating an experiential environment at our Indianapolis location.”
Roberts has been one of the few brick-and-mortar camera retailers in the country to survive the digital age by adapting to industry changes. Mobile phones have all but ruined the lower-end point-and-shoot market, so Roberts differentiates itself by offering higher-end equipment and through customer service.
And, even before the pandemic, it was doing more than half of its business online through its UsedPhotoPro.com web site.
Roberts said it would continue to offer “one of the largest selections of new and used camera inventory in the country.”
The family-owned company said it plans to expand rental and photo lab services and conduct more classes and events at its updated downtown classroom space.