News

Palo Alto's Keeble & Shuchat Photography to close in October

Longtime camera store no longer profitable, owner says

Facing a changing industry and declining profits, one of the Bay Area's last major brick-and-mortar camera stores, Palo Alto's Keeble & Shuchat, will be closing next month, owner Terry Shuchat confirmed Thursday.

In its 51 years at 290 California Ave., Keeble & Shuchat has become a destination for new and used cameras, professional photography equipment, photography classes and workshops, printing services, gallery exhibitions and more. The store is a photographer’s paradise: 16,000 square feet of cameras and accessories, expert sales staff who have been in the business for decades and an owner who wants nothing more than to operate a "pure" camera shop.

Yet Shuchat said the business has struggled against the rising tide of online shopping and a changing photography industry, resulting in camera sales that have been dropping by about 10 percent each year, he said. That, along with a scarcity of parking and increasing development in the California Avenue area, have made the closure necessary, Shuchat said.

"The business has reached that point where small retail is just really doomed," he told the Weekly in an interview in his second-floor office at the camera store. "People want retail but they don’t really support it -- not like customers used to."

More and more people are turning to the internet to find advice about and to buy cameras, and with so few brick-and-mortar camera stores left, many consumers think of big-box retailers like Costco and Best Buy as places to purchase cameras, Shuchat said. He offered as an example a woman who recently brought in a high-end Nikon camera that she purchased at Costco that wasn’t working properly.

"They didn’t go back and talk to Costco; they came in here to find out what was wrong with the camera, and we took care of them," he said. "There's just so much of that going on."

This summer, at one of the store's biannual sales, about 700 to 800 people came in to attend photography classes, but "very few" ended up buying anything, Shuchat said.

"We're just not getting the business support," he said.

Another "major problem" for the business has been the state sales tax, which makes Keeble & Shuchat’s products about 9 percent more expensive than camera retailers in other states, Shuchat said.

Shuchat, who was born in Palo Alto, opened the store in 1965. He owns the two-story building at the corner of California Avenue and Birch Street, as well as a second space across the street that he opened around 1989. The 261 California Ave. store houses Keeble & Shuchat's rental department, which Shuchat said is the business' most profitable department, along with used cameras.

In 2016, camera stores in the Bay Area are few and far between. Shuchat mentioned Mike's Cameras, which has locations in Menlo Park, Sacramento, Mill Valley and the East Bay; and San Jose Camera & Video, a family-owned business that has been in operation since 1929.

Shuchat also lamented the changing landscape of California Avenue, which has seen many longtime retailers close in recent years, including Avenue Florist, Bargain Box and Village Stationers. He said he's watched the street evolve over the years from a "genuine downtown shopping street" to "a street of restaurants, nail salons and hair salons."

"This will not remain a business area," he added. "It's going to become an office-and-housing area."

There's no official closing date yet for the store, but it will likely be toward the end of October, Shuchat said. There will be a store-closing sale in the next few weeks.

He plans to lease both of the California Avenue spaces and has put feelers out to some camera retailers, he said, though "the fact that we couldn't make it with me owning the building means it's going to be hard for someone else to make it having to pay rent."

Shuchat called the decision to close "disappointing" and "sad," and one he thought he’d never have to make.

"I have a son-in-law in business here. I figured someday when I died here in my office that he'd take over," Shuchat said, with a laugh.

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Comments

56 people like this
Posted by Very Sad
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 15, 2016 at 4:43 pm

This is very, very sad. These longtime merchants were very much a part of our neighborhood. On a side-note, they take excellent passport photos.


59 people like this
Posted by Steve Castillo
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 15, 2016 at 4:44 pm

A long time customer of K&S, I will miss Terry Shuchat, who I've know for 38-years. The store will be sorely missed, they had everything, books, frames, rentals and of course a huge selection of all the major brands. Although the internet has made brick and mortar stores struggling, its another part of the digital landscape that eliminates people and their jobs. I got to know several of the employees by name and I hope they are able to find work. As a professional it was always great to be able to get something at the last minute or rent a camera or lens when one was out for repair.
Thanks Terry and the K&S family.


26 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Cal ave has changed a lot. I still miss Cho's, but am glad I can still see him in Los Altos. Once the Nut House leaves, I leave.


54 people like this
Posted by long time customer
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Sep 15, 2016 at 4:57 pm

This is terrible news. I always bought my cameras, lenses and flashes here and enjoyed the classes they offered. The photography business is really terrible right now, killed by the iPhone. Between that at the Internet, its surprising they lasted this long. Just shows how great they were.


22 people like this
Posted by Sad to see them go
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I remember shopping at the original Birch Street location in 1976 when I was 14, and I've been a customer ever since. I just bought a Nikon D5 there in May.

I'm sorry to see them go.

Although for at least the past several years I found them to not stock the weird little accessories, leaving no option other than online. Pretty soon it becomes easier to just shop online when they don't have have the goods.

K&S was a great resource.

Thanks for the memories.


4 people like this
Posted by This is Tragic!
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 15, 2016 at 5:07 pm

This is Tragic! is a registered user.

Oh, No! My husband's avocation is that of a professional wildlife photographer! Every piece of equipment he has owned over the last 20 years he bought at Keeble!

What to do and where to go? There is nowhere else so convenient, and buying certain camera equipment online can be foolhardy...


40 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm

What a shame. Of course he's right about the scarcity of parking, the sales tax and all the new office development. The scarcity of parking is a killer. And the long development time for the very expensive "redesign" of Cal Ave certainly didn't help.

What's going to replace his stores -- more offices that will create more of a parking shortage that will further undermine remaining retail and service businesses?


40 people like this
Posted by Bill Ross
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 15, 2016 at 5:19 pm

A large factor to this action and this action is prior City Council decisions allowing development without adequate parking--and Jamie Rodrigues and his "vision" for Cal Ave. K&S was also a good citizen questioning the consistently inconsistent City Staff actions about whether there really was adequate parking,sufficient drainage and adequate police patrols. Cal. Ave. is becoming another Wilshire Blvd in either Westwood or Beverly Hills. All the more reason that any development that is approved is truly--truly sustainable or we will just be Beverly Hills North.


11 people like this
Posted by NoMoPa
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2016 at 5:51 pm

@Bill Ross - It's probably more about the decline of film, the decline of dedicated cameras, and rise of online shopping than the over development under parking and traffic in Palo Alto. Those are real but separate issues.


21 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2016 at 6:02 pm

This is sad. We have used the classes and workshops, bought some equipment and have also been there for advice from knowledgeable staff about some very old photographs and negatives as well as storage of old important letters and documents. They will be missed as this information is not easily obtainable.

It is a shame that they can't just close one store rather than the whole business.


19 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 15, 2016 at 6:05 pm

As an enthusiast photographer I've been shopping at K&S for decades. Although I also buy online at the big three - B&H, Adorama, and Amazon - I have tried to buy from K&S whenever possible to support a local shop. Although sales tax may be a disadvantage I believe the biggest issue for K&S is the customer service. It's really hit and miss. Sometimes you may get someone helpful but other times you may receive "attitude" by the reps. Most shoppers will know what I'm talking about. If not you can read the online reviews. Samy's is a bricks and mortor that just opened up a store in SF so it's possible to run a photography store profitably. A declining photography market has squeezed everyone including B&H. It's during these competitive times that customer service should have been stressed.


23 people like this
Posted by Linda Cicero
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 15, 2016 at 6:43 pm

The staff of K&S has been as much of a resource to the community as the store itself. I first got to know former VP Alain Brie when I was working for PG&E's Media Arts department in SF and he was our sales rep. Over the past 2 decades at Stanford I had the good fortune to connect with so many employees who shared their knowledge and expertise on so many products and techniques.

This irreplaceable connection with fellow enthusiasts and pros in the brick and mortar stores can't be replaced with a web video. I tip my hat to all the staff: the rental department, Al and Chris, and everyone on the pro side. Ken in repair, Ernie in darkroom, Barbara up at the photo finishing counter, everybody in the store has shown enormous passion and professionalism. Thank you for all the years of great service. You will be missed.


55 people like this
Posted by cheese guy
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 15, 2016 at 7:15 pm

First Roger Reynolds, then Beltramo's, and now this. This is quite sad.


20 people like this
Posted by Joanne Devereaux
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Still using the first digital NIKON I bought at Keeble & Shuchat. It made me feel good knowing there was a real
camera store with professional staff who knew just about everything and more about photography and cameras.
Times change. When I finally realized there was no practical use for my 4x5 camera, all the lenses, film holders…I packed it up and drove down to your store and sold everything. Painful yes, but the end of an era for me personally.
A store and the community it built over such a long time IS a great success even as a memory. Thank you for hanging in there and shut the door with great pride!


21 people like this
Posted by Bike commuter
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 15, 2016 at 7:35 pm

I've purchased all of our family's camera equipment from them and took a few classes. We are so very sorry to see them go.






22 people like this
Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 15, 2016 at 8:13 pm

Noooooooooooooooooo! Where am I going to buy my 4 X 5 film and cameras and get my film processed. This is a disaster. Go in and look at the each store and check out the cameras on top of the display cases. The history of photography is up there. REAL CAMERAS. At least K&S lasted longer than Kodak did. The day the pile of film at Costco disappeared was the day the the light died. RIP. Long live the iPhony. (I even have one, Nikon and Canon are next on the hit list).


12 people like this
Posted by Alan Stivers
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 15, 2016 at 8:14 pm

K&S were caught in a vise with online retailers on the high end and smart phones on the low end. I'm sorry to see them go.


24 people like this
Posted by A Fan
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm

When it came to buying a camera for my daughter, we researched online. However, we went to Keeble & Shuchat to buy the camera. The reasoning was to support their store so it would be a place to get service in the future. Very sad to see them close their doors.


34 people like this
Posted by AlienGeorgie
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2016 at 8:52 pm

I think the real cause of the loss of businesses like K&S is the philosophy of the Palo Alto city planners. They clearly want Palo Alto to be the playground of high tech billionaires. And High Tech billionaires are, by definition Nouveau Riche. So, shops that offer real service to regular Joe's get driven out so burger joints with trendy facades can serve 'Kobe Beef' for inflated prices to people who don't realize that 'Kobe Beef' means nothing on the menu.

There was a time when Hollywood was famous for 'plastic people', Silicon Valley has eclipsed them. Businesses that leave Palo Alto should wear it as a badge of honor.


22 people like this
Posted by Thanks for the memories
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Thanks for the memories is a registered user.

Bought all my high end camera gear at K&S. Life one instant at a time. Thanks for all the help. You will be missed.


16 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 15, 2016 at 8:59 pm

They are the best neighbors ever. We will miss them....


23 people like this
Posted by Oliver Klink
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2016 at 9:30 pm

I am very sad to see K&S go. I teach many photography workshops in the Bay Area and each time I did emphasize to my customers the importance of supporting the local store. It was a place where you could rent equipment to try out, or simply to experiment new techniques. It was a place, where you could get real advice from people that actually talk to photographers and get insights on what works and doesn't. It is a place where you could find an end-to-end solution, not just a single point product. Wish all the staff and Terry good luck with their future. So sorry to see you go.

Oliver Klink
www.incredibletravelphotos.com


42 people like this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 15, 2016 at 9:39 pm

This is really a loss. I mainly rent pro equipment, which makes pro-am photography affordable. I also have run down there at the last minute for supplies like spare batteries - they match internet prices, people should just pay the tax because they are in principle supposed to pay it anyway. Come to think of it, I got my high end point and shoot there because of the service and price matching.

Cal Ave has been destroyed as a business district. We can all thank Liz Kniss, Greg Scharff, Larry Klein, and that whole overdevelopment crowd for rurning Palo Alto into a glorified office park. Los Altos has managed to protect its small village retail. I do not buy that this was unpreventable. Mountain Vw has managed to keep at least some mom and pop on Castro. Palo Alto has had retail and resident-hostile leadership, and now we are seeing the longterm impacts.

Los Altos - like Cho's, K&S is a treasure - especially the staff in the rental dept - please make a place for them like you did Cho's. I spend more in your downtown now than I do on Cal Ave anymore anyway.



40 people like this
Posted by hollowed out City
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2016 at 11:02 pm

This is a terrible loss. The evolution of Palo Alto into a hollowed out City, an office park, is proceeding on the path the Council/staff put us on. No support by the City - just the opposite, as loss of retail and destruction of neighborhoods have become simply collateral damage. It was in this context that we lost a valuable, heritage local business - K & S.








20 people like this
Posted by Say it ain't so!!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 15, 2016 at 11:08 pm

I've bought at least 4 cameras and accessories from K&S over the years precisely for their expertise. Did I do homework online first? Yes. But I always went in and talked to the real experts to make my final decision and purchase. I'm so sad...


3 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2016 at 11:27 pm

> Where am I going to get my 4x5 film processed?

Web Link

Give these folks a try. There are other vendors on the Net if you want to shop around.


28 people like this
Posted by Camera enthusiast
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 16, 2016 at 6:55 am

This is very sad news. K&S has been more than a retail store, providing space for local photographers to exhibit their work, and a center for photographic education. Therefore, this is a loss to the culture snd educational loss to the Peninsuls, adding to Palo Alto becoming merely a bedroom community. I have seen way too many people use our mom and pop store for their research, then turn around to purchase online - shame on local consumers. Perhaps the community and the city can help save this business, just as they have saved Keplers.


13 people like this
Posted by Mixed experience
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2016 at 9:28 am

I am also sad to see K&S go only because of the loss of their rental department. I rented many expensive lenses there that I only had occasional use for. I thought their rental rates were extremely reasonable and the service in the rental dept was top notch.

I have to say in the times I visited their other store where they sold most of the new equipment I found the staff to be at best extremely condescending and arrogant, and at worst outright rude. So I am not sorry to see the new equipment store go. In retail you reap what you sow.

Still wish the rental store could stay open though, especially since it was called out in the article as the most profitable piece of the business.


7 people like this
Posted by Chris Linn
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2016 at 9:35 am

Hmm... the business has not updated itself since before online shopping and cell phone cameras existed. How about closing just one of the store fronts? Sell mail order too? Don't get me wrong, I love this place, but it seems there are things K&S could do to stay profitable.

Also, the claim that online buyers pay no sales tax is dubious at best. I bought my DSLR at K&S, but I've paid sales tax on all my Amazon purchases for a couple of years now. I expected the journalists to dig into that.


Like this comment
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 16, 2016 at 9:49 am

And so it goes. One chapter closes, another begins. K&S had a great run but times and trends change. Very little stays the same. We turn the page and move forward. Thank you K&S for the many years of great service and Godspeed.


17 people like this
Posted by Carol Gilbert
a resident of University South
on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:22 am

Very sad to see another old, valued store close. During the twelve years we have lived in Palo Alto, we have depended on their excellent service and knowledgeability. I wish all of you well and know you will be missed.


24 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:40 am

I remember long ago, I think it was Mr.Shuchat who sold me my Mamiya RB-67 camera. I had my eye on that camera and Mr.Shuchat let me handle it and told me how wonderful the camera was. "It's a tank and will go forever." he said. I like to say he knew I was hooked.

But, I was a student at Foothill College, working two jobs (One of these was with Custom Color of Palo Alto) and living in Menlo Park. I didn't have much extra spending money. So, Mr. Shuchat let me buy the camera on an installment plan of his. Hundred dollars down and five more in six months. Over the time, I'd come in with a payment Mr. Shuchat would let me hold the camera.

When I was finished I was in love with that camera. I took it everywhere I could and places where I shouldn't have been. That camera is still with me today. I let local high school students use it to learn medium format photography. It is a tank and it is still going strong.

Now, I wonder how many places will let you do that today? Let a kid buy a expensive piece of equipment on installment plans. Not many I think.

Palo Alto is losing a piece of its history. That is a shame but the times they change everything and everyone it seems. I'll always have my memories of going to K&S and will share those with my fellow photographers. Thank you Mr. Shuchat. Thank you very much.


15 people like this
Posted by old fan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:43 am

i've used K&S for camera and accessory purchases, film development, scanning of old slides, and advice -- lots of advice, and always helpful. i bought my latest point-and -shoot there. i loved this store and frequented it for more than 20 years. very sad to see it close. yes, palo alto is definitely changing, and not for the better.


9 people like this
Posted by kathy
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:47 am

Another iconic business closing, very sad. There are so few serious amateur photographers. My dad had a Rollei twin lens, he took gorgeous B&W photos, developed them himself, today seems people prefer instant gratification via iphone, quantity over quality. Photography is going the way of cursive writing.

It is too bad they could not downsize rather than just close, it is a huge store. Mountain View had a small shop specializing in Rolleis, that's gone too. The buildings must be worth a fortune.


11 people like this
Posted by Goody
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:48 am

Over 40 years I bought photo stuff.....HASSELBLAD, Leica, Pentax, gitzo, etc. this quality level was needed for the results I wanted. And I bought mostly from k&s. Classes, trips, friends.
But now, I can get vey good results from panasonic and Sony. These are electronics companies, and the equipment for very good images is inexpensive,,,,,very inexpensive, and therefore throwaway. You don't maintain or fix....you toss. In 2 years, technology has moved.
Terry, john and others are the reason the store prospered, but also the technology of 1970-2010 needed them. Today, I do not think so.
Goodbye and thanks for 40 good years.


19 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:49 am

Where do we go to have our cameras serviced when they are under warranty? Where do we go to talk with knowledgeable people about our cameras, like settings, etc? Where do we go to rent equipment like tripods?

I didn't read all of the above, but along with those that I did read, this comes as sad news. I have used their services for many, many years now and my brother who lives in Watsonville travels up here when he needs to purchase another camera or have them send it in for repairs.

I took pride in being able to support a local business like K&S.


16 people like this
Posted by Margo Davis
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:55 am

OH NO! What will we do.?? We all depended on you and slept more easily knowing we can always run down and buy whatever we needed for the darkroom. WE have gone through something akin to another Industrial Revolution, the past years, from wet darkroom to digital! I am so sad. It is the end of an era! I have been coming in since 1973!!

Thank you Terry et al for hanging in and making your landmark store last this long. Please have a good-bye bash...so we can wish you well!!! You will be sorely missed.


4 people like this
Posted by cowper
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 16, 2016 at 11:12 am

Cho's is in Los Altos? Fascinating to hear that they've been able to make a go of it in Los Altos, which you wouldn't think would be any different. Does Los Altos have rent control or something else going on which enables small merchants to make a living?


5 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2016 at 11:24 am

Back in 2012, when K&S engaged the City of the Palo Alto about the California Street project, there were a lot of people who claimed that they would never patronize K&S again:

Web Link

Interesting that none of those posters at the time have posted that they are happy to see K&S go under.


16 people like this
Posted by anciana
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 16, 2016 at 11:24 am

anciana is a registered user.

So sad. I've been a customer for decades, while I was working and now that I'm just a retired occasional customer. I bought a wonderful Fuji camera there not more than a couple of years ago, and it took great pictures when President Obama visited my block in February.

I even knew Dick Keeble before he retired.

Wow, I'd better finish with the roll of film in there very soon so that Terry can develop it!

So sad. So sad.


21 people like this
Posted by A
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 16, 2016 at 11:33 am

NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm

I completely understand that folks who have actually had meaningful experiences at K&S are sad to see them go, but I honestly am not that fazed.

I always found K&S a little too pricey to justify my buying anything there. And, as so many have already pointed out: change happens. I shot for years on an SLR, but save for a few special occasions, I now use my phone or my nice Fuji tiny pro. iPhone has surpassed Canon SLRs on Flickr's as the most used camera. The demand for a dedicated camera store just isn't what it used to be, especially with troves of tutorials, reviews, and other camera information online.

If we really care for these local shops, we need to get a grip on cost of living, and correspondingly, cost of doing B&M business.


23 people like this
Posted by Stunned!
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Stunned! is a registered user.

We are long-time customers, this is such troubling news.

My husband is a professional wildlife photographer, and there are some things, like expensive lenses, that you DON'T want to buy online!


23 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 16, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Augh! above is absolutely right that Palo Alto is resident-hostile and retail-hostile and that Cal Ave has been destroyed as a business district. K&S was very active in trying to preserve the Cal Ave business district but sadly to no avail. as were all the local merchants like Mollie Stone's, the cobblers, etc.

Residents need access to businesses that can't be replaced by online -- framers, cobblers, paint stores, eye doctors, places to get emergency office supplies, etc etc.

The poor Cal Ave merchants there were paid a pittance -- a few thousand dollars -- in compensation for lost business during the long costly street "enhancement" -- ie the sidewalks, tree-cutting, fixing the sidewalks again, etc. And we have less parking than before and will have even less as they continue developing.

Cal Ave workers complain they're regularly ticked even though they've paid for parking permits. The cobblers have complained about the impact the long "development" process had on their business, as have the owners of Molly Stone. The paint store is half its former size because the painting contractors can't park. Accent on Arts is being forced out due to high rents. Fry's will get replaced by housing.

I still get upset when I think of how the city failed to support a boutique at Town & Country, a much-loved 2d-generation business with loyal customers. 40 years in business. To make a long sad story short, T&C moved them into a larger more expensive store just before the dot.com crash and then refused to let them move back into their smaller affordable store when business got tough.

For 2 years they begged the city to help them renegotiate their lease to no avail.
100+ people cared enough to attend the going-away party in the T&C lot. The city cared enough to send one lowly "business development associate." He was shocked when people told him he was years late and that we were mad the city had done nothing to help.

So we're forced to drive to Los Altos and Menlo Park to get done what we used to do in PA. Such a shame and so frustrating.


24 people like this
Posted by Say it isn't so...
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Since 1972, I bought all my cameras from Keeble and Shuchat, each 'point & shoot', receiving great service from K & S staff, many of whom are still there. Everyone there will be sorely missed. A very satisfied customer, I went there, and no place else, not even checking the web for my last camera.

My first camera, an Olympus, lasted years, taking great pictures of foreign countries we visited. Purchasing it when they had only one small store around the corner from California Avenue, when Dick Keeble was still around.

I'd develop film at K & S and each time I had a need or a question, the staff was responsive & professional, giving terrific advice.

My last camera, a digital, still works great. I recharged the battery yesterday, and took a few photos this morning. While my digital cut the need for developing pictures there, I was at K & S a few months ago, and again, got exceptional advice.

This is especially PATHETIC news for:

*professional photographers
*those needing the rental aspect of photography
*advice for anyone (even those with point and shoots!) about photography, answering specific questions or needs.
*those frequenting the art gallery upstairs, that drew attention to the art of photography, especially for children
*for retail on California Avenue, because this is a loss of yet another anchor store.

Keeble and Shuchat deserves appreciation for all it gave to customers and all it offered to the community. For my family, we say: Thank you!

The character of that district is dramatically changing. Sad that yet another personal service RETAIL merchant is closing. That street redesign was too long in coming. It still looks unfinished.

The work the city finished is good, but only for restaurants and office workers.
I fail to see how it benefited other merchants, mainstays of the district, like Keeble and Shuchat. And now this.


16 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2016 at 1:19 pm

When we first moved to Palo Alto, my husband went to K&S with some questions about cameras -- including an issue with one that he purchased off of Craigslist. He returned home to say that the employees were extremely helpful.

My husband wasn't looking to buy a $1500 camera (he was looking in the low-end range) and no one pushed anything on him. The employee even quickly diagnosed what might be wrong with the camera (that he purchased from Craigslist) and told him whether or not it was worth fixing.

This type of business is what made America great. While we shop at online businesses too, I just wish that there was some sort of tax break to justify stores like this to remain open. California will not be better off without them. In fact, California might be losing tax revenue to out-of-state sellers.


18 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2016 at 1:35 pm

P.S. - I really don't want California Avenue to continue losing that personal touch.

The street needs to keep retailers that actually offer something unique and give people a reason to shop there. I don't want to see more semi-chain restaurants, salons/massage shops or even housing (affordable or not) on California Avenue.

When we first moved here, we shopped on California Avenue regularly. We would spend an hour in Know Knew Books, shop for clothing, shoes or purses and other merchandise at the different stores, have shoes repaired or buy something to eat at one of the local restaurants (we really liked Schzewan Cafe). You never had to ask my husband twice to go by Know Knew Books so that I could simultaneously shop for shoes.

Now, we only rarely find ourselves on California Ave (usually to walk to the Farmer's Market, walk to the post office, buy occasional bagels at Izzy's or produce at Mollie Stones). It is a shame really.


16 people like this
Posted by Brnard Andre
a resident of Woodside
on Sep 16, 2016 at 2:11 pm

I have always supported the store and their employees. As a professional photographer I relied on their professional advice and great service. It's going to be difficult buying online, and pretty much impossible to get my equipment serviced or repaired.
Thanks for the exceptional service in the past 24 years. All the employees became good friends through the years.


7 people like this
Posted by LaNell
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm

LaNell is a registered user.

Palo Alto has gone bonkers. C'est la guerre!!


3 people like this
Posted by Customer service was the issue
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 16, 2016 at 3:04 pm

@anon and @mixedexperiences -- I totally agree. Customer service really was hit or miss the past few years. I purchased an expensive lens, a used Leica and lots of other equipment and really wanted to support a local shop, but they made it difficult. They really weren't that interested in my business. That said, it's sad to see a local place go away. For all the folks lamenting the closing of this business as a sign of end times for Palo Alto or seeing it as a metaphor for the new economy, I would say the actual story is a little different. Best of luck to the employees.


4 people like this
Posted by dawgGoodie
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

I invite customers to visit Antonio's, across the street, for a beer in honor of one of the last full service photography vendors. I will miss those Leica's.


4 people like this
Posted by Raj
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2016 at 9:49 pm

Been a customer at K&S for the last 25 years. Purchased my 4x5 enlarger, and film scanner, 4x5 lenses, and tonnes of other things from here. Never had a chance to buy a dSLR, because I used a brand they didn't really carry: Pentax. And finally, used their rental many times. I knew so many of their staff personally, all nice people.

Alas, the changing business cycle has brought them down. I did go to some classes, but didn't necessarily always buy after those classes, because the equipment was typically MF dSLRs running into many thousands of dollars, so yes that would have hurt K&S. But the reason was CA Tax, not K&S.


6 people like this
Posted by Willow
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 17, 2016 at 1:12 am

Not into photography myself, but with all the billionaires and billionaire funded foundations around here, can't those of you who are photographers create a nonprofit to buy up the rental equipment and then rent it out while offering other services such as photography classes or a means to buy and sell used equipment. And if they want K&S can continue to exist on a smaller scale selling new equipment at competitive prices. Wasn't involved with saving Kepler's but isn't that basically what they did?


12 people like this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2016 at 5:11 am

@cowper,
Yes, Los Altos has struggled with rising rents, but I believe their billionaires stepped in - Paaserelle? There is investment in keeping their village downtown for the sake of community. Don't our billionaires have any such interest in their hometown?


2 people like this
Posted by Raj
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2016 at 8:56 am

@Willow, good points about Rental. My hope is, K&S owners can pare it down to just the profitable parts of business, and very likely Rental is a good chunk of it.


10 people like this
Posted by Steve Marley
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2016 at 9:02 am

As a retired advertising photographer, and a former customer of Terry Shuchat's fine store, I'm saddened but not surprised by the closing of his business. In addition to the problems of competition from internet sales and big box stores, the main fact that people aren't willing to pay for expertise and service is a huge problem. I recall one time in the 1970's that I purchased a new studio view camera from K&S and Terry actually drilled out a couple of lens boards in his home shop so that I could immediately use it on an important assignment. His price for that camera might have been slightly higher than a mail order catalog operation, but that kind of personal service was of far greater value. The same "race to the bottom" thinking forced me into closing my studio operation a few years ago and become a landlord of some expensive Bay Area commercial real estate... the same fate that seems to have happened to Terry Shuchat. Very sad.


8 people like this
Posted by Carl Jones
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 17, 2016 at 9:39 am

First film and home darkrooms.
Time to tinker and explore aND be creative.
And there was a Kodak lab just up Page Mill from El Camino. No mailing, you could just drop off, pick up, browse through your photos to select ones for enlargement. You could set the cropping yourself.
Then digital. Gone Kodak. Not just in Palo Alto. Unfortunately not unlike buggy whips. It was not Palo Altans who were at fault.
Cameras got smaller. Smartphones, the current "ultimate personal computer" became ubiquitous - and they all have cameras. And computer "apps" provide a home darkroom to everyone's fingertips.
Not Palo Altans fault.
Do I bemoan the loss of K&S? ABSOLUTELY!
But these events are bigger than any of us individually.
In some ways it is like evolution. A long series of seemingly small events (e.g. integrated circuit design) that result in large changes.
Yet few of us would really want to roll back time.
So, goodbye K&S. Thanks for being a professional and upright business. Thanks for being a good neighbor. Thanks for the memories you helped us to capture.


6 people like this
Posted by Monterey Photog
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2016 at 9:44 am

Shocked to get a.m. email re K&S closing. Am regular class attendee fm Monterey Cnty, have purchased many a lens & lots of supplies, as well as rented equipment. Always had great & knowledgeable service from them. Appreciated all the vendor shows. Nothing like getting info straight from the horses mouth or being able to try before you buy. Will truly miss K&S -- guess I'll be relegated to big box store or Internet. No more getting what you pay for. Only positive will be not having to deal with Silicon Vly types running me over since I don't drive latest, greatest, most expensive set of wheels on my trips to K&S.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2016 at 9:50 am

When I was younger I would have loved to have spent time and money on photography as a hobby. Unfortunately, my disposable income was precious to me and the pictures I took were mainly of family get togethers and vacations to interesting places. The cost of the camera was not the problem, I even remember buying or acquiring a decent camera from an older friend who was upgrading. No, the expensive part of the hobby was the cost of film and developing.

Nowadays one of the things I enjoy is being able to take 4 or 5 pictures of each subject and I often go out just to take pictures in our surroundings. With the reasonable cost of Costco prints for enlarging and printing, we have several lovely pictures in our home that we have taken ourselves and now consider artwork rather than catching a memory in time.

It is a great shame that K & S are no longer able to make it. I feel that there is still a market for such a store, but I understand that Cal Ave is probably not the place for them to survive.


7 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2016 at 10:10 am

"Mixed experience" wrote:

"I have to say in the times I visited their other store where they sold most of the new equipment I found the staff to be at best extremely condescending and arrogant, and at worst outright rude. So I am not sorry to see the new equipment store go. In retail you reap what you sow."

I concur. Sounds like the store was a different place in its early years, but more recently, bad attitude among the sales staff seems to have been almost a cultural norm. One outstanding exception was Celac, who ran the excellent and well-stocked darkroom department. I always appreciated his deep knowledge and intelligent help, but venturing downstairs to look at cameras or across the street to look at professional gear was almost always an unpleasant experience.

While bad attitude among the sale staff is probably not the cause of the store's failure, it certainly prevents this former customer from shedding any tears over its closure.


6 people like this
Posted by Raj
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2016 at 1:50 pm

If blame were to be placed on somebody here in the bay area for K&S woes, then (indirectly) Apple would be a good place to start :-)

People don't carry cameras, they use cell-phones. With that, a whole lot of photographic equipment is in danger. Nikon is having a hard time, I believe!


6 people like this
Posted by midtown customer
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2016 at 4:58 pm

This is terrible news. I've valued their expert and friendly service for decades. They were always helpful and generous with their time, suggesting the least expensive way to get the results I needed. We need more stores like K&S.


6 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 17, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Is there any way we who value K&S can save it so that the doors don't slam shut?


4 people like this
Posted by Cindy Gilmore
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm

I have purchased from K and S for over 30 years, since back in the Hassleblad and film days. I drove up from San Jose often to buy from them because the service was excellent and the people friendly and knowledgeable. Even now that I live in Utah I purchased a camera system that they shipped to me. I'm sad for this and so many specialty stores going out of business due to the big stores taking over. Thanks, guys!


6 people like this
Posted by John Sphar
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2016 at 1:56 pm

This is more about the local economy vs. on-line economy and local property values. The only reason that Cho's could move to Los Altos is because Ms. 23&me has subsidized many of the small businesses in downtown Los Altos. Although that maybe nice, it is not sustainable. These business cannot make it in the real world economy of Bay Area rental (or purchase) of commercial properties, let alone trying to compete with low overhead on-line competition.


11 people like this
Posted by Stephen Somerstein
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 19, 2016 at 1:32 am

A remarkable loss of both access to first class equipment and the knowledge of the salesmen. I'm a professional photographer since the 1950s and have been using K&S since its earliest days. Though I now live in San Francisco I haven't minded the drive down to Palo Alto for printing paper, ink and accessories. It's a shame that K&S couldn't have had an on-line sales presence to support their brick and morter. It will be sincerely missed.


6 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 19, 2016 at 8:51 am

People don't "pay" for this kind of expertise, because this expertise is commoditized thanks to the Internet. There are so many resources dedicated to photography online (among other things).

K&S has fallen victim to the changing times. And that's how the world moves forward.


10 people like this
Posted by Bill Hough
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

I've not been a big K&S customer; I'm more of a B&H man. That said, the demise of K&S is a teaching moment in Bay Area economics. It's getting too expensive for a small business to operate with high Bay Area prices.


6 people like this
Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 19, 2016 at 12:46 pm

I've shopped at K&S a couple of times, but it was more trouble than it was worth.

The selection of lenses was solid, but the selection of accessories left much to be desired. By the time you have to go to B&H to order the filter, lens bag, etc - you may as well order the lens there too.

Local retail has to earn its markup over online, at a bare minimum by actually having stuff consistently in stock. K&S didn't do this, and the salespeople were obnoxious and pushing in an off-putting way.


6 people like this
Posted by Thomas
a resident of another community
on Sep 19, 2016 at 1:26 pm

I've been purchasing film, used cameras, new and used lenses, darkroom chemistry and paper, and miscellaneous supplies from K&S since the late 1980's. Sorry to see them go.


5 people like this
Posted by Nadine Priestley
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 19, 2016 at 2:57 pm

As a professional photographer, I always viewed K&S as an extension of my business. The rental staff over the many years have been reliable, helpful and fun. Their insights and views have helped me on numerous occasions. The expertise dispersing as a result of this closure is also such a loss. Thanks for being there for me over the decade providing backup cameras, troubleshooting, extra lenses, equipment and so much more. It will be much harder without K&S certainly in our community.


Like this comment
Posted by Change Happens
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 19, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Evolve.


2 people like this
Posted by Now Casual Photographer
a resident of another community
on Sep 20, 2016 at 12:33 am

Wow...K&S open when I went on vacation...on return stopped in to see what is new at used store and find it looking rather bare. At first looked as if they were doing massive inventory review, had come in from backdoor/parking lot side, and had not seen the store closing signs. As many have said sad but no suprise in these modern times.

It is funny how quickly people come to support B&M stores at the going out of business sales.
While others say they only buy online to avoid the premium(?) of paying sales tax...good luck with that and what comes of it...
And
Bizarre still no one has updated the K&S web page...


8 people like this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 20, 2016 at 8:03 am

There is no Internet replacement for the rental department. This is a major retail loss that cannot be replaced.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 20, 2016 at 8:35 am

Came here to take a passport photo last month, I paid 16 bucks and later found out the photo was taken with a wrong angle (head slightly tilted.) No worries, things happen, came again to take another photo, the man taking the photo rushed me and was insulted when I wanted to check the photo on his camera. He hurriedly took out the card from the camera and was quite angry at my request. Paid 16 bucks. Passport officer (I had to renew in person) told me the second photo was not sized well (head too small) and I had to use the first one. Paid 32 bucks, bad service. Good riddance!


2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 20, 2016 at 8:40 am

Now Casual Photographer was surprised that the K&S website is silent on the upcoming closure. Turns out you have to check the store blog Web Link to get the news. You'd think that closing the store would be home page worthy.


2 people like this
Posted by EsquiadorDeTelemark
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 20, 2016 at 9:28 am

Also very sorry to see them go. In my 18 years in PA, I have been there many times but have avoided them of late. A combination of similar or better deals over the internet, enough advice online from good forums have reduced the need for buying from a human. While I do want them to be successful and around town, I do have to be honest and say that they were always rude and arrogant to me. That I am not going to miss.


2 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 20, 2016 at 10:55 am

"There is no Internet replacement for the rental department. This is a major retail loss that cannot be replaced."

Yes there is.

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Jason
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Sep 20, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Not feeling too sorry for the owner. He will rent both buildings out to a Internet startup and make a killing!


12 people like this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 21, 2016 at 7:27 am

@Me,
No, you are wrong, there is most definitely NOT an internet replacement. Just because you can find something on the web, doesn't mean it's functionally going to even close to replace this local gem.

First if all, the cost for the same lens rentals is considerably higher (2-4 times for lenses I rent regularly) and that's not even including the hassle and potential costs of shipping, including dealing with potential damage from shipping which is probably inevitable with frequent shipping. In the case of the most expensive lenses I could least likely get myself, this internet service is so astronomically higher in cost as to make it prohibitive. The internet service is probably so much more expensive because shipping - as opposed to regular customers stopping in, making even daily rental possible - shipping is costlier, is so much riskier and involves far more down time for the lens rentals.

Having to deal with shipping AND such high costs make this internet link you provided a useless service for me, personally. The lack of flexibility also adds to potential costs of equipment I can't use but have to pay for - Keeble & /Shuchat was flexible, and with the level of service, I could sometimes make last minute changes as needed. With the internet rental, you can't just decide on the spur of the moment to rent a lens, or a different lens, because of the nature of it, and online you are competing with whatever larger scale demand there is for major events like eclipses.

Palo Alto City Council - and Palantir, et al - just spent the last fifteen years destroying Palo Alto as a liveable place. This was not inevitable. And frankly, it's not irreversible, though it's not looking good when our longtime low-key business district was just gutted like this at taxpayer expense. I hope K&S will please consider keeping the pro side open!! And maybe keep some of the printing not available through cheap shops.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 21, 2016 at 9:09 am

@Augh -- 333 days until the big eclipse! Palo Alto should figure out a way to move the moon a bit south so we can all experience totality here.


5 people like this
Posted by Raj
a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2016 at 11:53 am

1. It is very likely that a person who thinks Internet based equipment renting would be a choice comparable to K&S like local renting, has not really rented anything. Photo Pros do it a lot. Advanced amateurs too, sometimes. This is a big loss.

2. The lack of sympathy for K&S owners in some of the previous responses is shocking.

3. Some people think it is (or isn't) a loss for K&S owners. Well, it is a loss for the local photographers.

4. It is so easy to say 'they should have evolved', or 'done this' or 'done that' etc. etc. I do wish they had some way out..


2 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm

doesPalo Alto as we used to think of this town doesn't exist anymore, only the name does. The developer super friendly city council and now Palantir have ensured a nightmarish urban future, and present for this once wonderful town. I now absolutely hate my two monthly trips to Palo Alto to check up on my house. I absolutely hate the traffic, noise, rudeness, density and the almost daily decimation of local businesses like K&S. With PAF pushing more and more of their people into the CC, I suspect the destruction will only accelerate.


Like this comment
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2016 at 1:53 pm

"he internet service is probably so much more expensive because shipping - as opposed to regular customers stopping in, making even daily rental possible - shipping is costlier, is so much riskier and involves far more down time for the lens rentals."

"Probably?" So you're telling me that you haven't even looked at it. Figures.


3 people like this
Posted by Good for a laugh
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 21, 2016 at 4:20 pm

I knew it was only a matter of time before some one would blame Palantir for the closure. And then there is maurucio- not sure which palo alto maurucio is "coming back k" to but overall is not that dense, the people are not rude, while there is traffic , it is not as bad as the 20 people that constantly complain about it on TSF. Finally I have to laugh about the comment about " daily decI'm ation of local business"- there are many reasons for the business issue-- Internet shopping, lack of affordable shopping options in the city,the feeling that palo alto ONLY needs small overpriced grocery stores, and the list goes on. And naturally PAF is the other evil entity behind K and S clsiong!!!!!!


4 people like this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 21, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Laugh,
Nobody blamed Palantir for the closure, Palantir is getting due blame for contributions to screwing up th quality if life in Palo Alto and pushing densification/overbuilding.

@Me,
I didn't check the shipping costs, because I checked THE COST OF THE RENTAL LENSES THAT I USE and the cost of the lens rentals, as I already wrote, regardless of shipping, was already 2-4 times what I paid at Keeble & Shuchat. I did look at your link it just wasn't necessary to check if there were additional costs to know the internet store you linked was crappy compared to having this store in town, and prohibitively more expensive for this photographer.

I also did not have to check the shipping to know that the only terms for those lenses are for three or four day rentals, BECAUSE IT SAYS SO ON THE LENS DESCRIPTIONS, i.e., no such thing as popping in for an overnight rental. That means K&S can get more from its lenses because they don't have shipping downtime, that's just a fact, and they don't incur the risks of shipping $10,000 lenses every time they rent one out. Again, constant shipping is just riskier. I happen to know that K&S rentals are by the day and they charge the one-day price for weekend rental, which this online site does not and cannot do, because shipping cannot happen as quickly or cheaply as me popping down to the neighborhood store.

So, you concluded that shipping costs were the bulk of the issue here - which they weren't, not even mentioned - meaning, you didn't actually read or understand my full post before spouting off something offbase. Figures.


2 people like this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 21, 2016 at 5:03 pm

@Raj,
"Some people think it is (or isn't) a loss for K&S owners. Well, it is a loss for the local photographe"

SO true. Not just for working/art/event photographers, but also for scientific photographers and their work. My spouse probably goes down there every other week for work.


Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2016 at 5:25 pm

K&S, unfortunately, is a victim of the internet and technology. While it is sad to see this store close, from a business standpoint it is difficult to compete with the internet (competitive and lower pricing on products, enormous wealth of information available, etc.). This is the reality of the moving world-like it or not. Best of luck to all who work at K&S. They are great individuals.


Like this comment
Posted by Me
a resident of Monroe Park
on Sep 21, 2016 at 5:37 pm

"I didn't check the shipping costs, because I checked THE COST OF THE RENTAL LENSES THAT I USE and the cost of the lens rentals, as I already wrote, regardless of shipping, was already 2-4 times what I paid at Keeble & Shuchat."

Maybe you're the reason why they're going out of business. Servicing your needs (and, apparently, your spouse's) wasn't profitable enough for them.


1 person likes this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Why not start a petition and force them to remain open? It worked with Palo Alto square, and we've already established that businesses exist for the convenience of Palo Alto residents rather than, say, to make money...


1 person likes this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 21, 2016 at 6:32 pm

@Me,
Do you ever read any articles or posts?

The article said the rental business was profitable.


3 people like this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 21, 2016 at 6:37 pm

"1. It is very likely that a person who thinks Internet based equipment renting would be a choice comparable to K&S like local renting, has not really rented anything. Photo Pros do it a lot. Advanced amateurs too, sometimes. This is a big loss."

100X yes


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm

I would imagine that the rental business could continue in a much smaller premises.

I wonder if you ask them about that if they could see they have enough support to operate a small scale operation rather than two brick and mortar stores.

They obviously have the clientele as well as the equipment and that equipment has been an expensive outlay when it was initially purchased. An enterprise whereby they could continue with the most useful service just might be an option if they felt there was still a need.


Like this comment
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2016 at 7:39 pm

"The article said the rental business was profitable."

In the way that Apple Music is profitable. Without the iPhone, it would be dead.


1 person likes this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2016 at 8:40 pm

@Me,
You clearly don't rent from them, disn't read the article before posting, didn't read my post before criticizing based on a wrong assumption about what was said, and have nothing rekevant or of substance to say about this issue. Why you are trying to dominate the conversation is a mystery. Your comments mark you as a tr0ll.

This closure impacts my life, a lot. My pro-am photography is basically done. The professional quality event photography I can offer community members who otherwise couldn't afford anything at all is done. The walkable business district that survived all those booms before, has been gutted, and this is just the last straw.

I do hope someone starts a petition to support their at least keeping the pro side.


8 people like this
Posted by Thomas Trautmann
a resident of another community
on Sep 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

About the Shuchats-
The loss of Keeble and Shuchat is a loss to our children as well.
Terry hired me as a part time sales person (circa 1980) to help me get through high school and college; I worked on an off for K&S for almost ten years.
With the current trend in closing brick and mortar stores, I fear the younger generation will not be given the opportunities for quality employment and self discovery. Working for K&S taught me the value of providing the community with great service and that I could to pay-my-way (no student loans) through university.
Terry Shuchat and company helped a community thrive.
What a loss....


5 people like this
Posted by Augh!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 24, 2016 at 11:53 am

Saying this was only a matter of time is like pushing someone off a cliff and saying it's only a matter of time bedore they get hurt. What happened here, like what happened to Cal Ave and Palo Alto, was never inevitable.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 24, 2016 at 7:01 pm

I guess the case of their 4:30am drive-thru customers on 2/19/2015 was never solved.


Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 24, 2016 at 7:59 pm

What's your point as it relates to K & S?


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 25, 2016 at 1:46 am

@Bill, if that's directed at me, I was just curious whether break-ins are ever solved. That's the last time I saw news here about K&S, and I assume a van coming through the storefront affected their insurance rates, and perhaps every other ground-floor retail business in Palo Alto. Bloomingdales had theirs also. This thread is getting old and I figured I'd bring up the memory before the thread closes.

I have shopped at K&S on and off over the past four decades, for business and personal; cameras, lenses, filters, plenty of lens and filter adapter rings, a tripod or two, film and developing, and the occasional accessory impulse purchase. I'll miss them for the convenient location, large inventory, and knowledgeable staff. I agree with several above that on-line shopping and the decline in number of hands-on hobbyists are reasons that many businesses are no longer viable. Does anybody remember Peninsula Scientific? At least in the case of Village Stationers or Cambridge Hardware we have other options in town or just across the border. I doubt there's much that Palo Alto as a city could be doing differently to maintain this type of small retail. I'm surprised that our Frys has lasted this long.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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