May 18, 2006 (Baltimore) – Cooper's Camera Mart, a legendary family owned and operated business in Baltimore for 60 years, has been acquired by Washington-D.C.-based Penn Camera, both parties announced today. Founded by Baltimore brothers Harry and Ben Cooper after World War II, the Camera Mart has long enjoyed a loyal following among area amateur and professional photographers and has frequently been cited as a model of local retailing excellence.
In “The History of the Specialty Store,” Photo Image News described the Camera Mart as “one of the best run family specialty stores in the history of the industry.”
The Camera Mart thrived under three generations of the Cooper family members and for the past 14 years has been led by grandson Matthew Cooper, who now turns the reins over to Jeff Zweig, President of Penn Camera. Penn Camera is also a family business – continuously owned and operated by the Zweig family for 53 years. The company, which has six stores in the District of Columbia , Maryland and Virginia , will take over the Camera Mart's two locations – Harford Road and Green Spring Station – continuing to operate them with the existing sales staff under the Cooper's Camera Mart name.
“In seeking a buyer for the Camera Mart, we approached only one company – Penn Camera,” said Cooper. “Like us, they share a passion for photography and have a long history of providing great service to the photographic community.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity,” said Jeff Zweig, President of Penn Camera. “Cooper's Camera Mart has provided Baltimore with quality photographic equipment at reasonable prices; their knowledgeable staff provides outstanding and excellent service. Add in that they've been run by one family for over 60 years – we saw much of Penn Camera in that company and look forward to making them a part of our family.”
Both Penn Camera and Cooper's Camera Mart are members of the Photo Marketing Association International and the Photographic Research Organization.
Cooper's Camera Mart has locations at 2360 Joppa Road in Lutherville , MD , and 5421 Harford Road in Baltimore , MD. Penn Camera has locations in Tysons Corner and Springfield Virginia , Rockville and Laurel Maryland, Downtown Washington DC, and online at www.penncamera.com