Kadair’s set to close in early November

Kadair’s, the Baton Rouge camera and electronics retailer, is set to close in early November.

Howard Kadair, who bought the family business in 1984, has decided to retire, said John Voinché, a family spokesman.

Voinché said Kadair has been considering retirement for a while.

“Quite frankly, the Kadair family has been at this for a long time,” Voinché said. Howard Kadair has been with the business for 50 years, while his sister, Elizabeth, who manages the Essen Lane store, has been with Kadair’s for 40 years.

“There was not an opportunity for the business to be passed along to a third generation,” Voinché said.

Sam and Ruby Kadair founded the film processing and printing business in 1946, working out of their homes and delivering prints to drugstores across Baton Rouge. They opened their first store on Florida Boulevard and eventually had five locations across the city.

In 2009, Kadair’s closed the flagship Florida store and consolidated its operations at its location on Essen Lane. There are currently 14 employees working at the store.

“Our goal has always been to stay on the cutting edge of products and technology while offering a personalized shopping experience by highly trained and attentive staff,” Howard Kadair said in a statement.

Over the past few days, Kadair’s has been “slammed” with well wishers coming to the business for one last time, Voinché said.

“They’re kind of an icon for professional and amateur photographers,” said John Overton, chairman of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Small Business Council. “You get the feedback from real professionals who are passionate about their work.”

Overton said while he hates to see Kadair’s closing, it reflects the changing marketplace. “The harsh reality is while we say we value that professional customer service, it gets crowded out by value propositions,” he said.