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Jessops in Administration


Al94
Resolved

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The end of another High Street name?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20958659

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Quickbeam

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A look at a brief history of Jessops shows that they had read the market right, right into the '80s and been quite radical with the stack it high and flog it cheap sales philosophy.

It looks like they missed the boat in not dumping the retail shops in the '90s and going with the same stack it high and flog it cheap plan over the internet. That is now about the only choice left now for buying photographic hardware.

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BT

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Quickbeam

A photographic company that has gone in the other direction

Warehouse Express

They were originally Mail Order/Internet only but have now opened a retail outlet, unfortunately only available to folk in reach of the Norwich area.

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spuds

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The way I understand it, is the problems started from about 2001 and there's been a number of major problems since then, which they only just managed to survive.Change of management teams and backers didn't really help.

Its been stated that the final records at the end of 2012 was a turnover of £236m with debts of about £28m.

As I said in an earlier post, from a statement of closing a few stores to total apparent collapse and store clearance only took a matter of hours.There's no mention at present if PricewaterhouseCoopers the administrator, is going to make an attempt at selling the business.

Leicester as suffered from three well known camera company's closing down in the last couple of years (Jacobs, Youngs and now Jessops), plus a number of other very well used independents. Most were same old family owned and run up to a few years ago.

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Baz508

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I recently bought two Nikon DSLR cameras from Jessops one for me and the other as a birthday gift for my daughter..I must say that The advice I received from Jessops staff was excellent..we are both novices and I enrolled us on a Jessops course at their Academy in Oxford street...apparently the courses are very popular and a lot of the Nikon ones were fully booked.I had saved long and hard for these purchases but count myself lucky that I have only lost the booking fee for the course...I an really pleased with my camera.I feel for the staff of Jessops..and hope they find employment elsewhere soon,I am so glad that I bought my cameras in person from the store and not online..I hope customers who have lost out can get some recompense financially

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Forum Editor

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"I hope customers who have lost out can get some recompense financially"

For information about that see this thread in our Tech Consumer Advice forum

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Forum Editor

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spuds

"...from a statement of closing a few stores to total apparent collapse and store clearance only took a matter of hours."

That's because Price Waterhouse Cooper were talking to suppliers to see if they would be prepared to help keep the stores trading by allowing an extension to the existing payment period on stock already delivered.

It was obviously not possible to secure those agreements, so all stock that hasn't yet been paid for will have to be returned to the suppliers as soon as possible. It doesn't form part of the assets of the business.

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spuds

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This affair seems to get more interesting by the hour.

Apparently there as been four offers including one from David Adams (former executive chairman of Jessops) to HSBC last year regarding taking over the company, but the offers were rejected because according to David Adams "They (HSBC) were not interested in any discussions as they felt there was equity value to be realised in the future. Now six months later the company is in administration".

David Adams as stated that he is still very interested in purchasing the business "because administration was avoidable".

Either way, this affair will end like Comet or rise from the ashes. There does appear to be a bit of mud slinging going on behind the scenes!.

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Forum Editor

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"They (HSBC) were not interested in any discussions as they felt there was equity value to be realised in the future"

That would be because the bank already owned 43% of the company. Presumably HSBC didn't have confidence in the proposed deal, given that Jessops was debt-heavy.

In simple terms, Jessops made a marketing blunder when it expanded too rapidly on the back of the smartphone bubble. The Jessops view was that people would flock to its stores to buy digital cameras, and it just didn't happen. Smartphone users didn't buy cameras because they were using their phones to take photographs, and keen photographers and professionals who knew what they wanted were buying their gear online.

Jessops was left horribly exposed (forgive the pun), with an unsustainable business model and a mountain of debt. The writing was on the wall some time ago.

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Posted by Pavvi

Part of the problem was caused by stores not having cameras/accessories physically in stock. It's all very well demonstrating a camera to a person and closing a sale but if the customer has to wait a few days for the items, they will likely walk away. One of the USPs of High Street stores is the ability to walk out with the item in your mitts and have a go with it. At Carphone Warehouse, I converted some (but not all) that were going to buy their mobiles online, on the basis that they could walk out of the store with their phones working. (full network functionality usually takes an hour or two, and at busier times longer but I always made this clear). When shopping there I often came across people liking a camera they demonstrated but being told it was out of stock, most walked away rather than wait for it.

What Jessops did have which was good was the ability to reserve something instore and get the online deal for it.

I prefer to shop in person myself especially with camera gear. There are still one or two camera stores left like London camera exchange and Calumet. LCE are generally pretty good, and Calumet are excellent, if geared primarily towards professionals. I will miss Jessops because they had a better nationwide coverage than others. Their telephone support lines, were however in my experience consistently poor.

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wiz-king

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Mr Cad in Croydon is a good store to visit if you are in the area.(Not easy to find as it's in a maze of small streets)

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