Another British high street name goes into administration as camera retailer Jessops closes down

 

Another of the British high street’s familiar names collapsed tonight, as every branch of the camera retailer Jessops closed down with the loss of more than 1,300 jobs.

Describing the sudden development as “an extremely sad day for Jessops and its employees”, Administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers said even more jobs could be lost in future when the fate of the company’s Leicester head office is decided.

It confirmed that all 187 of the chain’s stores had closed, and that customers were now unable to return anything they had purchased. Five stores had already been shut down between Christmas and the appointment of administrators this week.

“It is apparent that we cannot continue to trade and as a result we have had to make the difficult decision to begin the closure of all 187 Jessops stores at the close of business,” said PWC’s Rob Hunt. He added that Jessops’ stock will be collected over the coming days and taken to a central warehouse.

Mr Hunt continued: “We are very grateful for the support we have received since our appointment and we will continue to ensure that employees are paid as they assist us during the closure.”

Jessops, which opened its first shop in 1935, becomes Britain’s first high street casualty of 2013. As recently as 2009, the company sidestepped administration after securing a debt-for-equity swap with its lender, HSBC, after a litany of profit warnings.

However, since then it has continued to struggle with competition from online rivals and the proliferation of smartphones equipped with cameras, undercutting its core market. The company posted a £5.2m loss for the year to January 2012. It also lost chief executive Trevor Moore, who quit to become head of music chain HMV, and chairman David Adams last year.

In 2010, Mr Moore said: “I don’t think it gets much more secure than being 47 per cent owned by HSBC. They are committed to a long-term plan for Jessops - it is not about a quick turnaround or spin-out.”

The announcement of job losses comes at a particularly bad time for staff, as the weeks following Christmas and New Year traditionally prove to be an expensive time for most families.

Earlier this week, analysts said the firm’s collapse was inevitable. Neil Saunders, managing director of retail research agency Conlumino, said: “Jessops has had to contend with all of those dynamics while at the same time grappling with the fact that the market for cameras has been in terminal decline. Over the past few years the market for amateur cameras has shrunk as consumers have switched to using their smartphones for photographic needs.

“Meanwhile, while the professional market has remained fairly solid many photographers have been content to buy from niche online specialists where prices are cheaper and ranges are more extensive. This has left Jessops serving a dwindling number of consumers.”

Retail analyst Nick Bubb said the quality of mobile phone cameras and the popularity of tablets such as the iPad were both detrimental to Jessops. “Smart phones are getting better and better at taking photos,” he said.

“Given that social media is all about swapping photos on a smart phone, Jessops’ market has become specialist, for semi-professional photographers, and that’s not enough to justify a big chain.

“Also, tablets have emerged as an alternative way of spending a couple of hundred pounds on a present for someone. With competition from smart phones and online retailers, administration was probably inevitable.”

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Planning Manager (Training, Learning and Development) - London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glob...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering