Jessops on the road to recovery

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The Independent Online

Jessops reported further progress in its recovery plan yesterday as it unveiled a 3 per cent rise in like-for-like sales over Christmas.

The camera retailer, which secured its survival with a rescue deal in September 2009, said it maintained deliveries in the extreme weather by ensuring all stores were fully stocked and hiring local firms with smaller vans to reach customers.

It said the actions limited lost sales to between 1 per cent and 1.5 per cent in the six weeks to 9 January, while business also soared in the final week before Christmas and between Boxing Day and 1 January.

Online sales leapt as snowed-in shoppers turned to the internet, accounting for up to 25 per cent of all sales in the first four weeks of the festive season.

Jessops added that like-for-like sales throughout the final quarter of 2010 rose 5.3 per cent.

Jessops has been revamping stores and boosting its online business as part of efforts to get the business back on track after coming close to collapse. The company rode the boom in demand for digital cameras, but struggled when high street and internet competitors muscled in on the market.