UK camera and photography high street giant Jessops has gone into administration after negotiations with suppliers failed to achieve a satisfactory resolution.
Though stores are still open today, the retailer is no longer accepting gift vouchers or returned goods. The potential closure leaves an estimated 2,000 jobs at risk. Administrators are in talks with principal shareholders to attempt an emergency resolution.
According to Sky News, PwC administrator Rob Hunt stated that “Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures."
Jessops, which has been operating a chain of high-street brick and mortar stores for decades while also offering a comprehensive range of digital compacts, SLRs, compact system cameras and photography accessories through its website www.jessops.com, had apparently been struggling due to the ever-increasing shift to online purchasing - including overseas competitors that can offer cameras at heavily discounted prices as they buy non-UK stock.
Despite attempts to restructure in 2007, it would appear that the company failed to become adequately competitive.
Jessops’ woes follow the closure of high-street electronics chain Comet late last year, but it won’t be the first tech-related casualty in 2013 as Play.com is also dropping out of the retail sector.
Hopefully a solution will be found that will allow at least some of Jessop’s stores to remain open and its website to continue trading. After all, those jobs are sorely needed and it’s nice to be able to play with technology ‘in the flesh’ before buying it online at a possibly discounted price. Speaking of, in the sad event that Jessops does go under, it may be worth keeping an eye out for camera bargains as the troubled retailer clears out its stock.