Jessops stores in Bromley, Bexleyheath and Bluewater under threat

Jessops stores in Bromley, Bexleyheath and Bluewater are under threat as the company has gone into administration.

Jason Steel.

First published in News by

JOBS are at risk for shop staff across the News Shopper patch after high street photography giant Jessops announced it had gone into administration.

The store blamed “reducing confidence in UK retail” for “a significant decline” in business last year and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) were called in as the administrators last Wednesday (JAN 9).

Although no specific announcement has been made about “inevitable” store closures, Jessops stores in Bexleyheath Broadway, Bromley and at Bluewater are three of the 192 nationwide at risk.

Jessops stores say they are currently unable to honour customer gift vouchers or accept returns.

Joint administrator and partner at PwC Rob Hunt said: “Over the last few days the directors, funders and key suppliers have been in discussions as regards additional consensual financial support for the business.

“However these discussions have not been successful. In light of these irreconcilable differences the directors decided to appoint administrators and we were appointed.”

Freelance photographer Grant Falvey, who works in Orpington and is based in Sidcup Hill, Dartford, said: “It’s a sad day for photographers.

“I’ve been using Jessops for such a long time and they have always provided a great service - I don’t know where I’ll go now.

“You could just walk in and know you’d be taken care of, there would be a warranty, and any problems would be sorted out.”

Mr Falvey, who worked for News Shopper for a number of years, said: “I’m not surprised but I am sad about it.

“The high street is changing and it won’t exist in a few years, it will just be shopping malls.”

PwC say although turnover in 2012 was £236 million and the firm’s online business grew, enough profit was still not generated.

Photographer Jason Steel, who lives in Watling Street, Bexleyheath, said he believes cheaper online shops is the reason for the decline, admitting he has not shopped on the high street for a number of years.

The 41-year-old said: “Everything is 20 to 30 per cent less online which is quite substantial when you are spending a lot of money on equipment.

“I’d definitely be sad to see it go though because when buying a camera, it’s as much about what you feel with the camera.

“There is nowhere to do that now. Jessops was somewhere I could go and feel the camera and see which one I preferred.”

Administrator Mr Hunt added: “Our most pressing task is to review the company's financial position and hold discussions with its principal stakeholders to see if the business can be preserved.

“Trading in the stores is hoped to continue but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions.

“In the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures.”

Comments (5)

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8:23pm Thu 10 Jan 13

JaySteel says...

I was a loyal customer of Jessops for several years but in the end their prices just couldn't compete with online retailers. I'm all in favour of supporting local businesses but at the end of the day none of us can afford to throw money away and we all look for the best deal we can get. I hope Jessop's stores can be saved but if they are to continue trading then I'm sure their prices will have to be more competitive.
Jason Steel
I was a loyal customer of Jessops for several years but in the end their prices just couldn't compete with online retailers. I'm all in favour of supporting local businesses but at the end of the day none of us can afford to throw money away and we all look for the best deal we can get. I hope Jessop's stores can be saved but if they are to continue trading then I'm sure their prices will have to be more competitive. Jason Steel JaySteel
  • Score: 0

8:47pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Only_me!! says...

More on this story as it "develops"
More on this story as it "develops" Only_me!!
  • Score: 0

11:11am Fri 11 Jan 13

smurf4568 says...

Part of the problem is that people get frustrated when the price on the ticket or the internet that stands out isn't the one you pay (that's in small print).

If you can order and collect in store then the price should be the same if you go into the store and buy it 'off the shelf'.

Likewise, if you can claim £50 back then by all means have a sticker saying that, but don't mislead the customer with '£350' in bold, and you pay £400 in small print.
Part of the problem is that people get frustrated when the price on the ticket or the internet that stands out isn't the one you pay (that's in small print). If you can order and collect in store then the price should be the same if you go into the store and buy it 'off the shelf'. Likewise, if you can claim £50 back then by all means have a sticker saying that, but don't mislead the customer with '£350' in bold, and you pay £400 in small print. smurf4568
  • Score: 0

11:24am Fri 11 Jan 13

the wall says...

Well if the shutter finally closes the history of Jessops will be gone in a flash. These are negative times for retail and Jessops should focus on getting more online exposure.
Well if the shutter finally closes the history of Jessops will be gone in a flash. These are negative times for retail and Jessops should focus on getting more online exposure. the wall
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Fri 11 Jan 13

BickleyB says...

There clearly wasn't a sharp enough focus on executing a coherent strategy for staying afloat.
There clearly wasn't a sharp enough focus on executing a coherent strategy for staying afloat. BickleyB
  • Score: 0

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