Jessops closed all shops tonight!! Loss of 1400 jobs!

Discussion in 'News and Rumors' started by Ghosthunter, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Very very sad!! All shops are closing tonight (11/01/2013) and stock is being sent to a central warehouse where it will be returned to the suppliers (as much as poss ). Will be interesting to see if they pop up as an internet only business.
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  2. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Sign of the times... :frown:

    All of our local empty storefronts seem to be filling up with nail salons and 30 minute workout gyms... how many could we possibly need???
  3. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The few Jessops I passed regularly in recent months seemed to have ever decreasing stocks of anything anyway - the window displays were non-existent for instance, so with hindsight one could perhaps have seen it coming.

    I've seen comments on various online forums about this, and while it's often expressed as a terrible blow for the employees (which it is), I've not seen a single comment that suggests anyone will miss the shops themselves
  4. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Bummer for the folks that were working there. Hopefully, they'll land other jobs quickly.
  5. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Armando unfortunately this country is not in much shape for 1400 people to pick up jobs too easily :frown:
  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    That's not good. Our unemployment rate here in the US is higher than it has been since 2009. But there are still jobs if people are willing to work not necessarily doing what they used to do. Unfortunately for brick and mortar stores, online stores is just much more convenient and often cheaper than real stores.
  7. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I also wondered if they could continue as an internet based business but they've already been bailed out once before and I can't see anyone being very keen to back them again.
  8. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    I am sorry to see any company go under, particularly for the employees - but in the case of Jessops it is not a surprise.

    I can remember when my nearest large town - Guildford - had four separate camera shops - Jessops, Techno, London Camera Exchange and Reids. Each offered cameras and lenses, but their service and approach differed widely. Reids was the first to go, swallowed up by Photo Optix who themselves went the way of the Dodo some time ago. Techno didn't last much longer - but both of them were pre-digital era and succumbed to trading conditions in general.

    Jessops at the same time were expanding aggressively and pricing and buying every competitor out of business. The small independents like Reids either had to have something very special - location in a small town or a strong and loyal customer base - to survive. Jessops invested in bricks and mortar stores, sometimes more than one in a town due to acquisition, and were completely wrong-footed by first the democratisation of photography through digital then the shift to online retail. They found themselves with thousands of feet of retail space that they could not get out of quickly enough.

    Their other big error, in my view, was to move out of the secondhand market. The ability to trade in brought people into the stores and the ability to pick up a secondhand bargain with a store warranty did likewise. When they shifted to new only I stopped going in and I suspect I was not alone.

    So, back to my example of Guildford. With Jessops gone, the one remaining specialist photographic shop is London Camera Exchange - an old fashioned new and secondhand customer service driven store that is seldom less than really busy every Saturday.

    C'est la vie...

    Sent from another Galaxy
    • Like Like x 1
  9. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    All the initial news reports kept saying "The UK's only specialist camera chain" and I kept thinking "What about LCE?".
    They appear to be thriving, and I hope they continue to do so. Interesting that they have minimal online presence, and seem to rely on physical footfall ... perhaps they are simply better managed than Jessops (or have less debt, or are still privately owned rather than by banks ... )
  10. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Sad to see this happen.

    I know Wolf/Ritz just did a huge downsizing. Its just so hard to sell electronics these days out of a B&M store when its hard to compete with the buying power of a company like B&H. I would love for a company like B&H to start expanding and putting in small stores around the country so we enthusiasts can actually go out and touch the cameras before we buy. I'm so reluctant to buy a camera because I want to play with it in a store before I buy and know it will fit my hands and uses. Losing stores like Jessops really hurts customers like me.
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  11. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I like London Camera Exchange in Guildford, it's full of second hand goodies in the window and a real magnet ;) There was a small privately owned camera shop in Camberley that used to be full of helpful, knowledgable people but since it was taken over some years ago, seems to have died a death.
  12. Iansky

    Iansky SC Top Veteran

    Dec 8, 2011
    Cotswolds, UK
    This is really sad, they have been around a long time and always provided good service to customers as well as having a good supply of quality used kit a few years ago.
    I feel so sorry for the business who tried to restructure and survive without making staff redundant, current times and inflexible banking have now taken their toll.
    Another high street camera shop gone to the wall - soon be none left.
  13. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Andy, I am so sorry to read this and am hoping that you will not be one of the 1400. It's always a terrible thing to read about a business like this closing.
  14. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    The press here talk about "zombie businesses" - those that have already died but are propped up - animated - by their suppliers. The fact that, in this case, unlike Comet, stock is going directly back to the suppliers indicates that Jessops was exactly one of those businesses - it did not even own it's own merchandise.

    It's worth noting that in the UK shop rents are paid four times a year, on "quarter days"; this is an archaic system which businesses say does not help their cashflow and leads to closures being grouped together. I went to Farnham yesterday and saw another small, long established business closing down - the Farnham Saddlers. Sad, but we will see more before this is over.

    Sent from another Galaxy
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  15. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Samy's Camera, here in LA, is doing just that. It has a huge store in LA and has been expanding with satellites store across Southern California, (Orange County, Pasadena, Santa Barbara, et al).

    It is sad when people lose their jobs, especially in this economy and en mass.

  16. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    But that has always been true. Even in the 80s when I worked in one of these small stores, the owners complained about the B&H price structure and folks coming in to try a camera and then ordering from NYC. The problem is overhead, a willingness to buy online, and an unwillingness to pay for service. The changes we are seeing are the changes we are paying for. The human fallout is the saddest and much harder in bad times.
  17. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    We only have one camera store left in this town, (specialist store I mean) there used to be three. I still buy my cameras from B&M stores, but the lenses... they come from B&H (except when the dollar exchange isnt appropriate to do so)...

    Andy.. you aren't a Jessops employee are you? (Hopefully not!!)
  18. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    Like Bill, I stopped using Jessops when they stopped doing used equipment. They went all corporate and became part of the homogenization of the high streets up and down the country. The stores looked all the same, became a sort of Comet, Dixons, PC World of the photographic industry. I feel very sorry indeed for the staff. The human element of this story with mortgages hanging by a thread for many of these people? Thank God it's not me.

    Chelmsford has Cameraworld, staffed by very knowledgeable staff who will not sell you what you don't need. They have a great 2nd hand presence. They ain't cheap, but I go for service and knowledge
  19. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    • Like Like x 1
  20. It's OK BB, I work at Park Cameras....I think my job is now very safe as we a re super busy at the moment. It is a shame about those who lost their jobs though.
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