Nikon blames Jessopsu2019 recent poor results for its decision to withdraw support for the chain, and Canon says it remained willing to the end to back the retailer u2018in a reasonable wayu2019.

Nikon and Canon, both key suppliers, say they felt unable to continue their long-time commitment to Jessops whose remaining 187 stores shut down last week.

In a statement, Canon said: ‘Canon is disappointed to hear the news regarding Jessops, having had a strong relationship with the company for many years, and particularly following our efforts to support them during recent difficult trading conditions.’

The Japanese camera giant added: ‘Canon remained willing to support, in a reasonable way, the continuation of the business.’

Nikon UK general manager John Walshe told Amateur Photographer (AP): ‘Nikon sincerely regrets that Jessops has gone into administration.

‘Jessops has been a valued customer of Nikon for many years and Nikon has continuously supported Jessops.

‘More recently, the management teams of Nikon and Jessops reached an agreement on how Nikon would continue to support Jessops and enable them to continue trading.

‘[The] recent trading performance of Jessops, however, has not been in line with their expectations and Nikon, unfortunately, has not been able to extend further support.’

Canon stressed that closure of the Jessops stores, and the decision not to continue trading, was that of the administrators.

AP understands that Jessops owed its bank, HSBC, £30 million when it collapsed on 9 January.

Latest press reports suggest that Jessops suffered losses of £5.2m in 2012, a figure which PwC, the administrator, was not able to confirm to AP today.

Jessops made a £0.9m loss after tax for the year to 1 January 2012, notching up turnover of £236m, according to accounts filed at Companies House last year.

Meanwhile, giving AP his reaction to news of Jessops’ demise, Sigma Imaging UK’s general manager Graham Armitage told AP: ‘I can’t say I’m surprised… It’s very sad for the industry.’

Speaking at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Armitage told AP that Sigma did not offer credit to Jessops, and that it has a ‘closer relationship’ with independent camera shops.

He said he believes there is a demand for quality high-street retailers with ‘knowledgeable staff’.

‘The silver lining to the cloud is that the [now closed Jessops stores] will have a camera shop fairly close by – so independents will get a shot in the arm.’

But, he warned: ‘It could lead to the big boys [manufacturers] selling direct if they don’t feel there are enough retailers in the UK.’

Jessops chairman Martyn Everett could not be reached for comment.

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  • Graham Marshall

    I’m not surprised that Jessops have shut, as When i called in to inquire about buying some ink cartridges for an Epson R2400,was told that they no longer sell inks, and go to W H Smiths instead, Which would have been fine if I wanted inks for a A4 printer. also have to agree that a lot of the staff are not very knowledgeable and have to ask somebody else.

  • Kevin Harrison

    Lack of product knowledge has been the key demise for me. On a recent visit to a London store I asked what the sensor size of a particularly expensive compact camera was – “quite big I believe”. I’m sure the Cain employed many lovely and knowledgeable staff but unfortunately it doesn’t take too many encounters like this to devalue the brand.
    And that is not necessarily the fault of the staff, its the fault of the management of the store and their procedures relating to training and required competence.
    Lets hope the really competent staff open up their own camera shops – I’m sure they will do really well.

  • PDM

    Both Nikon and Canon have been very shortsighted. And I suspect they will come to regret their decision not to caryy on backing Jessops.

  • PDM

    How can you have a turnover of £236mil and still make a loss? Really incompetent management at the top is the only explanation.

  • John Price

    The demise of Jessops is a particular tragedy for its staff in the present economic climate. Business reasons aside, they brought it on themselves. Most staff had little or no real product knowledge. Only very recently they decked their staff out in new black uniforms in the face of poor customer service – this was the main reason for their failure

  • Richard Sayers

    Shame it had to close, something good may come out of it, in the end. Glad I spent all my Jessops Vouchers last year. The annoying thing for was when they decided not to support the Pentax brand, so I of course that means you have to shp elsewhere.

  • Mark Gillett

    Interested about the comment from Sigma about the closure of Jessops being a shot in the arm for local independent camera shops.
    Southend has no independent camera shops – 2 closed down and Ffordes relocated to Scotland.
    My nearest camera dealers are in Chelmsford and Colchester – not particularly local – or a trip into London.

  • Art

    It is all too easy to criticise the camera companies for saying enough is enough but
    I am sure their accountants had sight of the Jessops trading figures and with no sign of a upturn in consumer spending could see that there was no way Jessops profit could be increased. I very much regret Jessops closing, my local store manager has been a personal friend for over 30 years, the expectation of staff to have in depth knowledge of all cameras is unrealistic, cameras are constantly changing being upgraded in specifications etc . It is a bit much to expect an employee to be able to absorb all this information when they are probably on a 20 hour a week contract and are expected to turn up for work on receipt of a telephone call.
    I have had issues with staff who seem to forget the golden rule of retailing that the customer is king ! One member closed an animated discussion where we disagreed on a photographic technique with the words I know because I am a fine art photographer ! whilst I regret the closure but I always remember that many local independent shops were put out of business by a small shop in Leicester from where you bought a box ( no looking, no advice etc ) at perhaps £10 below the price of the local shop, strange how things come around, on line purchasing now being the modern version of a small shop in Leicester.

  • andrew redding

    Jessops lost the plot when they stopped accepting trade ins and thus stopped selling second hand. There was too much competition from Argos and PC World, and with the loss of trade in, Jessops lost their niche in the market

  • Bob Rowles

    Robin Ricard seems to know exactly what caused Jessops demise and it’s a pity he wasn’t running the company and able to save it. Can HSBC, Canon, Nikon etc. really have got it so wrong?
    Back in the mid 90’s AP published a letter of mine in which I complained that every Jessops shop I knew was staffed by totally incompetent people who appeared to know nothing about cameras, and gave misleading and inaccurate advice to customers. From my experience nothing has changed since and others are saying likewise. On a recent visit to one of their major outlets I was completely ignored by four members of staff who stood chatting amongst themselves in an otherwise empty shop.
    I recently made a 200 hundred mile round trip to a well known South Devon independent dealer to spend an appreciable amount of money on a new camera. I was given a sensible part exchange allowance on my old camera and plenty of polite, expert assistance. It’s been many years since I had that sort of experience in a Jessops shop.

  • Paul Griffiths

    I always used, when I could the Jessops retailer. To me price was not a factor, in fact I always found their pricing to be similar to online sites like WEX, and other retailers Currys and Grays of Westminster, but one thing I found increasingly more annoying, was the lack of knowledge of photography and the products by some Jessops staff who had to ask someone else – “I’ll just find out for you” a common reply…
    Product knowledge is key in retail and general photography knowledge is essential in a photographic retailer… In my opinion thats where Jessops went wrong – they effectively became a viewing shop…
    That said Currys are no where near as good as Jessops were! –
    But Grays of Westminster are a class act…

    A great shame this shouldn’t of happened.

  • David Winston

    It is very sad to read of the demise of Jessops, a well known and long established name on the High Street with the loss of 1370 jobs. In the present economic climate, redundancies are are being announced on almost a daily basis. Comet went to the wall, Honda are cutting 800 jobs in Swindon, who is next? If you are the victim of redundancy, it is imperative to know your legal rights.

    Is the dismissal fair? This will depend upon the procedure undertaken by your employer and whether the decision to dismiss for redundancy was reasonable in the circumstances.

    Are you eligible for a redundancy payment? You need to have been employed for 2 years.

    What financial sum might you be entitled to? A redundancy payment (calculated by your age, years of service and salary), notice and compensation (if the dismissal is unfair).

    In redundancy situations, there is often scope to negotiate a financial package. Seeking professional advice and guidance at the earliest possible time is therefore highly recommended.

  • Robin Ricard

    Canon and Nikon are completely wrong. The sales at Jessops in 2012 beat 2011 and Jessops was comfortably ahead of the rest of the camera market as the only retailer to increase their sales in cameras.

    Jessops was beating its sales and profit margin targets right up to the last day of trading.

    It is suspicious that last year after the tsunami when no one could get camera stock for months, Jessops was still able to trade yet not now after a halt in stock supply for less than a week.

    Jessops had paid all bills and the 30 million debt was part of a long term agreement with HSBC and was being gradually paid off each year rather than announce a profit.

    What Nikon and Canon have done is completely dishonourable given the performance of Jessops and the decades of support from Jessops.

    Even the Administrators could not believe that they were having to close a business that was performing so strongly because the suppliers were asking for huge amounts of cash up front for stock. No retailer is expected to do this.

    Canon received over 70 million last year from Jessops and were not owed any outstanding bills.

    This situation is highly suspicious as it has happened very quickly with no justifiable explanation.

    Are Canon and Nikon in financial difficulty and been forced to ask for cash up front? Without Jessops which contributed to a huge percentage of their sales figures, they may find it difficult to trade.

  • Catalina Martinez

    As a trusted photo print supplier, many people have been designing photo books and calendars with Jessop’s photo software. Some will now want to find an alternative print supplier.

    The online photo service FotoInsight Ltd offers those looking to print their existing photo book designs a simple solution: downloading and installing the free FotoInsight Designer software. All projects from the now defunct photographic retail chain can be opened, edited and printed in the FotoInsight Designer software and printed in award winning print quality.

  • renagadetech

    But, he warned: ‘It could lead to the big boys [manufacturers] selling direct if they don’t feel there are enough retailers in the UK.’??

    Really? Well they can all piss off if that’s the attitude. So much for DC’s big society!! UK is going downhill everyday.

  • Paul Russell

    I would love to hear what Pentax have to say about it.