Canon and Nikon on Jessops failure

Nikon blames Jessops’ 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 ‘in a reasonable way’.

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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