The chain, which employs around 2,000 people and runs 192 stores, has been hit by ‘reducing confidence in retail’, and poor business forecasts, according to a spokesperson for PwC.

In a statement, PwC said that ‘at present, Jessops is not in a position to honour customer vouchers or to accept returned goods’.

The move comes after talks between Jessops’ directors and its funders broke down.

PwC is now holding discussions with the firm’s key financial backers, in a bid to rescue the business.

In a statement, administrator PwC said: ‘It has a well-known brand, strong reputation for service and a significant national footprint.

‘However, its core marketplace has seen a significant decline in 2012 and forecasts for 2103 indicate that this decline would continue.

‘In addition, the position deteriorated in the run up to Christmas as a result of reducing confidence in UK retail.

‘Despite additional funding being made available to the company by the funders, this has meant that Jessops has not generated the profits it had planned with a consequent impact on its funding needs.

‘This was exacerbated by a credit squeeze in the supplierbase.’

In 2009, thousands of jobs were saved as Jessops’ main operating
company announced that it was set to be sold to a new firm, 47% of which
would be owned by its bank, HSBC.

At the time, the agreement meant that HSBC forgave £34m of debt owed by Jessops.

Last year, executive chairman Martyn Everett dismissed as ‘rubbish’
reports that the retailer had struck a deal with Canon and that its
majority shareholder, HSBC, was poised to sell its share.

Speaking today, PwC partner 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…’

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 today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions.

However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures.’

No-one at Jessops was available for comment when contacted by AP earlier today.

Last year, the then chief executive Trevor Moore left Jessops to join HMV.

Earlier this week, Jessops told AP it was set to close 15 more shops that have failed to meet its profitability criteria.

At that stage, there was no suggestion from Jessops that it faced potential administration.

The chain notched up turnover of £236m in the year to 31 December 2012.

However, earlier this year, AP revealed that Jessops had made a £0.9m loss after tax, according accounts filed at Companies House.

At the time, Jessops pointed out that it achieved a 1.3% growth in like-for-like sales against a general digital camera market decline of 7%. Total turnover had risen by 3%.

And the firm’s total profit, before removing factors such as interest, taxation, depreciation and non-recurring costs, rose to £5.6m, compared to £3.9m the year before.

PwC was appointed administrator of Jessops Group Limited on 9 January.

Picture credit: C Cheesman

Full statement released by PwC to Amateur Photographer:


The Jessop Group Limited – in administration (“Jessops or the Company”) 

Edward Williams, Rob Hunt and Matthew Hammond of PwC were appointed joint
administrators of The Jessop Group Limited on 9 January 2013.

Jessops is a major high- street retailer of photographic equipment and growing on line business.

Turnover in the year to 31 December 2012 was £236m and Jessops operated from 192 stores with around 2000 employees throughout the UK. It has a well-known brand, strong reputation for service
and a significant national footprint.

However, its core marketplace has seen a significant decline in 2012 and forecasts for 2013 indicate that this decline would continue.

In addition, the position deteriorated in the run up to Christmas as a result of reducing confidence in UK retail. Despite additional funding being made available to the company by the funders, this has meant that Jessops has not generated the profits it had planned with a consequent impact on its funding needs. This was exacerbated by a credit squeeze in the supplier
base.



Rob Hunt, joint administrator and partner, PwC 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 earlier today.



“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 today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures.” 



Finally, at present Jessops is not in a position to honour customer vouchers or to accept returned goods. 

Ends 



  • BKJH

    OK lets let a little light of truth in here after all the moans. I worked for Jessops for over 21 yrs and was made redundant a year ago. There are reasons why this happened and i have my own theory and opinion. I don’t doubt there are unhappy customers who received bad service and thats sad but don’t tar the whole company with that brush. It’s like penalising a doctor when one patient dies when they have saved hundreds more. Balance.

    Once Jessops was a depth of knowledgable staff and quality service and some people carried that through to the end. But when a company is stripped bare to its core you end up with all part time staff who have no loyalty and depth of knowledge. When i started in the Portsmouth branch we had 15 of us. When it closed it was 2 staff a day! That is how high street shopping has changed and hence retail itself. Now this is my opinion only, but when we had the group take over in 2009 HSBC had one goal, to get as much money back off us as possible. They sent in the heavy hitters (not people persons) and stripped bare was an understatement. Millions were saved each year in stream lining of which a majority i agreed with. But along came PT staffing to an extent that i The Manager was lone working at times at Christmas 2011. Stress, no time to do all the jobs necassary to run a store and make customers experiences the best. It was stressful leaving people unhappy with the resources i had at my disposal. I could go on.

    So HSBC looking at future economic outlooks decided they had milked us dry and pulled out and without that manufacturers can’t take the risk as we were their number one business and held most of their stock they couldn’t afford to lose. Canon, Fuji and Sony were legends and stuck with us through thick and thin. Thanks guys.

    So the vicious circle eat us alive, cut backs reduced staff, knowledge, loyalty, stock and a pre determined sales speak we had to follow no excuses, so eventually we lost our souls. We were what we had been made.

    The internet was a part but not all the reason as after all we had a thriving internet business with v competitive pricing online. We DID move with the times despite comments on here but remember the economic climate places restraints on businesses. You can’t have it all.

    I’m proud to say i actually worked hard and gave 100% as an employee in Jessops up until closure in my branch. I had loyal customers until the end and they were sad to see our store close. We had more positive than negative experiences thanks to some great customers.

    So i will end on saying, i do understand the complaints about gift cards etc i think it all should be honoured to customers including every packet of Developing and printing. But it is NOT Jessops choice, it is the administrators decision. Please feel free to complain about them but give Jessops and it’s employees some respect for the history and not the recent performance.

    It’s a sad day, people will regret it when one day there will be no shops to go look and talk about a product. So please enough of the uninformed comments, take it from somebody with experience.

  • Chris Ingram

    They wont be missed,many other outstanding photo retailers such as Jacobs didn’t have the chance that Jessops had, and bad management and appalling marketing contributed to their demise. Jessops were the Titanic of photographic retailing since 2009 but their voyage was significantly longer only to end in doom. The major players had had enough and who can argue with that.

  • Anthony McLaughlin

    It would be a sad day if jessops close ver sad indeed. , where will we get such good service and variety of photography goods and advice.

  • Tim Baker

    I understand its a tough position for Jessops to be in however, I think that its appalling that vouchers can not be used. Many customers paid money up front to give vouchers as a gift for christmas. The company were quick to take payment for what is now a very expensive slip of useless plastic. It would have been fair to issue a statement allowing vouchers to be used in a set period of time but to just outright refuse is outrageous. The management state they are keen to save the business but this kind of poor customer service will only harm their reputation with consumers. Jessops have also caused their own shops to fail by often offering cheaper prices on their website than in store which deters customers visiting the shop and also cause queues within stores through staff placing orders on the website for products they are selling directly to the customer over the counter. On a final not the fact that some stores will have to close has always been obvious given some towns have more than one store within easy walking distance i.e. Shrewsbury. Your article above states that Jessop’s have previously had debt bought out by HSBC surely this was an opportunity to review spending on pointless shops and come up with a pricing/marketing statergy which was sustainable. No one likes to see high street names fold however don’t blame public confidence for bad business skills and poor customer service. No amount of online research or market diversification can beat advice in person from a knowledgeable source for a technical item.

  • graham

    Their shops are boring. You get a better selection of cameras and camcorders in Currys PC World. Far too limited in its focus. Jessops do nothing that can’t be done elsewhere.

  • Kevin Hammal UK

    Gift vouchers should be honoured by the administrators,..end of. Jessops still trading today, obviously still hungry and willing to take our cash. Vouchers are bought IN STORE with hard earned cash remember. If Jessops survives this they will loose a lot of customers who’ve had their gift vouchers revoked. Whoever has the final decision, make waves from your corporate bubble and win back some public (remember what they are?) credibility. Honour gift vouchers already purchased.

  • Michael Blair Phillips

    A very sad day.

    When photography is hugely popular it is hard to understand how they could have got things so wrong. However the shops do seem way out of touch (more like Argos than anything connected to the soul of photography).
    The potential is there however they seemed way out of touch with for example the cooler trends in photography (i.e. everyone under the age of 30 in my office wants or is buying film SLR cameras!!)
    I used to drop into Jessops for inspiration and was always disappointed. Where were the books on photographic greats or even photo magazines? In contrast I recently spent over an hour in a secondhand camera shop in Arundel talking lenses and cameras (and came away with an OM-1)in what proved to be a great retail experience. Photography is a passion and a cultural activity, camera shops should reflect this. It is not something for MBA retail wonks who could just as well be selling power tools in Wicks.

  • andy

    Shame to hear this, as a Jessops customer (Fuji X pro 1 + lenses and flash)I valued the service and interest shown by staff at both the eastbourne (new)branch and york branch. Jacobs and now Jessops,…..lets hope this one can be saved.

  • Mrs A Evans

    Sadly this news doesn’t surprise me. Jessops have seemingly been struggling for a long time. After the closure of my local Jessops 18 months ago, the nearest one is a 30 mile round trip away. Not only that but I’ve found the staff working there are surly, uninformed and patronizing. The lens I bought from them was faulty and I had to take it back for a refund, meaning a second 30 mile round trip. It simply wasn’t worth the hassle of shopping there any longer. Very sad to see them going downhill.

  • Lee

    Why were Jessops happy to sell gift cards near Xmas they now may not accept whilst in administration.

    The model was wrong from the start – expensive property locations, high overheads, uncompetitive pricing…no amount of quality halpful staff is going to prevent the inevitable…a leason for all retailers not just Jessops, they are just another one of many yet to come. Joe public will go for the cheapest en masse, and that’s the internet generally.

    If anyone from Jessops knows whether they still accept Gift cards, please let me know – it might save my Xmas from being a disaster!

  • Benedict James

    I have been let down by Jessops three times in a row, twice from the same store. Botched printing, a failed delivery and waiting months for a scanner with no communication. I could never rely on them. Best wishes to the staff for the future, but good riddance to the rest (and long live independent retailers … and eBay!)

  • Idreamedof

    Jessop’s mail order warehouse business model forced high street shops out of business in the 1980s. Now the same process appears to have happened to them. Should have been foreseeable.