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What's up with Jessops?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by IvorETower, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I was recently in London to buy some used equipment, a camera body from Grays, a lens from Aperture. In the past Jessops' New Oxford Street store would have been a favourite, I think the site is either a pub or restaurant now. When they stopped selling used in store I lost interest because they weren't competitive on price for new kit. I was pretty close to Jessops when visiting Aperture but didn't give a thought to dropping in there. I was tight for time anyway but I might have found a few minutes had they had used equipment.

    There is a large market for used photographic equipment at the moment and, as far as I can see, most retailers are keen to get their share of it. Jessops on the other hand, despite a sizeable high street presence, sell all their used stock on-line. I would have thought that having used equipment in store would have brought browsers in and possibly encouraged sales, if I buy a used camera I may well also buy a new memory card. No used cameras for sale, I'll not buy the card either.
  2. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Many years ago I used Jessops out of town Leicester HQ. I was living in Newark at the time. The wrong side of Leicester but an easy drive with on site parking. Now I either use interweb or LCE in Nottingham but not keen on public transport at the moment although it is free and only a thirty minute bus ride and ten minute walk.
    I suspect that people who have enough disposable income to buy posh cameras drive motor cars and might prefer an out of town site with free parking rather than a city centre shop. Am I alone?
  3. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    To be honest, the Curry's at a near-to-the-city retail park has a selection almost as strong as Jessops these days. LCE is just down and around the corner from Jessops. I find neither of them keeps much stock outside of the latest bodies/lenses, and LCE obviously has a selection of second hand stuff (not a huge amount).

    Derby has an LCE as well which I find has more second-hand stock than Nottingham.

    Jessops seems to focus heavily on the 'experiences' and photo printing now, rather than just gear (which is probably an intentional attempt to differentiate from on-line retailers). Jessops is also a significantly more welcoming format to the LCE, which is cramped. I've bought second hand gear from LCE in Nottingham and Derby, but I buy anything new from Amazon, and I'm not ashamed by that.
  4. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    The real issue I have with city centre shops isn't so much as I prefer to go to a shop with a car park ( like WEX) free or otherwise , it's the time wasted going to a city centre .
    I work typically 6 days a week , on the 7th day I have other jobs to be done !
    I simply don't have half a day free to waste wandering around shops with a couple of hours making a round trip on public transport .

    I have a lot of photographic gear ( too much !) Not just digital but film .
    35mm A/F & M/F , 120 & large format , a fair bit come from eBay , but I also get a fair bit from Ffordes , at first by phone after reading the adds in AP , and since I got a computer , online off their website .

    I write this , having my first break since last September , sat in my campervan , parked up on a hill near Whitby , taking it easy .
    Just me and my dog , and a bottle of whisky , piece and quite .
    No busy city centres .
  5. PentaxManiac

    PentaxManiac Well-Known Member

    The original Jessops' New Oxford Street shop (the self-styled World Camera Centre) became a Morrison's after it closed, an experiment by that chain in having a smaller store - what's big for a camera store is tiny for a supermarket, but I guess Morrison's were looking to test the water with something like a Tesco Express or Sainsbury's Local. It didn't last long anyway, and the last time I passed the site was empty.
  6. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    As someone mentioned, they always had a s/h window on the left end and periodically they would have a huge s/h clearout, which was an event not to be missed. It was really huge. Their customer service was very good, but not if you wanted serving quickly and were behind others. Could wait forever.
  7. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Shows just how long it is since I was last there! I bought my 105 f2 AF-D DC from there, rather a long time ago, probably a fair amount of film too.
  8. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    That whole side of the shop by the window was dedicated to second hand, the top of the range kit was in the side window. I don't recall ever going in there when it wasn't busy and, now you mention it, their service was good but slow.
  9. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    When I was in E Africa, I used to help out the local togs and load up with s/h stuff from there and take it out on return trips for them.
  10. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    Second hand stuff used to get me in camera shops.
    In Kings Lynn there were a couple of independents, and just browsing and playing with the gear was fun. Inevitably I would buy a roll of film or maybe a second hand filter - they got business.
    Apart from a fixation with Yashica, the owner of one store was great:D
    I don't think either shop exists now:(
  11. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The 'experiences' and photo printing mean they don't have to carry a great deal of slower moving stock, which may be a factor in focusing on them, bearing in mind the background of the senior management. Where used stuff is concerned it is largely down to who has the required item at the time. Buying from Amazon works, best from the company themselves, or fulfilled by them, in price terms there is often little or no advantage, convenience is a factor in this. I do prefer LCE over Jessops, I like the less designed look and feel of the shop, as well as the larger range of used items, not that I buy much now. I can also get to Wilkinson's in Carlisle relatively easily (they have a good deal on A3 paper) by either driving or a couple of hours each way by using the train, which is a pleasant run through the Tyne Valley and Cumbria. Wilkinsons hasn't had a mention yet, a small but pleasant chain in the North--West.
  12. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    And that's why mark-up is 100% vs far less for new stuff.
  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Currys can actually supply some top of the range kit too, they just don't have it in store. A while back I saw that they could supply the Nikon D5 so I looked deeper, they suggested that buyers might like to add an accessory pack, a spare battery, memory card etc. the price was about £50. The battery wouldn't have fitted a D5 and neither would the memory card! I sometimes wonder about Currys.
  14. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Or possibly more than 100% for some accessories... can't imagine Ffordes had to pay much for the box full of 58mm circular polariser filters I was shown and then I paid probably close to what a new one would cost.

    Still, they had what I wanted when I wanted it and it's hard to imagine anywhere carrying a bigger range of new filters.

    Canon 1dx's don't seem to hang around long though. Suspect they don't get to add 100% to them due to competition from other dealers.
  15. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    There might be a few more EOS 1DX bodies around now the MKiii has been announced
    daft_biker likes this.
  16. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    One can only hope!
  17. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    When I bought a new 7D ii a few years ago from an independent retailer I was given the full sop story about low margins on new equipment and that Canon were only interested in major retailers. They admitted second hand was the only reason they could keep going. I can fully believe this, much like the sale of new cars and used cars.
  18. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    It is about 2 years since I was in a branch of the (new) Jessops, because I looking for a Hoya ND1000 filter that the local LCE had not got in stock in the size I wanted. Of course, Jessops didn't have one either despite being a much larger store with much more display space. Whilst I was there, I noticed that all the staff appeared to be under 25, were trying to be helpful, and only knew anything about the latest stuff. But what they knew was the latest and most exciting features, so that they could deal with people who came in with a 'tick list'. I heard somebody ask if a Canon DSLR could be used with manual exposure, and the sales person didn't understand the question and said that the user manual was 'a bit thick' and that you didn't really need it because everything was automatic on digital cameras.

    This was, of course, not the fault of the sales staff. It was the fault of senior management who should have ensured that staff had enough training to answer basic questions. I followed the confused potential customer out of the shop and directed him to the nearby branch of LCE. He said that he had never heard of them, but I know he went there because a few days later I was in the LCE branch and they confirmed that they had sold a full-frame Canon DSLR to somebody who told them that he had been directed to them by another customer in Jessops. He had asked about manual settings, and they knew what he was talking about and after a few minutes 'hands on' time he purchased a camera body and a 50 mm lens.
  19. Jimbo57

    Jimbo57 Well-Known Member

    Unless the staff of a high street retailer can give knowledge and advice, there is no reason for paying their inflated prices, rather than buying on-line. Unfortunately, Jessops staff were singularly ill-informed about matters photographic. Their training seemed to be exclusively about sales techniques - such as trying to foist worthless extended warranties upon the punters.

    In my town, Jessops is the only camera shop (plus an out-of-town Currys/PC World in a retail park). When I wanted a Nikon Z7 last year, both those retailers wanted over £3300. I got it on-line for £2799 with free next-day delivery.
  20. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    They aren't alone in that Currys are good at trying to sell extended warranties too. My view is that if it won't last two years without a repair I'm buying the wrong product!

    The problem is that the staff get a bonus for selling an extended warranty and they need the extra to be able to afford to live, they aren't terribly well paid. Couple the low wages and the fact that only youngsters will work for that and you get disinterested staff. They clearly don't have much experience of cameras so they aren't in an ideal position to help anyone who needs it. This too is not new, many years a go I watched an assistant in Dixons try to demonstrate a Canon AE1, he really was lost. Another time an assistant in PC World told a customer that there was no need for a camera with more resolution than their computer screen!

    As I said in post 11 they have stores in expensive locations. If, and it isn't likely, I were in charge I would look for an off the High Street location with lower rent and move there, with the money saved I would employ fewer but better qualified staff and major on good used equipment. Order on-line, pick up in store for new items.
    Jimbo57 likes this.

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