Jessops has left the photographic enthusiast behind, in favour of the mass market, and will not survive the recession without further restructuring, claims former chairman Tim Brookes.
His comments came as Jessops reported a worsening of like-for-like sales which fell 4.7% in the 12 weeks to 16 August.
Speaking on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, Brookes said: ‘I think the demise really started after flotation when the philosophy and strategy of the business suddenly changed.
‘Jessops was concentrating on the keen amateur photographer as its main customer. I think they tried to keep up with the likes of Dixons, Argos and Boots? Jessops left its true customer base behind.’
That said, Brookes believes Jessops lost out by not capitalising on the growth of camera phones.
He said the firm should have provided a service for the printing of mobile phone images.
Commenting on the firm’s £60m debt he added: ‘The trouble is the business is now being run for the bank, by the bank. It has lost its way.’
Brookes continued: ‘The bank has to recognise that the business cannot service that level of debt. The bank has to take a hit. It is not acknowledging it has a problem.’
Current Jessops chairman David Adams had not responded to our request for comment at the time of writing.
And no-one from Brunswick, Jessops business PR company, was available.