Jessops has closed four stores so far this year ? on grounds that they have not made enough profit ? but has secured funding to refurbish up to 25 others.
The retailer says it is working closely with staff affected by the closures and ‘where possible consulting with colleagues for possible redeployment to other stores’.
However, the CEO of Britain’s largest camera chain said Jessops has no nationwide closure plan and may even open new shops in towns where it does not currently have a high-street presence.
?I have no big plans to either expand or contract my estate,? Jessops CEO Trevor Moore told Amateur Photographer (AP), adding that a ‘handful’ of stores closed last year, but some new ones opened.
?As leases expire, every single one will be looked at in the way that every retailer should look at every store in a perfectly normal, balanced and commercial way.?
The news comes as Jessops reveals that more than a third of the chain?s turnover is generated from online sales, compared to less than 6% three years ago.
Moore said that most of these online orders (70%) are collected at a high-street store.
Asked if any more stores would close this year Moore replied: ?You can never say never.?
The four outlets that have recently shut up shop are the Lisburn and Ballymena stores in Northern Ireland, one in Petersfield, Hampshire, and a store in Ilford, Essex.
?Really, Ilford?s been replaced by the business we have at Westfield Stratford City [shopping centre], where we opened a very large new store last year,? Moore explained.
?When [chairman] David [Adams] came to the business [in 2007] he did a big closure piece, which took our numbers down to just over 200. And we have more than 200 today. So, we have opened new ones and have shut some others.
?What we are trying to do with our estate is improve the quality and, historically, some of our sites are in secondary or tertiary locations.?
He said Jessops would look to replace some branches with a ?better quality unit that generates more revenue and profitability?.
This will involve ?relocating? some outlets to other parts of a town where consumer demand is expected to be higher, and where Jessops can take advantage of ‘better commercial terms’.
Outlining the next phase of Jessops’ refurbishment plan ? set to start in April ? Moore said it will be similar, in terms of store numbers, to the annual programme it began in 2009.
In a separate move, Jessops yesterday announced, that chairman David Adams, who oversaw a turnaround at the once publicly listed chain, is to step down from tomorrow.
He will be replaced by Martyn Everett, currently a director at media rights group Chorion.
Adams will continue to serve as a consultant at Jessops until the end of May.
? More from AP?s interview with the Jessops CEO will appear in due course