Jessops is in difficulties again and could become the latest high-street victim of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. The company has filed for administration after its sales were badly hit by the events of the last year and has hired insolvency specialists FRP.
Jessops said it is now considering a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring process in order to ensure some kind of long term future for the business, which currently runs seven stores and employs 120 staff.
Few other details have emerged at this stage, but a Jessops spokesperson commented as follows:
“We have filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators with a view to consider a CVA process in order to protect the business for our staff, our partners and creditors as we look to carve out a new strategy that will enable the business to continue to compete…
No doubt, that will include further growing Jessops’ digital offering, as well as considering the opportunities to partner with other retailers to continue Jessops’ high street presence. We are working closely with key suppliers and partners to agree a way forward and PJ Investment Group have confirmed that they stand ready to provide additional funding if a suitable agreement can be reached on sustainably supporting Jessops in the next stage of its development.”
The PJ in PJ Investment Group stands for Peter Jones, the Dragons Den entrepreneur who bought Jessops in 2013. Even before the lockdowns, the company was having a challenging time; it also called in the administrators back in 2019. Restructuring specialists FRP Advisory is handling the administration process.
“Jessops is a long-established British brand, but like many others, it has faced growing online competition, as well as the challenges faced by all high street retailers in operating through the restrictions imposed during the pandemic,” said FRP partner Geoff Rowley.
“We are working closely with PJ Investment Group and the wider Jessops management team to consider all options to secure a future for the retailer.”
More updates as we get them.
Peter Jones on his plans for Jessops