Photographic retailer Jessops has confirmed plans to close 17 ‘loss-making’ stores throughout the UK and lay off staff.
Details of the stores hit, and the number of staff affected, are scant but more news is expected to emerge later this afternoon.
Chairman David Adams told Amateur Photographer (AP): ‘We don’t underestimate the impact on those involved.’
He told us that the shops to be closed account for just 3% of the group’s annual turnover.
But Adams said he was not yet able to reveal more details, as he was in the middle of a meeting when we called at lunchtime today.
A Jessops spokeswoman said the stores were loss-making outlets that were ‘not financially viable’.
One of the stores is in Barrow, where five jobs will go, according to today’s North West Evening Mail newspaper.
Earlier today, we reported the recent closure of a Jessops in York, also understood to have shut down because it was no longer financially viable.
The spokeswoman was not able to confirm whether the York shop was one of the 17 announced today.
In January, the chain reported a £19.1m loss, with like-for-like sales down 6.5% for the year to 30 September 2008.
In an interview with AP, published last month, Adams said Jessops does ‘not have a long tail of unprofitable stores’. He added: ‘I think a lot of people think that may be the case, but, it is not.’
NEWS UPDATE (11 Feb, 5pm) : Job loss total could reach 180