It is with sadness that one of Britains biggest photographic retailers closes its shop doors for the final time this evening. I wrote early in the week that Jessops had gone into administration, meaning that it would most likely close unless a buyer was found.
The 187 stores have closed today with 1370 people being made redundant Staff in the head office in Leicester still have their jobs for the moment but are expected to be made redundant as well in the coming weeks.
The reason the stores have closed is because the administrators have said Jessops was unable to continue trading after a review of the business. In the coming days the stock will be collected from all the shops and returned to the main warehouse, where if entitled to, returned to the suppliers. Jessops customers will be unable to return any goods or redeem the value of any vouchers or gift cards. I do not know what will happen if you have a camera being repaired, as I have heard repair companies have been told by PwC the administrators not to talk to Jessops customers.
This seems to be a dark day for the high street with many people claiming Jessops lost out to discounted products offered on the internet.
From looking at the trading figures over Christmas I would disagree. Only high end retailers saw improved sales over the Christmas period with shoppers being reluctant to spend their money on high priced luxury items at the same time as their wages are being squeezed.
To me it seems that Jessops troubles are not of the recent crisis alone. It appears that the finances of the company must have been dire for it to be only two trading days and then the Administrators close everything up.
Is this a UK problem or will we see similar closures around Europe and the world in 2013.