Jessops goes into administration

Jessops, the high street camera chain, has gone into administration today with 192 stores and 2,000 jobs across the country now at risk

 

Jessops has become the latest high street retailer to enter administration after losing sales to supermarkets and online retailers. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed as the administrator and has confirmed that some of the 192 UK Jessops stores will inevitably have to close.

The high street chain currently has £80m of debt, and despite achieving £236m in sales in the year to December 2012, has not been profitable since 2009 - when HSBC took a 47% stake to try and avoid administration.

Jessops' decline in sales came from both ends of the camera market. Amateur snappers turned to the built-in cameras in their smartphones while seasoned pros can find more niche camera suppliers online - often at cheaper prices.

"Our most pressing task is to review the company's financial position and hold discussions with its principal stakeholders to see if the business can be preserved," said Rob Hunt, joint administrator and partner at PwC.

"Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures," he said.

The slide into administration hit several high street chains last year including JJB Sports, GAME and Comet. Worryingly, anyone who got Jessops vouchers for Christmas is out of luck - the administrators have said neither vouchers nor refunds will be accepted.

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