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Author Topic: Jessops close to administration?  (Read 12838 times)

Alex

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2013, 06:59:21 PM »
Their sales assistants are of a similar breed to those found in large technology stores such as PC World, Comet and now in administration Curries and Dixons.

I am myself a Jessops employee and find comments like that very unfair.. Yes I will admit that Jessops unfortunately has a hand full of employee's that are as useful as a chocolate tea pot.. But I would love to see anyone do the job that we have to do.. Trying to remember over several hundred different cameras and specs, its not just the high end equipment that we have to know about its also the small compacts and all the accessories, and then do it with a smile..  Jessops is a great company and I love my job... I hope that I get to continue to do the job that I truly enjoy..

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2013, 06:59:21 PM »

gmrza

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2013, 07:24:43 PM »
Prior to the advent of online buying, a buyer had the option of buying locally, or calling a mail order outfit, usually one who advertised on photography magazines, and many of them were awful.  I did discover B&H that way back in the 1980's and have bought from since.  I also discovered a couple that only got one order!
 
Although we are a relatively small town, our local Camera store branched out into high end Audio Video and into online sales, and even opened a second store after 100 years in business.  Even so, their stores do not generally keep the high end 1 series bodies or the D4 in stock, so I have to order  from the warehouse if I want to see it.  (I can pick it up, its only a short distance from the store)  They do have a reasonable assortment of tripods, heads, and other accessories, but nothing close to what can be ordered online.
 
This is a typical example of adapt or die, stores that did not take internet retailing seriously and do what it took to stay in business are paying the price.

You've hit the nail on the head here.

Unfortunately for high-street retailers, a lot of sales of more "technological" devices, and this includes cameras, sports equipment (like bicycles) and consumer electronics, consumers know the part number they want, and the only differentiator is price.  e.g. I know I want an EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, or LP-E6 battery, 5D III body, or a Shimano 105 chain.  - There is no value a sales assistant can add to the sale, because I have made the purchasing decision before I walk into the store (or navigate to the site).  The only factor that will change my purchasing decision is purchase price and after-sales service - e.g. I know that if I buy from Wiggle I have a local return address in Australia, and don't have to post faulty items back to the UK.

The bricks and mortar stores that are surviving are the ones that got online early and the ones that have targeted markets where the customer is looking for help to make a purchasing decision. - e.g. "I'm looking for a camera".  Even the latter approach is getting thinner pickings because sites like DPReview are making it easier to choose a camera yourself if you lack in-depth knowledge.  To go back to the bike shop analogy, the ones that are surviving, apart from the ones that went online, are the ones that have good workshops (who do the servicing that customers can't do themselves), and the ones that can provide a professional bike-fitting service - where the knowledge of the shop staff is so specialised that even a top cyclist can benefit from their help.

All retailers have to adapt to this trend, or die.  The only ones that are being spared this at the moment are the sellers of perishable groceries (i.e. supermarkets) but even that may change.

The online business is also all about scale - which is what the likes of B&H or Wiggle have achieved. - For instance I was at a LBS recently where the assistant complained that their cost is higher than Wiggle's retail price.  They just don't have the scale to move sufficient volumes to get the input costs that the big online guys have.
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2013, 07:52:12 PM »
Alex, I feel for you and thr people like you.

I used to work for Jessops and know the quality of some of their people, when they had their last big round of redundancies I knew lots of folk with impecable service who were laid off overnight, in favour of 18 year olds who were cheaper, and more flexible (pt contracts etc)

Some of my former colleagues went to work for Jacobs, and equally I felt sad for them when they shut down.

I also remember all the little guys that Jessops bought over to clise down (Glasgow Photo Factory locally, happened accross the uk) and I felt sad for their staff.

Jessops used their might inthe days of easy credit to wipe out the competition, the bubble burst, and now the competition has wiped them out.

I am sincerely sad about your predicament Alex, but Jessops as an institution evokes little sympathy from me, and many other photographers I know.  I am lucky enough to be served by a local calumet, who have better ranges, better prices, and in my experience -as a former Jessops colleague- better staff!!

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2013, 03:00:01 PM »
The writing has been on the wall for some time.  The closure of Jacobs showed how the market has changed.
Having higher shop prices than internet sales put many people off. In essence the change from film processing to digital images cut into their core business and the reluctance of the big names to allow discounting of their products made the high street stores uncompetitive due to high overheads.
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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2013, 04:00:57 PM »
Cross-border shopping can't be helping bricks-and-mortar stores. It's crazy that I could save £415 on a 5D III shipped from Hong Kong compared with the same thing from even the lowest priced online retailer in the UK.

The impact seems to be bigger for retailers in the UK than in the US because the price differentials appear to be much wider here. Contentions about local warranty and returns explain why buying from HK isn't necessarily a good idea but they don't explain why the differential is so big in the UK. I'm not clear whether the HK sellers are dodging VAT or whether Canon UK simply demands higher retail margins but whatever the reason for this disparity, something needs to be done to level the playing field for UK retailers.

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2013, 11:33:18 PM »


I wonder how many of us do this, with so many different items, not just camera equipment. I do not buy my camera stuff online, unless it is something simple like CF cards. Anything costly is purchased in store.
There is no profit in selling cameras, the profit that keeps stores in business comes from selling accessories like memory cards and filters. 

paul13walnut5

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2013, 05:58:45 AM »
@Mt Spokane Photography
Quote
There is no profit in selling cameras, the profit that keeps stores in business comes from selling accessories like memory cards and filters. 

There is quite a bit of profit in selling used cameras, which Jessops stopped doing a few years back.  I know this because when I worked for Jessops, I know what we bought stuff in for and what we sold it for.  Anything less than 100% mark up and we wouldn't look at it.
We did give a 12 month warranty so there was some risk.

The staff price on used gear was excellent, the staff price on own brand was excellent, the staff price on cameras and lenses was often more than the over the counter price, so as you rightly say the profit doesn't come from new cameras, which are often loss leaders.

Jessops were charging £60 for an SD card that could be bought from a reliable online source for £20.  Assuming that the online trader is making some mark up thats at least a 200% mark up.  Not uncommon in clothes and food retail, but maybe impractical in a tech savvy market like cameras.

Whilst it's true that Jessops have rent, rates, staff and tax to pay, their biggest problems were:

a legacy of debt from aggressive expansion (where they tried to wipe out all other photo retailers), debt gained easily before the bubble burst, and hard to service in the aftermath

the fact that Canon and Nikon will let anybody sell their kit based on a minimum order criteria, so Tesco or Walmart can order lots and lots of stock and sell it without expert advice along with your milk, but little specialist knowledgable retailers have to think carefully before committing to a $100k account.  Tesco and Walmart have bulk buying power, more efficient delivery networks and infrastructure, and so can discount more.

lack of expert staff.  I joined as a pt salesman when a student, specialising in video gear and canon stills gear.  By the time I left they were bringing in anybody with retail experience, with an empahsis on pumping warranties.

The only good news that can come from this is that the UK shops that deserve our business, who played fair, who have staff with a clue, may have their position consolidated or even strengthened by jessops demise.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 06:45:39 AM by paul13walnut5 »

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2013, 05:58:45 AM »

GMCPhotographics

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2013, 06:22:40 AM »
Cross-border shopping can't be helping bricks-and-mortar stores. It's crazy that I could save £415 on a 5D III shipped from Hong Kong compared with the same thing from even the lowest priced online retailer in the UK.

The impact seems to be bigger for retailers in the UK than in the US because the price differentials appear to be much wider here. Contentions about local warranty and returns explain why buying from HK isn't necessarily a good idea but they don't explain why the differential is so big in the UK. I'm not clear whether the HK sellers are dodging VAT or whether Canon UK simply demands higher retail margins but whatever the reason for this disparity, something needs to be done to level the playing field for UK retailers.

I agree, I sent a letter to the CEO of Canon europe when the 5DIII was released and impossible to source for less than £3000 for body only. My query was why i could import one from the US and pay the VAT and still be 30% better off. His reply was quite an eye opener. He sited that the UK retailers were expected to sell at a discounted rate from the RRP, but nearly all of the UK sellers were selling at max RRP due to low supply. The base sale price to the vendors / shops was pretty much the same in the US and UK excluding the VAT element. The 5DIII really didn't shift many boxes in the first month, compared to the mkII and mkI. The uk sellers were making nearly £500 per unit and passing the cost blame onto Canon. Rip off Brittain! My second 5DIII was bought for £1850 last month from a shop in Jersey. Full UK warranty and manual. In less than one year that camera has dropped £1150, which points to excessive profiteering from the UK sellers. 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 06:28:23 AM by GMCPhotographics »

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2013, 07:34:24 AM »
Interesting to the other story today about experience stores: http://www.canonrumors.com/2013/01/canon-experience-stores-coming-soon-cr3/

I am sure this is the way of the future. Expect to see Canon starting to sell direct over the web as well as through their own stores. More direct "experiential" marketing will give them direct access to customer feedback. Can't be a bad thing!

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paul13walnut5

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2013, 08:12:16 AM »
Looks like the Apple model.

Over the same time as Apple stores came to the fore, Apple went from being a fairly minority maker of IT equipment to being the worlds number 1 consumer electronics company.

As much as I wish Canon success, I hope Canon don't abandon the serious and professional user along the way, as I would argue Apple have done.

inky38

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2013, 11:38:36 AM »
It is a sad situation, but with the increase in on-line 'grey ish' importers it is to be expected.

I don't know how companies like Jessops calculate their cost price, but (for reasons I won't go in to) I've got a good idea as to their cost price for a 7d body.

This cost price to Jessops is roughly £250 more expensive than you can purchase it from well known reputable online dealers.
Jessops then put another £100 or so on for their margin.

The way that I see it, is they didn't make enough profit on the goods that they sold.  (not sure if this is down to their deal with the manufacturers/importers or simply import duty costs)

I understand that their most profitable part of their business is their printing side, so I expect that will be a service that is retained.

GuyF

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2013, 01:18:17 PM »
Cross-border shopping can't be helping bricks-and-mortar stores. It's crazy that I could save £415 on a 5D III shipped from Hong Kong compared with the same thing from even the lowest priced online retailer in the UK.

The impact seems to be bigger for retailers in the UK than in the US because the price differentials appear to be much wider here. Contentions about local warranty and returns explain why buying from HK isn't necessarily a good idea but they don't explain why the differential is so big in the UK. I'm not clear whether the HK sellers are dodging VAT or whether Canon UK simply demands higher retail margins but whatever the reason for this disparity, something needs to be done to level the playing field for UK retailers.

I agree, I sent a letter to the CEO of Canon europe when the 5DIII was released and impossible to source for less than £3000 for body only. My query was why i could import one from the US and pay the VAT and still be 30% better off. His reply was quite an eye opener. He sited that the UK retailers were expected to sell at a discounted rate from the RRP, but nearly all of the UK sellers were selling at max RRP due to low supply. The base sale price to the vendors / shops was pretty much the same in the US and UK excluding the VAT element. The 5DIII really didn't shift many boxes in the first month, compared to the mkII and mkI. The uk sellers were making nearly £500 per unit and passing the cost blame onto Canon. Rip off Brittain! My second 5DIII was bought for £1850 last month from a shop in Jersey. Full UK warranty and manual. In less than one year that camera has dropped £1150, which points to excessive profiteering from the UK sellers.

Interesting. So what the CEO is essentially saying is don't buy big ticket Canon gear when it comes out unless you can buy it without blinking or need it there and then for what it can do over your current gear as it isn't really worth the initial asking price.

I don't regret buying my 5D3 and a bunch of lenses from Jacobs the day after they went into administration but the fact you can now get the body for £1850 (fuuuuuuuuu....!!!!) does sting a teensy bit.

So the lesson to me is simple - when I come to buy another body (and I do like the thought of a mega-pixel 1D-type-of-thing though I don't need it), I'll wait at least until it is 66% of the RRP.

bchernicoff

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2013, 03:00:29 PM »
Jessops to close all stores: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20992125

It's a sad day for our British friends.
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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2013, 03:00:29 PM »

Alex

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2013, 03:35:32 PM »
It is a sad situation, but with the increase in on-line 'grey ish' importers it is to be expected.

I don't know how companies like Jessops calculate their cost price, but (for reasons I won't go in to) I've got a good idea as to their cost price for a 7d body.

This cost price to Jessops is roughly £250 more expensive than you can purchase it from well known reputable online dealers.
Jessops then put another £100 or so on for their margin.

The way that I see it, is they didn't make enough profit on the goods that they sold.  (not sure if this is down to their deal with the manufacturers/importers or simply import duty costs)

I understand that their most profitable part of their business is their printing side, so I expect that will be a service that is retained.


HA

Sorry as I am now a Ex Jessops employee I can honestly say that all cameras were a loss leader.. The trade price on a 7D was around £1100 or more.. Jessops made huge losses on cameras sometimes well over £150.. The idea was to try and compete in the market but sell profitable items like memory cards etc with the cameras.. I shall greatly miss Jessops as I was a devoted customer before I worked there..

78 years of trading and servicing the general public has been torn apart in less then 2 days..

bchernicoff

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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2013, 03:52:41 PM »
HA

Sorry as I am now a Ex Jessops employee I can honestly say that all cameras were a loss leader.. The trade price on a 7D was around £1100 or more.. Jessops made huge losses on cameras sometimes well over £150.. The idea was to try and compete in the market but sell profitable items like memory cards etc with the cameras.. I shall greatly miss Jessops as I was a devoted customer before I worked there..

78 years of trading and servicing the general public has been torn apart in less then 2 days..

Sorry to hear you've lost your job. Hopefully, you can find something soon.
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Re: Jessops close to administration?
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2013, 03:52:41 PM »