Bad news for Camera retail in the UK

High street

As I understand it, although I am not from England or anywhere else in the UK, "High Street" generally refers to the equivalent of what we in the US call Main Street, the street on which you find the biggest concentration of businesses, usually in the middle of a town or small city. Here I think it may refer to big chain businesses like Best Buy in the US, the kind of electronic and general goods stores that, since digital cameras became somewhat of a commodity, compete with traditional camera stores in the sale of digital cameras.
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A High Street is usually the main street in a town where you would find most of the retailers. Whilst still used as a term, many of the High Streets have disappeared as out of town Malls have taken over. Nowadays High Street really just refers to shops rather than on-line or mail order retailers. Administration is indeed a term for Bankruptcy, where a company knowing it is unable to meet its financial obligations would seek a court order for the appointment of an administrator to liquidate the company or find a buyer so that as many of the financial obligations can be met. Sorry to have bored so many people with this cumbersome explanation.
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Yes, high street is main street and means physical shops rather than web sites or mail order. Independent means not part of a global corporation or franchise.

Jacobs is a small chain of dedicated camera shops... I usually visit there on a trip to London. On the one hand they offer the advantages of a shop, you can walk in and try lenses out (if they have it in stock). On the other hand they sell at near internet prices, so I was never afraid of being ripped off. They always seem expensive for accessories though. And they deal in used equipment too...

I really like the try before you buy experience you get in a shop and I'm happy to pay a bit extra for that. I hope they don't all die.
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ereka said:
This might explain why they were reluctant to exchange my 5DMkIII :(

Not necessarily - way back in 2006 I had to threaten them with court action before they'd take back the complete POS Nikon D200 I bought from them.

That sort of "customer service" doesn't help - it was years before I would go back to my local Newcastle shop, and even then I'd only buy "safe" stuff like camera bags from them.

"High Street" in UK-speak = "bricks and mortar" in the US.
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Personally I've always found Jacobs to be a good retailer. Usually staffed by knowledgeable people, who actually use the equipment, and not like some retailers, where the staff might just as easily be flipping burgers.

The loss of this chain would be a severe blow.The fact that Canon appear to be having to help Jessops out puts the long term future of dedicated photographic shops on the British high street in doubt.
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Mt Spokane Photography said:
Canon could have lowered prices in the UK to be more reasonable. I wonder if they realize that many buy from Hong Kong or elsewhere to get more reasonable prices. Holding up the price is not going to help the UK dealers in the long term.

I often wonder how sustainable these kinds of pricing policies are. Local retailers are the first casualties.

Somewhere along the line OEMs are going to have to get used to the idea of giving up the revenue they gain by charging more in some markets (this doesn't only apply to cameras), because arbitrage via the Internet is evening things out.

It's a brave new world for sales of electronic goods. The value added by bricks and mortar retailers is being called into question. Together with that, the Internet has globalised the retail market for electronic goods. For camera manufacturers there is the double-whammy that camera phones are eating away at the low end of the market.

The move at the low end to camera phones immediately hurts the camera manufacturers. The move online also hurts, because the likes of Canon and Nikon are moving less stock through higher-priced markets like Europe and Australia, and more through lower-priced markets linke Hong Kong and Singapore. They will need to adjust their strategies, or be ready for a lot of pain.

Sony has already partially adjusted to the move to camera phones through the fact that a lot of Sony's business is through manufacturing sensors for other brands' cameras and phones (including the iPhone). That hasn't made Sony profitable yet however. Canon doesn't have a share of the phone sensor market at all, however.
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