Jessops close to administration?

insanitybeard

EOS RP
Mar 20, 2012
303
0
40
South west UK
Just saw a story on Yahoo saying they had gone into admin..... they've been under a cloud for a while now, there were tales that our Exeter store was going to close a year back or so. I bought my 7D and a couple lenses from them a few years back but must admit that thesedays I buy more online. Still, will be one less bricks and mortar store for camera kit in this country if they do go..... I even did work experience in my local Jessops years ago when I was still at school! :(
 

GuyF

EOS RP
May 26, 2012
689
0
I'm surprised they lasted this long. You knew things were looking bad years ago when the share price fell to 2p(!) and they were removed from the stock exchange. It's easy to speculate but I think they simply over-reached themselves by opening so many branches.
 

old_york

I'm New Here
Sep 11, 2012
24
0
www.flickr.com
Pro / serious Pro-sumer / P&S users......will hardly notice the passing of Jessops. It is easy to buy gear from Amazon/Calumet/Ebay/DigitalRev/ARGOS!!!/tesco!?!/ etc. etc. when you have researched and know what you want, or just "want a camera with lots of megapickles!"

It's people in the middle ground I feel sorry for, - folks who want advice on the high-street, who with the passing of Jessops (and Jacobs last year) won't really have a dedicated high street camera/video shop.

That said.....I was in one of their stores a few days ago, and to be honest the sales guy's "advice" (I was just having a browse and seeing if there were any accessories at a sensible price in their sale), ranged from a confused: "erm, uhhuh, I'm not sure about that; the guy who normally looks after the Canon stuff isn't here today," to just plain wrong. Horribly inaccurately WRONG info about the bodies and lenses I'd asked about.

It's almost a shame, but it's kind of inevitable. (Though it may mean breathing space and a new lease of life for specialist local retailers - we can but hope).
 
A

AdamJ

Guest
BBC News summed it up quite well - the iphone generation aren't buying compact cameras, while buyers of higher-end gear are increasingly shopping online where there is a wider range. I tried to get some stuff from my local Jessops not so long ago but they just didn't stock what I wanted.

I'd like to think the disappearance of Jessops will help the independent specialists but if it does, I suspect it will be a blip in an otherwise downward trajectory for them too.
 
I'm only 23 and I wasn't around 20 years when people tell me Jessops for more for the professional photographer as well as enthusiasts. Currently it is easy to tell from looking in their shops their market is now the enthusiast. 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.

The same process has happened to the outdoor leisure shops - their main focus is the middle section of the market - it is more profitable to sell 500x £250 cameras a year than 50x £2000 products.

I must say London Camera Exchange is very different and a much better place to buy as even their sales assistants have a genuine interest in photography.

I think also the presence of online shops drive the higher margins found in places like Jessops to pay for unit rent and staff salaries which in turn puts off professional photographers due to markup on products. It's a shame but something that is only going to continue into the future.

I'm now told that jessops are looking into home printing solutions - canvas etc a way to keep turning profit.
 

bornshooter

Love L series glass
Jul 13, 2011
702
0
scotland
www.flickr.com
I just bought my 1 dx from them last month they were the cheapest in the uk at that time,i could have got it cheaper from overseas but was not comfortable spending that money anywhere apart from a reputable canon uk stockist.Shame they are in administration.
 
James Billett said:
I'm only 23 and I wasn't around 20 years when people tell me Jessops for more for the professional photographer as well as enthusiasts. Currently it is easy to tell from looking in their shops their market is now the enthusiast. 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.
Just to clarify, Currys and Dixons are part of the same retail group as PC World, it was Comet that went into administration, then met its demise.
As for advice in Jessops, it is very hit and miss. You can get some good advice in some shops, but not all of the time and not in all shops. I once found myself advising the sales assistant to help her with her college course and future career choice.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,265
1,302
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.
 
Mar 21, 2012
243
0
James Billett said:
I'm only 23 and I wasn't around 20 years when people tell me Jessops for more for the professional photographer as well as enthusiasts. Currently it is easy to tell from looking in their shops their market is now the enthusiast. 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.

The same process has happened to the outdoor leisure shops - their main focus is the middle section of the market - it is more profitable to sell 500x £250 cameras a year than 50x £2000 products.

I must say London Camera Exchange is very different and a much better place to buy as even their sales assistants have a genuine interest in photography.

I think also the presence of online shops drive the higher margins found in places like Jessops to pay for unit rent and staff salaries which in turn puts off professional photographers due to markup on products. It's a shame but something that is only going to continue into the future.

I'm now told that jessops are looking into home printing solutions - canvas etc a way to keep turning profit.
Not only do online stores not have to pay store rent, many of them like Amazon fiddle their books so they don't pay UK tax.
 

glongstaff

EOS M6 Mark II
Dec 9, 2012
73
0
glongstaff.smugmug.com
Firstly let me make this remark...'its a shame that so many people may be losing their jobs'....

Secondly, it is no wonder that places like Jessops have gone into admin....due to lack of good service in some of their shops, lack of knowledge by the staff. Boltons store went from a reasonably sized store where people could move about and they had quite a lot of different stock on shelving to a dingey little store tucked away where there was 1 or 2 ppl available at all times, if there were loads of ppl in the shop you were falling over each other.

Lastly, the price of goods being sold.....(of course they have had to mark up to take account of floor space, staff etc)...but the pricing has always been a downfall when you get equipment by shopping around or going to other 'dedicated' camera shops.....

Jessops in my mind was just like another Wildings.....jack of all trades and master of none
 

Haydn1971

UK based, hobbyist
Nov 7, 2010
594
1
49
Sheffield, UK
www.flickr.com
Very sad news for all the staff affected. But as said above, I suspect 100's of independent retailers are breathing a sigh of relief about the big player being removed from the markets.

Sadly, Jessops fell in a difficult place, they generally didn't sell the higher end kit, so you either had to buy online or search out an independent nearby... They couldn't really make much on their bread and butter sales either, with most people happy to search out the cheapest deal online. The sad part of this is that the middle market buyers will now struggle to find their next purchase and have a play with the physical camera/lens/tripod/bag before purchase.

The independents whilst having to be competitive, can afford to be less competitive, as higher end buyers have a greater degree of loyalty, they like the confidence of walking out of the shop with something they have handled and know works, spend on the higher margin miscellaneous items like filters, bags and gadgets, a few extra quid on these doesn't really matter if you want it for that weekend.
 

keithcooper

EOS RP
CR Pro
It's a sad day, but not unexpected.

Times change... We used to have two big photography companies here (both Jessops and Jacobs were founded here in Leicester, UK)

When I moved into my house in Leicester, in 1987, Jessops had a simply vast store just round the corner (Hinckley Rd for those that know it). It had darkroom and studio supplies, ran training courses and a vast range of cameras covering all formats. Lots of staff expertise too...

In 2004, the day before I headed off to the US for a month, I decided I wanted a decent longer lens for my 1Ds - I just went in and bought a 70-200 2.8L IS - good price and from a store a few hundred yards from home...

When that store closed a few years ago, several of the buildings had already been sold off and it was showing distinct signs of the business slowing down.

Last night I was in part of the building again - it's a fish and chip shop...
 

zim

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Oct 18, 2011
1,937
135
itsnotmeyouknow said:
Not only do online stores not have to pay store rent, many of them like Amazon fiddle their books so they don't pay UK tax.

Amazon (and the rest) are not at the ‘fiddle’. They are operating perfectly legally. It is the asinine tax laws and trade agreements engineered by successive governments that allow tax evasion to exist in this country. The government could do something about it if they wished. They do not, can’t imagine why eh.
 

expatinasia

EOS 5D Mark IV
Aug 18, 2011
1,715
10
Asia Pacific
glongstaff said:
Firstly let me make this remark...'its a shame that so many people may be losing their jobs'....
Yes, totally agree.

I read a comment somewhere else from someone who claimed to be an ex-employee and what s/he said is quite poignant, "it is one less place that customers can go to see, touch and play with a camera before they go and purchase it online".

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.
 

Alex

EOS M6 Mark II
Aug 20, 2012
70
0
31
North Devon
James Billett said:
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..
 

gmrza

EOS RP
Jan 21, 2011
521
1
Mt Spokane Photography said:
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.
 
P

paul13walnut5

Guest
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!!
 

iaind

EOS RP
Jul 25, 2011
353
0
63
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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AdamJ

Guest
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.