Troubled camera store enters administration

Reports of rejected CVA puts 500 jobs at risk as Jessops hits the rocks (again)

For the second time this autumn the dark shadow of administration has fallen across Jessops’ 46 camera stores. In October there was a danger the firm would collapse as it teetered on the brink. Now the owner Peter Jones of Dragons Den fame has called in administrators ReSolve and putting 500 jobs in the balance.

Writing in retail Gazette Sahar Nazir said: “Jones bought Jessops out of administration back in 2013, and the threat of a second administration for the camera retailer first came about in October 2019. He is reportedly looking to cut costs by renegotiating rents and closing loss-making stores.”

He said that while Jessops’ main trading company Jessops Europe is not affected by the administration and Jones will continue the business as usual, it is not clear whether the administration process would safeguard the retailer’s 500 jobs.

He said: “The retailer’s parent company Jessops Group said it had recovered from a £765,000 loss in 2017 to make a profit of £722,000 as sales rose nearly 20 per cent to £120 million, in the year to the end of April 2018. However, Jessops continued to be affected by the UK’s rising costs and low consumer confidence, as well as the shift to online.”

The interesting subtext to this is Nazir’s understanding that Jones failed to get the landlords of some of the stores to approve a CVA which would have slashed rents and salvaged the chain of photographic shops.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said it was another sign that the High Street has been usurped by online shopping. He said: “ICSM members had flagged up problems with the company during the last few months and it comes as no surprise they have entered administration. Hopefully a high tech firm can buy them out but things look bleak at the moment for the retail sector.”

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Pic: Retail Gazette of Peter Jones

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