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Jessops UK closes all 187 stores

UK photo specialist chain Jessops has brought in PwC as administrator and shut all its 187 stores.

jessops_hold_logoSo far around 1400 jobs have been shed, with more to come out of the Leicester head office.

PwC said that the decision to shut the business rather than trade on came after it became clear leading suppliers such as Canon and Nikon would not support ongoing trading. The final straw for suppliers was apparently poor Christmas sales.

Stock is being returned to suppliers and with the business now closed, Jessops is not accepting returned product from customers, and gift vouchers are worthless.

In 2009, Jessops managed to avoid administration by agreeing a debt-for-equity swap with its lender, HSBC, that saw it taken off the stock market.

A report on UK website Amateur Photography stated that Jessops owed HSBC £30 million when it collapsed on January 9.

Canon UK issued a statement on the closure of the business: ‘Canon is disappointed to hear the news regarding Jessops, having had a strong relationship with the company for many years, and particularly following our efforts to support them during recent difficult trading conditions.

‘Canon remained willing to support, in a reasonable way, the continuation of the business.’

Perhaps the most alarming financial figure in this story is that Jessops turnover in the 2012 calendar year was £236m, which averages out at around £1.25 million per store, yet it was unable to turn a profit.

The camera chain was founded in Leicester in 1935 by Frank Jessop.


  1. Andrew Mason Andrew Mason January 17, 2013

    Sad but true.
    I was in London for a week at the begining of December.
    In central London + the suburbs I walked passed and went in to 6/7 Jessops stores all were busy with customers but obviously not with pounds sterling to spend.
    I also guess that if there ever was a market for second hand Fuji printers that has gone through the floor.
    perhaps Fujifilm can put the price of films up again to recoup a bit of money.
    One winner may now be Snappy Snaps as long as George Michael does not drive his car into any more of their shops.
    Andrew Mason

  2. James Madelin James Madelin January 17, 2013

    Everyone at C-suite level at Jessops never deserve to get another job in remotely the same position ever again. I’ve never seen such a clear case of bad management in my life. Anyone want to join me in buying some of the assets from the administrators ?

    • Phil G Phil G January 25, 2013

      James, the culture at the top filtered through all the way to the bottom. In visits to 7 Jessops stores over a 6 year period, the most recent in 2011 I never once spoke to a staff member. Secret was to hang around the kiosks and output areas, you could take photos and do what you like they were so disinterested. I suspect they weren’t female friendly as well.

  3. Leonard Keith Sherwood Leonard Keith Sherwood August 3, 2021

    I have observed that usually when city-backed nonphoto retail persons enter into the camera retail business – they fail. Photo is a hobby and like ‘fishing’ can only be run by a photo retail specialist – without that background one will not make the right judgments or know all the supply routes.

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