Deathwatch - Jessops lose focus with £60 million debts

29 May 2009

In days gone by, the humble camera shop represented a veritable Aladdin's cave of curiosity and intimidation. Now, it serves only to allow online buyers to test-drive equipment before they buy it off eBay, while everybody else heads to PC World to buy something with more pixels than necessary to photograph their pissed-up mates on a hen night.

This shift in business is not lost on those behind the counter. Camera firm Jessops, which has over 200 stores across the North of England has announced the likelihood of job losses and the need for a "fundamental restructuring" of its debt, which currently adds up to £60 million. Because of their historic high level of debt, it's thought that no value will be attributed to shareholders. Ooops.

The UK's largest photographic retailer reported half-year losses of over £6 million for the six months to the end of March, with sales were down four per cent; that follows full-year losses of almost £50 million at the beginning of February, despite closing over 80 stores in 2007. The company has refused to comment further on any expected redundancies. We'll let you know how the story develops.

TOPICS:   High Street News

8 comments

  • Tom P.
    "Because of their historic high level of debt, it’s thought that no value will be attributed to shareholders." What does that statement mean? The shares are worthless or that there will be no dividend? The shares are up 22% at this moment.
  • MinstrelMan
    sharholders arent bright enough read BW though........ first with the news..... FACT!
  • Joff
    So if Jessops go from the High Street, where will camera jockeys go to put dSLRs through their paces?
  • Nobby
    > So if Jessops go from the High Street, where will camera jockeys go to put dSLRs through their paces? Independent camera stores or other photography chains like London Camera Exchange.
  • John
    I'd never go to Jessops to put an DSLR through its paces, that's for sure - I dislike their approach in going from hiring staff who actually knew what cameras in considerable detail to a Dixons style approach hiring cheap staff who barely know what a camera is. When I was considering a Nikon D700 SLR the staff were useless, they knew it was a Nikon but despite it being a significant release that's all they knew about it. There were only budget lenses available for it, no top end Nikkors such as the 14-24mm/24-70mm/70-200mm which are all common choices for this class of camera. Although they had a good deal on the body I didn't buy from them. I use my local specialist camera shop which stocks everything from compacts all the way up to Mamiya/Hasselblad medium format bodies, Leica systems and large format cameras. When choosing a semi-pro body I went to their open day where I could try out the body and any of the lenses and accessories available. I ended up buying the SLR and lens spending close to 2,000 pounds which was a bit higher than I could get online but it was worth it for the expert service and actually being able to try out the equipment properly first. The proper pro lenses were also available and being able to try them out properly was vital in helping to choose which ones to go for which I later purchsed from them, the high cost means a poor choice would be an expensive waste of money. I can't say I'd miss Jessops simply because they only reason I'd go to them is for a lower price which I can probably get online anyway.
  • Deathwatch: B.
    [...] the high street shops which continue to operate as before and will continue to do so.” Many more millions of pounds of losses and the closure of loads more stores [...]
  • Kiwi
    Jessops Durham store has just closed and disappeared from their website. Any others?
  • Make f.
    [...] finances originally. Only use a cash advance when you have not merely one other choice, and this will support as opposed to injured you [...]

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