Some 2000 jobs have been put at risk as camera chain Jessops became the first high-profile retail casualty of 2013. Store closures at the specialist nationwide camera retailer were said to be "inevitable", according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The firm was appointed as administrator after funding talks with its lender and suppliers collapsed. The group, which has its headquarters in Leicester, has suffered from online competition and the boom in camera phones in recent years, hitting demand for digital cameras.
PwC said Jessops' profits over Christmas were worse than planned and it had also seen a "significant decline" in its core marketplace in 2012.
– Joint administrator Rob Hunt
Our most pressing task is to review the company's financial position and hold discussions with its principal stakeholders to see if the business can be preserved. Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures.
PwC added that Jessops was not in a position to honour customer vouchers at present, and it would also not accept returned goods. Retail analyst Nick Bubb said that with competition from smart phones and online retailers, Jessops' administration was "probably inevitable".
- Write to the administrators (Price Waterhouse Cooper) with proof of your vouchers. There is no guarantee that you will get the full value back, and a claim could take some time to process.
- If you have bought an extended warranty, check the small print carefully. Often it is provided by a third party in which case you shouldn't be affected.
- If you've bought items costing more than £100 on a credit card and the supplier goes bust, you can claim a refund by writing to the credit company.
Jessops has struggled since 2007, when it underwent a major overhaul with a swathe of store closures. The collapse of Jessops comes after consumer electricals chain Comet hit the wall last year, sparking more than 6,000 job losses. For more on this story read Jessops placed in administration.