Dragons' Den star Peter Jones has chosen Birmingham as one of the places to relaunch camera retailer Jessops today.
Some 2000 jobs have been put at risk as camera chain Jessops became the first retail casualty of 2013, with store closures "inevitable".
Jessops looks set to become the first high street casualty of 2013 as the retailer is understood to be on the brink of administration.
Consumer rights group Which? said customers need to be aware of their rights as it emerged that people with Jessops gift vouchers may not be able to use them. A spokesman for Which? gave this advice:
- 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.
– Linda Willis
[I'm] very sorry to hear that. My ex-husband and my son have spent a lot of money in Jessops over the years. So have I! But as others have said, online sales have brought a more reasonable price when people are strapped for cash.
– Chris Ingall
It doesn't surprise me. My local Jessops is always empty and as a keen amateur photographer I noticed some of their equipment could easily be bought elsewhere sometimes at a third of the price ...
– Fanny Allen
In our small town, we have so many charity shops, banks, a 99p store, cash loan shops. [It's] pathetic really.
A statement from Jessops' administrators Price Waterhouse Cooper describes the reasons for the chain's financial troubles:
– price waterhouse cooper
Its core marketplace has seen a significant decline in 2012 and forecasts for 2013 indicate that this decline would continue.
In addition, the position deteriorated in the run up to Christmas as a result of reducing confidence in UK retail.
Despite additional funding being made available to the company by the funders, this has meant that Jessops has not generated the profits it had planned with a consequent impact on its funding needs.
This was exacerbated by a credit squeeze in the supplier base.
I understand that Jessops' bank HSBC had been trying to keep things going, but its suppliers, Nikon and Canon, kept cutting credit terms.
Jessops has suffered from years of uncertainty and managed to avoid administration in 2009 by securing a debt-for-equity swap with HSBC.
Jessops' administrators Price Waterhouse Coopers say that the company's online business was growing, but not fast enough to save the rest of the business.
A representative from Jessops' administrators Price Waterhouse Cooper has released this statement:
Over the last few days the directors, funders and key suppliers have been in discussions as regards additional consensual financial support for the business. However these discussions have not been successful.
In light of these irreconcilable differences the directors decided to appoint
administrators and we were appointed earlier today.
– Rob Hunt, joint administrator and partner, price waterhouse cooper
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.
Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) has confirmed that Jessops has now filed for administration following "significant decline".
Administrators say it is "inevitable" that there will be store closures, and that the chain can't honour vouchers or returned goods at the moment
Camera retailer Jessops has been placed into administration, with administrators saying store closures are "inevitable".