Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK: 2,000 jobs at risk as camera chain Jessops enters administration

14:23 09 January 2013

Jessops

Jessops

AROUND 2,000 jobs at camera chain Jessops are under threat after the group collapsed into administration today, with a warning that store closures are “inevitable”.

shares

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed to the group, which is Britain’s only specialist nationwide camera retailer, with nearly 200 stores, including branches in Ipswich Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, Lowestoft, Chelmsford, Cambridge and Norwich.

It marks the first high-profile retail collapse of 2013 and comes soon after consumer electricals chain Comet hit the wall, sparking more than 6,000 job losses.

Jessops, which has its headquarters in Leicester, has suffered in recent years from online competition and the boom in camera phones, which has hit demand for digital cameras.

It underwent a major overhaul in 2007 and a swathe of store closures, but came close to collapse two years later before being rescued by its main lender HSBC in a controversial debt-for-equity swap that saw it taken off the stock market.

The bank took a 50% stake in the business in return for writing off £34 million of loans.

There was speculation last year that suppliers such as Canon were considering injecting cash into Jessops to help prop the business up, but no deal materialised.

Rob Hunt, joint administrator and a partner at PwC said today: “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.

“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.”

“Finally, at present Jessops is not in a position to honour customer vouchers or to accept returned goods,” he added.

Jessops last year also suffered the loss of its chief executive Trevor Moore, who left to head up HMV, as well as its chairman David Adams.

Martyn Everett was then appointed as chairman and Neil Old was promoted to lead the business as chief operating officer.

The firm began life in 1935 when Frank Jessop opened his first shop in Leicester.

shares

0 comments

Allison Heathcote and son James Heathcote at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, where she was treated after being shot five times in the Tunisia terror attacks.

A Felixstowe woman who was fighting for her life after the Tunisia beach attack in which her husband was killed has said she can only “vaguely recall” the massacre.

Cars for sale at the roadside

Trading Standards experts have revealed the top 10 most frequent consumer complaints.

Police called to a collision between a car and motorcycle.

A 22-year-old motorcyclist was taken to hospital after colliding with a car on the A12 at Melton.

Mars

A physicist who worked on a high-resolution camera that sent images back from Mars has turned his hand to writing.

Doeke Dobma of Clinks Care Farm, Toft Monks, Beccles.

An East Anglian care farmer has invited a group of refugees based around Ipswich to pay a visit next week and pick produce grown on his land.

East of England Ambulance Trust attended the scene.

A man was treated for minor injuries after two cars collided just prior to the Barnby Bends in Beccles.

The new building for Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard. Headteacher, Wayne Lloyd is pictured.

Students beginning the new school year in west Suffolk next Monday will return to a brand new multi-million pound state-of-the-art building.

Colchester General Hospital

A woman believed to be in her 70s was taken to hospital following a collision in Essex.

From left to right: Moira Ely, Leah Fuller and Colin Ely presenting the cheque for £2,000 to St Elizabeth Hospice after Colin's bungee jump in July

An Ipswich landlady has vowed to follow in the footsteps of her extraordinary dad – and tackle a charity bungee jump for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages