Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 6°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

The fire broke out in a kitchen of a ground floor flat High Street North, West Mersea at 8pm.

Firefighters tackled a flat blaze in north-east Essex on Thursday night.

Jonny Williams, pictured during his loan spell at Ipswich Town earlier this season

Ipswich Town have completed a sensational double swoop moments before the 5pm ‘emergency’ loan deadline – landing Jonny Williams and Zeki Fryers from Crystal Palace.

Network Rail engineers carried out essential track repairs in the tunnel near Ipswich train station. It started at 11pm and is expected to finish at 5am on Friday.

Rail services in Suffolk were delayed on Thursday night due to emergency engineering work.

The search and rescue operation off the coast of Felixstowe.

Two illegal immigrants plunged to their deaths in north-east Essex after desperately jumping from a ship in an attempt to swim to shore after a failed attempt to smuggle themselves in to the UK, an inquest has heard.

A Hyundai i20, BMW 120 and another vehicle, unknown at this stage, were involved in the collision on the A14 eastbound at Beyton at 7.50pm, police said.

A three-vehicle crash on the A14 near Bury St Edmunds injured three motorists tonight.

Strikes in Byford Road, Sudbury was hit by ram raiders

A stolen Land Rover was used to smash down the door of a bowling alley in Sudbury last night, before the raiders stole money and a change machine from inside the building.

Roe deer feeding in oilseed rape field, Suffolk, by Kevin Sawford

An award-winning wildlife photographer will be giving an illustrated talk on his craft to a group of like-minded enthusiasts.

A bus and a woman have collided in St Andrew's Street South, Bury St Edmunds.

A young woman has been taken to hospital after being involved in a collision with a bus in Bury St Edmunds.

A 27-year-old woman was jogging in Grove Road when a cyclist grabbed her buttock as he cycled past at around 6.30pm on Tuesday,  March 10.

Police are linking three sexual assault incidents in Felixstowe, it was announced today.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages