Jessops store ‘closures inevitable’

Photographic retailer Jessops has gone into administration putting jobs across the area at risk.

The major high street retailer has two stores in Milton Keynes and one each in Hemel Hempstead, Luton, Aylesbury and Bedford.

PwC’s Edward Williams, Rob Hunt and Matthew Hammond have today (January 9) been appointed joint administrators of The Jessop Group Limited.

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Mr Hunt, joint administrator and partner, PwC said it is inevitable that there will be store closures.

He said: “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 but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures.”

Jessops is a major high street retailer of photographic equipment and growing on line business. Turnover in the year to December 31 2012 was £236million and Jessops operated from 192 stores with around 2,000 employees throughout the UK.

Despite its strengths, PwC added that Jessops’ core marketplace has seen a significant decline in 2012 and forecasts for 2013 indicate that this decline would continue. The stores also had a bad Christmas overall.

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PwC said despite additional funding being made available to the company by the funders, 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.

Discussions with funders have not been successful and directors appointed administrators.

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