Jessops Struggling… Again…
The struggling retailer could go into administration as early as the end of today, and is poised to appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers as the administrator. Jessops, which operates more than 200 stores, has had a rocky few years. It managed to avoid administration in 2009 by securing a debt for equity swap with its lenders HSBC, following a series of profit warnings and debt fuelled over-expansion. Equity investors, who had seen Jessops’ share price fall from 155p at flotation in 2004 to penny-stock status, were wiped out as the bank pushed through a restructuring, which included writing off £34m of debt in exchange for a 47pc stake.
“Photographic chain Jessops is set to shut down 15 stores early this year” – Seems to be spreading all over twitter at the moment. Shame to say.. but the writing really was on the wall. Hand up how many times you have used the failing camera store. But.. don’t feel guilty, the service they offered was just not up to scratch. Poor staff training and ill-stocked stores could be blamed as a whole host of other things.
The problem is this, although many people did not use Jessops to BUY the stuff, they did use it as a library to browse and get hands on time with the products before buying them elsewhere. Great for online retailers like WEX and Park Cameras who undoubtedly sold to Jessops customers who found the product in a Jessops store, yet bought cheaper online.
We have to be careful here, there is already a huge problem with people not being able to get hands on time with this gear and Jessops leaving us will make it even worse. In Birmingham we have the great chaps at Calumet, but, they are only stocking a limited range. Calumet make their own kit and only stock some lights. They won’t let you unbox a camera to play with. These are all things that happen for a reason due to the strange way and consumer pressure for low margins. (Calumet policy would be to do so, but has not always happened for me – edited)
It is all coming together in a way that produces a lack of trust in the camera retailers. People are STILL buying cameras, they are just choosing to buy in new places. However, it is not all doom and gloom. Some camera stores with shop fronts are doing well. These tend to be smaller shops though. Park Cameras would be one that has a great reputation, and I for one have always had a great time dealing with Calumet. Especially the Birmingham and Drummond Street stores.
But, Jessops are going to be a big loss on the high street. Love them or loathe them. It was a place where many people – Such as I , bought into the markets with first camera and such. With Jessops being such a household name, it only looks bad for what really is an industry on the move upwards. Photography is current, it’s cool, we have more range and choice than ever on the market place in the way of manufacturers. There are some amazing products coming though and , to be honest. It is a really cool time. So, Why are the retailers getting it so wrong ?? Why are there not cameras stores pop up on street corners ?? It will be so much harder for these companies to get gear into people’s hand without people like Jessops, Calmuet, Park etc.. Both the manufacturer and the consumers want this. The old problem of, I want to look at it on the street street, yet buy it online.
Instagram was sold for silly amounts of money, and I would love to have some explain or try to show to me that Photography world wide is in decline. It is not.. yet.. Jessops is going. Jacobs is gone. Lord only know why Snappy Snaps is open in Coventry. But maybe that is more a point of Coventry. But still… Reducing the access to all this new cool gear the companies like Sigma, Nikon, FujiFilm are giving us is bad for everyone. It really is.
I guess in my head, it works like this. If I want to know about a camera, lens, or other bit of gear. These days I google it and search about for it online. Asking peers or searching twitter and the like. If I was near a camera shop I might pop in, but, I have my self have not been in camera shop for months. And when I had to it was to pick something up super last moment that I could not get online. Before that, it was the Calumet open days that had been my only reason all year to go into a camera store. Quite shocking indeed. How many of you buy photographic magazines even ? How many of you used to by them ? Again.. a few years ago one would have picked up a magazine, checked out what was going on, and popped into a shop once a while to check things for you own needs. Now, twitter and direct link to WEX is the most common place. Maybe you had seen some superstar photographer doing some workshop thing on youtube or something. Either way, these things are changing, and fast.
Who as a consumer should we be trusting? Where should we be putting your money. Jessops clearly never sorted this out but, maybe it was the size of the company was the downfall? I just don’t know. It would be interesting to get some feedback. What are the buying habits? Do people really prefer buying online from an online store or is it just easier and less hassle ? I simply could not and would not want to spend so much money with seeing or holding a camera or lens !
I hate to say it, but Jessops had it wrong, sad indeed, but it looks like Costa can open up more stores in the place for us photographers to feed our other addictions. And on other news… How are the High Street Photography portrait photography companies doing ??
Statement released by PwC to Amateur Photographer: – Reposted from AP
The Jessop Group Limited – in administration (“Jessops or the Company”) ??Edward Williams, Rob Hunt and Matthew Hammond of PwC were appointed joint?administrators of The Jessop Group Limited on 9 January 2013.??Jessops is a major high- street retailer of photographic equipment and growing on line business.
Turnover in the year to 31 December 2012 was £236m and Jessops operated from 192 stores with around 2000 employees throughout the UK. It has a well-known brand, strong reputation for service?and a significant national footprint.??However, 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.
??Rob Hunt, joint administrator and partner, PwC said:??”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. ??Ends ??
FOCUS ON IMAGING is Europe’s biggest annual imaging show, covering all your needs from image capture through to output and beyond. Whether you are a professional image maker or processor, a buyer of image making equipment or materials, a manufacturer or distributor of products or a keen hobbyist, a visit to FOCUS ON IMAGING is a must.
Over 200 exhibitors and product launches galore – - So the Website says.
So, Was it all worth it ?
Well. its free (if you sign up before the event) So its off to a good start at least. For me personally, I had an amazing few days, running about meeting people, making deals, seeing new toys, shaking hands, seeing demo’s and having a bit of a geeky time.
Canon deemed the event unworthy of there attendance, the word on the street was that since they do not have a new product to show, what’s the point in coming. Maybe to save face with your current clients who spend hard earned money with you ? Its like Cadburys not being at a Chocolate Show. Canon lose points. Hasselblad did not attend either, it was a shame, but more understandable. It would of been nice to see Apple there too. Sony had a HUGE stand with a very over the top runway event. Sony seem to think they were still in Japan. Sony still don’t have a camera to make me think of shooting with one, but give it a couple of years. The cameras have some impressive functions and toys, they just need refining a little for me. Pentex had a whole range of new cameras and the new digital back camera, but I never stopped to check them out, sorry ! i was really busy !! I did check out the great new range from Lumix, very nice indeed!!
so who did turn up and brought cool things? Well, Nikon had another new camera aimed in the middle of the range, the D7000. I would still put my money in the D90 , D700 or D3 though. Anything smaller than the D90 would see me going to see the chaps at the Lumix stand. One of the coolest new things I was shown was not even on show. While taking to the chaps on the Orbis stand (please do check them out - http://www.orbisflash.com/ ) I was introduced to Eddie. Eddie is part of the new Tripod range from the 3 LEGGED THING company.
I am awaiting my very own Eddie very soon. There are two others in the new carbon fibre range, Jimmy and Brian. Jimmy is the bigger brother and Brain a smaller more compact and lighter version, check the site our for more info. http://www.3leggedthing.com . I really should say a very big thank you to the very lovely Album Epoca team. This year I was asked to supply some photos for there new range of books. I designed the books and sent them off to be printed and never saw them until they were on display at the trade show, so I was very keen to how they printed up. I have to be honest and, yes.. even though they are my photos, I was taken back a little by the quality of the books and the print. Even the other printing companies were a little interested in seeing the quality of the print. They have over 400 styles of covers and the best print quality I have seen in a wedding book. No, there not the cheapest, but you can see where your money is going. Seeing Flavio Bandiera’s work in these books is a joy, but, seeing my work next to his, well, is a slightly bigger joy to say the least. Do check out the Album Epcoa website and check out there amazing work.
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I had a very long chat with the people at the Royal Photographic Society and the BIPPm trying to work out which is best for me, I have a feeling the RPS are much more suited for my needs and we have been talking workshops amongst other things.
Topaz Labs and Portrait Professional were there showing some cool new plug in software for quick easy edits, I did stop and have a chat with the guys. Topaz were very impressive and very busy, they must be very happy with there results from the show. They have some clever software and slick demo’s to show it off. Lovely guys and best of luck to them. NIK software were there too, I had a long chat with there Marketing Manager and hope to bring you some very good news very soon, for me NIK have the edge with there stunning, well made range of products. After a couple more meetings I am sure there will be some amazing news!! Its safe to say I think they had the edge on all the other “plug in” type products on display. The Topaz Masking tools (Masking 3) are very very nice though. The Topaz Labs programs seem more for creative style then NIK Software.
Inside Focus, an exhibitor’s Perspective, from James Madelin, inventor of the orbis® ringflash and frio™ hotshoe adapter:
“Focus 2011 was a big step up from last year… with many more photographers dropping by our stand to catch up, watch orbis® and frio™ demos and generally hang out and talk about all things lighting, tweeting and more (not forgetting the all-important topic “cake.”)
Tradeshows are great fun from the perspective of an exhibitor. It’s massively exciting to have a chance to hang out with such a diverse range of photographers in one place over a few days, and the atmosphere from our demo team was almost like I’d imagine a music tour might be, with everyone sharing nicknames and in-jokes by the last evening. Exhausting and energising in equal measure. I got to shoot some photos too, which is something I never feel I do enough.
Bring on Focus 2012 !
Damien Lovegrove had his new coffee table book on display of the extremely gorgeous Chloe Jasmine Whichello. Chloe came down on the Tuesday to hang out and say hello, we caught up a little and had a look around , it didn’t take us long to find Starbucks.
Damien :- My first art or coffee table book will be officially launched at the end of March. The book titled ‘Chloe-Jasmine Whichello’ was shot over four and a half months in the second half of 2010. There are punchy street portraits, high class fashion shots and delicate art nudes among the 160 or so photographs of the fabulous C-J. The first 1000 copies of this lavish edition will contain one of five signed and numbered archival prints each in a limited edition of 200. The first 1000 books will also be numbered themselves and signed by Chloe and I.
Standard Edition Price: £49.95 (Pre-order)
Special Edition: Available from FloppyChicken.com
Another little highlight was meeting the incredibly talented Steve Kraitt. He was not at the show, but myself and Chloe bumped into him at the Lovegrove stand. If you not know Steve’s work, I urge you to go and check his work out. Have a look at http://www.kraitt.com/
To sum up, Its just like walking around a very large Calumet store to be honest, but, its also a fantastic chance to see more products in a great way to compare them. It is also, a fantastic chance to network. As you might well guess if you did come to the event. Its set up to sell, and sell alot. Calumet, Jessops and Jacobs were all there with a whole host of the smaller trade show sales shops. You could lose lots of money very quickly indeed. Especially if you went to the Phase One or Fuji stands. The Colour correction and printer company were there in force with Fuji and Epson taking the Key spots. The event is set up to sell and provide to wedding photographers, this means that the wedding album printers are all there and all have very busy stands. (Album Epoca are the best – because they use my work in the demo books ! I have to say it !!)
I would love to see Focus really focus on photography and photographers a little bit more, it would be fantastic to see the Arts world a little bit more represented at these sorts of shows, I say get some local artists to show work !! A nice gallery would not go a-miss at a photography event !! I shall leave you with a the very lovley Vicki Blatchley modelling a Brian the tripod from 3 Legged thing.
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