THE future of a city centre store looks bleak after camera retailer Jessops became the latest high Street victim of the recession.
Around 2,000 jobs are under threat after the group, which has a branch in Fawcett Street, Sunderland, collapsed into administration yesterday. Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said store closures were “inevitable”.
Leicester-based Jessops is Britain’s only specialist nationwide camera retailer, with nearly 200 stores.
Yesterday’s news marks the first high-profile retail collapse of 2013 and comes soon after consumer electrical chain Comet hit the wall, sparking more than 6,000 job losses.
Jessops has suffered in recent years from online competition and the boom in camera phones, which has hit demand for digital cameras.
Rob Hunt, joint administrator and partner with 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. 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.”
PWC says employees will continue to be paid, if they go to work but Jessops is not in a position to honour customer vouchers or to accept returned goods.