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Quote: will not be honouring any vouchers or taking any returned goods for the moment
Similar to COMET last year, after a review vouchers were allowed to be exchanged.
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Quote: Someone said they stopped selling secondhand gear. This was massive for them, I remember you could ring a department at their HQ and search for any item, if a shop in the whole chain had it, they'd transfer it to your local branch, fantastic, they would also part ex your old kit. Who's smart idea was it to stop dealing in used kit?
I remember discussing this with Inverness shop staff a few years ago and even they were gong along the road to Ffordes for better trade-in prices. I think that eBay and classified ads on photo websites set a trend for secondhand prices and Jessops just decided not to be bothered for the money they were likely to make on secondhand. The real irony of course is that Jessops just moved into a new store in Inverness High Street in December and I understand this was one of a number of locations nationally where moves were being made, so they must have had a belief that they could see things through.
In Kingston, SW London, where I live, there was a Jacobs and a Jessups side by side. Then Jacobs went - now Jessops?
That means about the only shops selling cameras in one of the biggest shopping centres in the south east of England are departmental stores like John Lewis. Plenty of others nearby in central London but amazing that big UK shopping areas can't support such a popular hobby.
Just saw the news, on return from Belgium.
Looks like the end of the high street camera shop.
Quote: Why the CEO went to HMV I don't know, CD's / DVD's really are a dying market.
Maybe they need someone with experience of taking a company into administration.
I recently spent a lot of money in jessops and have taken out extended warranties on several items
I hope the warranties will still be honoured
Quote: I recently spent a lot of money in jessops and have taken out extended warranties on several items
I hope the warranties will still be honoured
It would depend if it is Jessops, or a third party finance house that they contract it out to.
It is a photo + protection plan with Domestic & General. I took them out on a new camera, Canon 650d & 2 separate lenses.
Sad to hear, but inevitable. I worked for Jessops from 1984 to 1991 when Alan was owner and his daughter Kathy was in marketing. I was part of the team that set up the 18th store in Sheffield. The guys in head positions where a great team and most had been there all their working lives. The process was great. They had everything for sale on a price list that a magnifier was needed to read. It was cheap to produce, but listed everything from the most popular cameras to obscure darkroom kit - including every accessory every manufacturer listed in their brochures. Most of the items were in stock at every branch, and if it wasn't it could be order from a branch that had it and be with you either a day or two after.
Jessops had the best selection of second hand gear in the country (possibly world) and offered good part exchange prices. I respected the way they ran a business.
When I went to work in publishing I got to know the Jessop family on a more personal level and spent time at their home in Leicestershire. They were great people.
The one thing I didn't like was that the company started to buy up most of the local photography shops.
Then the family decided to sell and the good guys who'd been running it got together in a management buyout. Those guys helped support ePHOTOzine in the very early days and I'm grateful. I don't think any of them are left in the business.
Later I believe the banks injected money and made a mistake of bringing in people who were not photographers to make big decisions...and that's possibly part of the reason why things went down the pan.
They did have a go at the internet early on, but had issues in producing price competitive kit online while selling a street price in store. It's a huge dilemma for any retailer and was more so in the early stages of online retailing.
At some stage they removed the magnifier price list and copied other retailers (since demised) by producing a huge colour catalogue that missed those obscure items and probably cost a fortune to produce and distribute. They also expanded into the high street where previously they'd always been in lower cost off-centre locations. And more recently they ditched second hand (as suggested above maybe a silly decision) but eBay has been taking much of that market for years. The thing with second hand is every item is individual so is one of the few things left worth buying after it's been handled.
In the last few years most of the expert staff have either been booted out or moved on...only those loyal remained. Branches became quite sterile in approach.
And the biggest issue is most people are buying online now - and the cheeky ones will go and spend half an hour in a local retailer checking out what's available, asking questions and getting the answers, then buying the item from some online retailer. Others will ask for a price match, which many stores would oblige, but then sell for below what they really need to keep afloat to get the business. In the old days that wouldn't matter and be seen as a loss leader because you'd be a repeat customer with film processing and additional purchases on consumables...now all that is done online.
And if they disappear from the high street the gaps will not be filled by those old retailers that where bought up or put out of business by the giant. We're moving towards a future where you will no longer be able to check what the camera or gear feels like. If you want to continue to handle gear I'd recommend you support the locals, such as Harrison Cameras, London Camera Exchange, Park Cameras, Castle Cameras, Wilkinson Cameras and Camera World etc.
It's a bleak time in the high street and I guess one of the next to go will be our last major music retailer HMV.
Many years ago I asked the local Jessops to get in a used mint condition Nikon lens they had. The first time I went in, the shutter on the door was broken, and they were unable to serve customers. The next day I went in, I found the item showed obvious dents and scratches. So I wrote a letter of complaint. I received a reply from a senior manager saying they would look into it. A month or two later I got a response saying that the item had indeed been badly misdescribed, that they would look into secondhand sales, and enclosing a £20 gift voucher as an apology. A few months later they stopped sales of secondhand items except at selected stores. I assume they decided that they needed trained staff to handle secondhand sales. But that to me indicates the problem with a huge chain that was trying to expand too fast.
Quote: If you want to continue to handle gear I'd recommend you support the locals, such as London Camera Exchange, Park Cameras, Castle Cameras, Wilkinson Cameras and Camera World etc.
I make a point of buying from a shop if I use them to examine gear. If their prices are silly, I do not visit. It seems dishonest. I don't mind paying a small premium for a local shop, but Jessops prices were in potty land. And the shops are now vile, anaemic, yuck.
Quote: Later I believe the banks injected money and made a mistake of bringing in people who were not photographers to make big decisions...and that's possibly part of the reason why things went down the pan.
It's incredible how often companies bring in people who have no experience/knowledge of the field they will be working in; it happens time and time again.
Obviously sad that 2000 folk might lose their jobs but let's not kid ourselves about the photographic marketplace.
Not so very long ago it was Jessops who were the predator - forcing the independent High Street camera shop out of business with their aggressive pricing and "supermarket" bargaining power.
Now they have fallen prey to the online retailers.
At the end of the day, it is we - the consumers - who dictate the marketplace. As far as cameras and accessories are concerned we want one of two extremes - either lowest possible prices or best possible expert service. Jessops did not meet either of those needs, I fear.
With PC world and even Tesco selling camera's upto about £500 a massive market segment is removed of people that don't need to go to a camera store.
its almost as if the do everything store is one of the few able to compete with the web. Is this a return of the department store in a new guise?
jessops has been a great store for me and I'll miss its localness and stock.
Quote: I assume they decided that they needed trained staff to handle secondhand sales. But that to me indicates the problem with a huge chain that was trying to expand too fast.
Buying second hand is a nightmare and does need dedicated staff... I was an anorak and took control of the second hand at our branch. I made it my area of expertise. The company had a huge manual with guide prices for everything, pages of lens mount diagrams to identify various versions of Nikon, Hasselblad etc. But spotting the defects (often the reason a bit of kit was being traded in) was quite a challenge, especially when the queues where building and in the early days we worked none stop from 9-5.30, sometimes with a shop packed to full capacity. And also we'd get in weird and wonderful lenses that were not listed and obscure filters...I grew to know the value of everything! You cannot buy that knowledge.
Those early days were absolutely brilliant and I made many friends, some who are around today on ePHOTOzine, some sadly now no longer with us. We had all the pros buying from us, all the uni heads, students, camera club guys, authorities with their huge (must spend before the end of budget period) purchase orders and enthusiasts. Interestingly hardly any snappers - they would have been intimidated by the nerdy shop floor displays of Agfa Rodinal and Ilford Mutligrade FB, and if they looked at the film section they'd see Kodak High Speed Infrared and Agfa DiaDirect, so they shopped at Boots. Someone obviously decided they were the people (mass market) that Jessops should go for...and bang - all the weird and wonderful stuff stayed kit at HQ and branches turned into processing outlets.
Quote: It's incredible how often companies bring in people who have no experience/knowledge of the field they will be working in; it happens time and time again.
They did have knowledge of retail, but I think the photography aspect, and understanding the photographer's mind is what was lacking.
I remember the secondhand book and its 1 to 10 grading system. The most important thing to learn, was that nothing was ever a 10, even if you took it of the new shelf.
You could always see what the shop paid for used kit, as the first few numbers of the items code was the buying in price.
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