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Quote: As for Jessops, well maybe they should have seen it coming and diversified.....easy to say with hindsight I guess.
Funny you should say that - back in the Jessop family run days they brought in their son Chris Jessop to run a new section...phones! This is back in the 80s! Ahead of their time. I remember being told that we had to strip half of the shop floor display area that was full of interesting printing papers, slide magazines and archival storage material to make way for answer machines, fax ribbons and multi functional phones. I think the project lasted about six months.
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I dont think the camera phone boom is quite as damaging to the market as its believed.
More and more people got into photography as digital cameras became more accessible, and some even came to photography after taking pics with their phones. I'm not sure many dSLR users suddenly dumped their cameras after getting a new mobile, and looking at the amount of members here and on other photography sites, its apparent that photography still has a great interest.
Jessops (at one point) was the place to go and buy a 'proper' camera. If you wanted a compact you could go to many other high street shops, but the enthusiast, they would go to Jessops. They eventually tried to take on the high street with huge ranges of compacts and i see that as the turning point. They took on too much for a limited market, tried to expand and it flopped. They have struggled ever since
At one point Jessops even tried to sell camera phones, but that was a massive failure (at least in our store) as we struggled to sell any with so many dedicated phone shops nearby.
Unfortunately, many of the core customers that shopped at Jessops now shop online due to the prices and availability of the kit. If Jessops was able to offer/compete in that way then perhaps they would have a future.
One thing i have noticed is that the store i worked in is just as busy now as it was 10 years ago, but the stock is very different
This morning I made a rare trip into town and actually passed by Jessops.
The shop was very small compared to the ones I remembered, and of course had the SALE signs up. A few people were mooching about inside but I didn't think it would be worth it.
I was impressed by the number of charity shops in the street, and the number of shops with shutters up and /or To Let signs.
Things have changed in recent years.
Anyway I went around the corner and drooled at the LCE window display. Some very nice little cameras and some very posh binoculars.
There was the Canon M, indeed looking very silly with it's huge lens, and a G12, looking just as tempting as the M looked stupid.
And a Fuji X100. I would have browsed the used kit, but a bunch of camera nerds turned up and occupied that end of the window, and began reminiscing about their first DSLR. I sensed it might get heated (think about epz threads) so I wandered off.
Last time I went into LCE they still had chemicals and film, although the stock had reduced. In fact the last three times I went there it was for chemicals, because they're mostly liquid and heavy, so buying on line includes a large postal charge. They said they still had them because they get students asking for them. The staff were still knowledgeable too, rather like Jessops used to be.
Unfortunately I don't go there very often, and they wouldn't get rich on my money. But if I were looking for a new compact, their window display could earn them a customer. I don't see why there can't still be a place for photographic shops.
Then again there's Mifsuds over at Brixham - wonderful little shop and good staff, but of course they have a huge mail order operation at the back, and now an Ebay store.
Quote: Unfortunately, many of the core customers that shopped at Jessops now shop online due to the prices and availability of the kit. If Jessops was able to offer/compete in that way then perhaps they would have a future.
Jessops have a very effective "Click & Mortar" system which I used a lot (hope the past tense isn't a prediction of thigs to come )
On-line prices were pretty good too (sometime better than WEX for instance) and I have been able to pick up and pay for a lot of kit from my local Jessops at the reduced on-lin price, often within a couple of hours and at worst usually within a couple of weeks.
The great thing was that it was possible to order a new item on-line, then check it out in-store before parting with my money.
I shall be very sorry to see my local store go as they were one of the upgraded Tech Centres that carried a lot of very good kit
This is a crying shame, I always use Jessops if I can as I feel it's important to keep the high street alive. There was always someone on hand who actually new about cameras and lenses and were more than happy to let you try a lens on your own camera before parting with the cash. I can only hope that this helps the local independents.... but I think it will only help the grey trade.... more is the pity.
I used to work at Jessops as a 60 year old "Saturday Boy". Because of my interest in the industry I spent many happy hours talking to the real enthusiasts, and selling them what they wanted. Over time quite a few people would come in specially to see me! It gave me pride in what I was doing. I left 18 months ago- I still miss the place and will be very sorry to see it go. My branch is one of the smaller ones but there are two larger ones within 20 miles so I don't think it will survive.
I wasn't especially surprised by this. Only 2 years ago they plundered the staff pension pot to generate the capital to to try and sort themselves out. So some people will be loosing more than just there jobs.
I am quite indifferent how I feel about there service, there's a lot to be said for buying from a shop if the product then go's wrong or is not what you want, but as people have said, I do find the staff focus on the sell rather than what may be the better product for the customer. I will certainly miss being able to pop into town and try things, wether I then buy them from there or not.
Quote: So some people will be loosing more than just there jobs.
It appears that the employees pension fund it safe (which is a small mercy)
Quote: However, members of the Jessops’ pension scheme are protected because it was adopted by the Government’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF) in 2009.
I bought a camera from Jessops an month or so ago. What happens if it goes wrong?
Quote: I bought a camera from Jessops an month or so ago. What happens if it goes wrong?
If you paid by credit-card and it cost between £100 and £30k (I think that's still current), then the card issuer is jointly liable.
Some years back, a used item died during its warranty and Mastercard paid for the repair. They were very good about it and didn't cause me any grief.
If you paid by cash (or any other method) then the manufacturer will cover you. The receipt will speed things along.
Quote: From a personal photographic point of view Jessops have made the mistake of trying to be a small independent but sell mass market , every time i visited recently they didnt have the stock of items i wanted to see as they were too specialist canon 5d3 6d etc , Jacobs and others who are still going strong realised that there is a need for store to provide to specialists aswell as mass market and people will still shop with them and pay a little more for the service.
There is literally now going to be nowhere in our town to view cameras other than the argos and currys style know nothing about the stuff brigade , might as well shop in tescos for everything ...
jacobs closed last summer I believe
i mostly used stores and they almost matched prices on web, ok slightly more expensive but worth it to have a place to try stuff out and have a choice.
but most (?) people didn't, just used them to browse and the retailers like jessops and jacobs didnt seem to adapt to a more showroom type of service with less smaller stores and more internet dependency. its a real shame, but i guess the buying trend of getting stuff on line has really had an impact with the final nail being the recession we are in
now living in london has the possibility of almost no local camera stores apart from currys/pc world (hmmm)
It will be sad to see Jessops go if they do but as people have said, they're not the same company as in the "good old days".
I remember Pete when he worked in the Sheffield branch - I think I bought something from him nearly every Wednesday lunchtime during my dinner break from my Polytechnic course!
The small print stock lists were brilliant (I think I might even still have a few somewhere!), I would spend the week digesting them to buy something the following week if there wasn't any second hand OM stuff that took my interest!
Never like to see people's jobs at risk but the writing has been on the wall for a long time, to much competition from the net and in my own opinion poor customer service.
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