Yesterdays news that Jessops had been placed into administration was of course not what many wanted to hear.
You straight away feel for the staff. And with figures being quoted of around 200 shops, and 2000 staff, that equates to a lot of anguish for a lot of people.
Not just those employees of course, but their nearest and dearest who may also be affected.
Personally I must confess that it did not come as a complete surprise.
My wide industry contacts including occasionally at various levels of the company, had over the years, painted a picture that looked more like ‘when’ not ‘if’. Or at least that is the way I personally interpreted it.
Occasionally some camera makers have asked me to host special one off training events for various retailers, including from time to time Jessops.
I must say that I found the staff to be broadly enthusiastic, with a good knowledge and I can see the faces of many individuals in my mind as I write this.
Let us hope that there might yet be an outcome more positive than may at present be expected. But Administration rarely seems something that has a happy ending for many.
Over the years wide and what appeared at the time as rapid expansion – buying up smaller chains – and individual shops looked to me questionable.
Plus, I am sure, having to support such a vast network and compete in a cut price, let alone the on line world, has all no doubt taken its toll.
There may be other losers as well.
Some imaging companies may not yet have received payment for stock sitting in Jessops stores.
In the past, when other retail companies have folded, some of the losses experienced due to this would make peoples mouths drop. And many companies today will be trying to get stock back I am sure.
Importers in some cases though may have lost a very major account who would sell lots of product per year which gives them longer term considerations to deal with.
I guess the remaining photographic retailers have one big competitor less, and you would certainly think that come the spring, when camera sales should pick up again, that they may benefit.
All in all though, a famous name of long standing sadly looks like it has hit the buffers.
I was talking to a friend yesterday afternoon who is also a pro photographer, and we have known each other decades.
Their first comment was how he remembered years ago going to the Leicester HQ and warehouse to buy kit, and had fond memories.
I am sure many will have similar as Jessops and it’s staff over the decades have served so many well.