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Camera chain difficulties

Jessops poised to appoint administrators

Jessops

Jessops: latest crisis

Jessops, the camera equipment retailer owned by Dragons’ Den panelist Peter Jones, has filed a notice to appoint administrators.

The company, which was bought by Mr Jones’s PJ Investment Group in 2013, employs 120 staff and operates 17 stores.

It has hired advisors FRP to help it restructure the business, which has been severely impacted by the pandemic.

The notice of intent provides the business with protection for 10 days from existing or pending creditor claims.

A company voluntary arrangement (CVA) is under consideration to protect its long-term future.

Jessops said it has appointed advisers to look at how it can “carve out a new strategy that will enable the business to continue to compete”.

Peter Jones

Peter Jones: rescued chain in 2013

A spokesman for the business said its options will include further growing Jessops’ digital offering, as well as considering the opportunities to partner with other retailers on the high street.

“We are working closely with key suppliers and partners to agree a way forward and PJ Investment Group have confirmed that they stand ready to provide additional funding if a suitable agreement can be reached on sustainably supporting Jessops in the next stage of its development.”

Geoff Rowley, partner at FRP, said: “Jessops is a long-established British brand, but like many others, it has faced growing online competition, as well as the challenges faced by all high street retailers in operating through the restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

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“We are working closely with PJ Investment Group and the wider Jessops management team to consider all options to secure a future for the retailer.”

It comes less than two years after a major restructuring at the chain, which reduced its store estate from 46 sites.

A spokesman for PJ Investment Group said: “Since 2013 we’ve worked hard to support the Jessops brand, and returned the business to profitability in recent years through a complete restructuring and significant investment.

“However, the retail landscape has continued to evolve rapidly, and this process has been accelerated by the impact of the pandemic on the high street.

“Over the last twelve months we have worked closely with Jessops management and assisted them in taking steps to manage the costs throughout the pandemic and have focused on servicing Jessops’ customers through our online store.”



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