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Old Jan 10, 2013, 1:30 PM   #1
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Its very sad for us in the UK to see the demise of Jessops but far from surprising. In relation to Steve's news item I think Administration may be similar to the US chapter 11 procedure,the idea being to give the business time to restructure not necessarily leading to insolvency? Sometimes in the UK a rump business might be left with the name if someone will buy the assets.

Jessops has been in trouble ever since it expanded during the initial digital camera boom and then failed to adapt to the changing times.The triple whammy of camera phones,recession and running too many stores paying heavy rents did for it. In connection with the latter it also failed to adapt to internet shopping and I'm as guilty of any in that respect. Over the years more than once I went into a Jessops shop to try out the merchandise and then left and bought on-line. Trouble was the price differential was so much I couldn't ignore it ,at one time I bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ50 and it was 100 cheaper on-line than in Jessops-and I don't mean from eBay.

That said I bought a Panasonic GF3 from there last summer as it was keenly priced so that has cleared my conscience a bit.

However that is the last major camera retail chain in the UK now potentially gone.I doubt many shops will be left and suspect if it survives Jessops may become an Internet presence. The independents are left but I wonder how they will survive long term. Photography specialists are one of countless high street retailers suffering here in the UK.

I would be interested to hear others thoughts on this both UK and elsewhere.What is the retail photography market like in the USA? I read of names like Adorama and B & H photo-are they stores or internet only? Are they suffering similarly to Jessops ?
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 2:04 PM   #2
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Here in the USA the neighborhood camera shop is a rare thing. Big cities still have shops but the time when most large towns had one or multiples is going away. Stores like Adorama and B&H Photo maintain brick and mortar shops in the NYC area but I would guess the majority of their business is online. Ritz/Wolfe camera is probably one of the few nationwide chains with franchise locations still in operation, they have certainly seen a huge decrease in franchises such that many states no longer have a presence. Again they seem to be moving to web only model.

Even the big box electronic retailers like Best Buy and formerly Circuit City are having troubles as people increasingly go there to view an item and then go home to order online, either for a lower price or to avoid local sales taxes.

This leaves the majority of in person camera purchases happening at places like Walmart, Sears and Target which are more your general purpose stores. At these stores you only get the kits and rarely find a lens by itself.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 2:36 PM   #3
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In the US, adorama and B&H and J&R all have a real store, but they are just 1 massive store each located in NYC and a major warehouse close by. They all have a huge online present, and their prices in the store and online meet or beat internet merchants prices of amazon. While sales have been down, they are still ok.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 2:52 PM   #4
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Interesting but no surprises there. To state the obvious it does seem internet shopping for photography equipment is the future. I wonder if long term Adorama or B&H will keep their stores open.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 3:08 PM   #5
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Yeah they will, their stores are ultra busy. And they own their buildings.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 3:11 PM   #6
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another reason they will keep their stores in nyc, is location location location. There are a tons of pros in the new york, sports, fashion, wedding, portraits, magazine and new paper pros. And there is not sales tax benefit from shopping at amazon. They collect nys sale tax.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 3:44 PM   #7
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One of the big factors- which shoturtle alludes to- is the ownership of the said store.
Most- if not all- jessops shops are rented and at great cost- which partly accounted for what I perceived to be over inflated prices.
I would personally have no problem paying more for an item in a "bricks and mortar" shop- you get to have a look at the said item,try it,feel it- and haggle even...
Jessops unfortunately (for me anyway) overstepped the mark with "paying more"... though to be fair,most of the UK's photographic equipment seems to be overpriced relative to overseas prices...wherever you go...!
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 4:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIMON40 View Post
One of the big factors- which shoturtle alludes to- is the ownership of the said store.
Most- if not all- jessops shops are rented and at great cost- which partly accounted for what I perceived to be over inflated prices.
I would personally have no problem paying more for an item in a "bricks and mortar" shop- you get to have a look at the said item,try it,feel it- and haggle even...
Jessops unfortunately (for me anyway) overstepped the mark with "paying more"... though to be fair,most of the UK's photographic equipment seems to be overpriced relative to overseas prices...wherever you go...!
Agreed.Rents were a key factor.The fact that the administration arose not long after the December quarter day is not coincidence.

On price the problem was the price differential was BIG. In principal I would have paid a little more in store but as with my FZ50 not 100 more for what was then a 400 camera I think, that was too much.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 5:23 PM   #9
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In my mid sized city (700,000 +) in Canada there are a number of photo stores that cater to the enthusiast and regular market. By last count two chains have 3 stores each. One chain is Eastern Canadian based, another is Western Canadian only. There is also another Western Canadian chain here that has one location.

Another store is a local, one store operation.

All the stores have a great selection of accessories, bodies, lenses, etc from major manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Panasonic, Fuji...also Leica equipment is available.

All these stores policy is that they will compete in price with any store in Canada...as long as that store has an address in Canada.

I have found the clerks in these stores are very knowledgeable and helpful.

Reading reports from other parts of the world, I realize how lucky I am to be in Canada.

Talking about pricing in the UK. I was there about 25 years ago....long time ago, I know. I was astounded then, by the price differences in the UK compared to my experience in Canada....not just on cameras , but on cars, and many other products. I recall wondering why this was the case in the UK.

Sounds like things haven't changed.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 6:01 PM   #10
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In Europe, tend to be more expensive especially electronics. But the price difference from Germany and the UK for the same item is still a big difference. Even with our 19% vat the UK is still more expensive. When I am on a flight to London, I see allot of brits bring food items back with them.
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