Internet shopping spells the end of Leicestershire camera chain Jacobs
The UK's biggest independent camera chain is set to disappear from the high street after more than 70 years.
Cecil Jacobs, based in Meridian Business Park, Braunstone, went into administration earlier this month after a slump in trade led to financial problems.
Administrators yesterday closed 11 of the remaining 12 stores with the loss of 87 jobs, after being unable to find a buyer for the stricken business.
They said the company's head office in Braunstone will close soon with the loss of 18 jobs, while the one remaining store in London Road, Leicester, is also likely to cease trading.
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Joint administrator Eddie Kerr, a partner at Leicester accountancy firm PKF, said: "Nobody wanted to take over the business as a going concern. It's a great shame. But the retail sector has been finding it tough for a while now.
"This is a terribly sad situation to see a long-established family-run business close down."
The firm – owned by the Jacobs family – was known for the expertise of its staff.
Business leaders said it was unable to compete with lower cost supermarkets and online retailers.
Professor Jim Saker, retail expert at Loughborough University, said: "Cecil Jacobs effectively became one of Amazon's high-street showrooms. This is because there are not many photographers that need specialist advice any more. The technology has moved on and they didn't adapt to this change."
Martin Traynor, chief executive of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: "It's hugely disappointing that such a well-known specialist company has gone out of business. Unfortunately, this reflects the way the public purchases goods, especially cameras and photo equipment.
"It's certainly the end of an era. Sadly, we are probably going to see a few more like this."
The group's store in Granby Street, Leicester, which employed seven staff, was among the 11 which closed.
Administrators, who closed seven stores with the loss of 46 jobs two weeks ago, said the shop in London Road, in the city, was being kept open to sell off the company's stock.
Cecil Jacobs was established four years after Leicester rival Jessops.
Jessops, which also specialises in photography equipment, was forced to close a third of its stores – leaving it with just over 200 – after hitting financial problems.