Jessops' collapse will leave its customers out of pocket
Customers and suppliers owed £76 million by collapsed camera chain Jessops are set to get back virtually nothing, it has emerged.
The 78-year-old Leicester business closed all 187 of its stores and axed about 1,500 jobs when it plunged into administration in January.
Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said Jessops had assets of £3.4 million when it went under.
As a result, about 3,000 suppliers and 1,000 customers, both classed as unsecured creditors, are likely to receive little, if any, of the £48 million they are owed. The company also owes £28 million to HSBC.
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A report by PwC said: "We consider there will be insufficient funds to enable a distribution to unsecured creditors."
Many of the customers, who are owed hundreds of thousands of pounds, had ordered products but never received them.
Among the businesses left out of pocket is vehicle fleet management firm Total Motion, of Leicester, which is owed £11,492.
Managing director Simon Hill said Jessops' closure came two months after it lost £40,000 following the collapse of Oadby building group Hallam Contracts.
"It's not going to hurt us," he said. "It's just annoying at a time when we are doing so well."
Design business CPI Displays, of Beaumont Leys, is owed about £15,000.
Finance director Mike Fentem said losing the money would have little impact on the company.
"This is a fact of life in business," he said.
Other unsecured creditors include HM Revenue and Customs, which is owed £1.3 million. Staff were owed £1.3 million, but this will be paid by the Government.
More than £800,000 worth of gift cards bought by customers were still to be used before the firm's collapse.
The administrators have blamed tough competition from supermarkets and online retailers for the group's demise.
Jessops made a loss of £8.8million on sales of £194.9million from January 2, 2012 to November 25, 2012, according to the PwC report.
A joint venture by Dragons' Den star Peter Jones and turnaround specialist Hilco bought the Jessops name and website for £1.4 million.
Neither Mr Jones or Hilco could be reached for comment.
Jessops' head office in Braunstone Frith axed 80 jobs after the collapse, but still employs about 60 staff, who are helping the administrators.
The business was founded by Frank Jessop in 1935, in a store in Southgate Street, Leicester.
Frank's son, Alan, sold the firm in 1996 to the company's management.