Leicester-based camera chain Jessops goes into administration
Troubled camera chain Jessops plunged into administration today after failing to secure a financial lifeline.
The collapse of the Leicester-based group, which has 192 stores, puts around 2,000 jobs in jeopardy.
The company, founded in 1935, employs 150 staff at its head office site in Braunstone Frith and at stores in Gallowtree Gate, Leicester and Loughborough.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) were appointed as administrators this afternoon.
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Rob Hunt, joint administrator and partner at PwC, said sales had fallen "significantly" in 2012 and were likely to continue to decline in 2013. He said this slump had caused financial problems within the group.
Mr Hunt said: "Over the last few days the directors, funders and key suppliers have been in discussions as regards additional consensual financial support for the business. However, these discussions have not been successful. In light of these irreconcilable differences the directors decided to appoint administrators and we were appointed earlier today.
“Our most pressing task is to review the Company's financial position and hold discussions with its principal stakeholders to see if the business can be preserved. Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current
economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures."
PwC have not yet made any announcements about store closures or redundancies.
Mr Hunt said Jessops was not now in a position to honour customer vouchers or to accept returned goods.
Jessops' turnover in the year to December 31, 2012 was £236 million.
Jessops has had a rocky few years after increased competition from supermarkets and online retailers. Earlier this week the retailer announced it was closing 15 stores, but would not say where they were. It managed to avoid administration in 2009 by securing a deal on its huge debts with HSBC.
Former chief executive Trevor Moore left last July to become the boss of music and DVD retailer HMV. Martyn Everett then stepped up from non-executive chairman to executive chairman.
The company was started in 1935 by Frank Jessop, who opened his first photography store in Leicester.