Administrators hold sway over 2,000 jobs at Jessops [Birmingham Post (England)]
(Birmingham Post (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Around 2,000 jobs at camera chain Jessops are under threat after the group collapsed into administration.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed to the group, which is Britain's only specialist nationwide camera retailer, with nearly 200 stores.
It marks the first high-profile retail collapse of 2013 and comes soon after the collapse of consumer electricals chain Comet, with 6,000 job losses.
Jessops has suffered in recent years from online competition and the boom in camera phones, which has hit demand for digital cameras. The chain has branches in Temple Row, Birmingham, Solihull, Merry Hill, Redditch, Lichfield, Kidderminster, Wolverhampton and Coventry and had announced earlier this week that 15 of its stores would close this year.
Administrator Rob Hunt said PwC was holding discussions with stakeholders to see if the business could be preserved.
He said: "Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today, but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current climate, it is inevitable there will be store closures." PwC said the company's core market had seen a "significant decline" in 2012 and its position had "deteriorated" in the run-up to Christmas. PwC said extra funding was made available to the company, but Jessops did not generate the profits it had planned over Christmas.
Mr Hunt said discussions to raise additional financial support for Jessops had been held between the directors, lenders and suppliers but administrators had been appointed in light of "irreconcilable differences".
PwC said Jessops was not in a position to honour customer vouchers and would also not accept returned goods.
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