Camera retailer Jessops files for administration

High street camera shop Jessops has filed for administration and is considering a company voluntary arrangement (CVA)

Restructuring specialists FRP Advisory has been appointed to handle the administration process.

Jessops, the camera retailer owned by Dragon’s Den investor Peter Jones, has 17 stores and the announcement puts 120 jobs at risk. Jones bought the company out of administration in 2017.

FRP partner Geoff Rowley said Jessops had been hit by tough online competition which was exacerbated by the pandemic and consequent lockdowns.

A spokesperson for Jessops said: ‘We have filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators with a view to consider a CVA process in order to protect the business for our staff, our partners and creditors as we look to carve out a new strategy that will enable the business to continue to compete.

‘No doubt, that will include further growing Jessops’ digital offering, as well as considering the opportunities to partner with other retailers to continue Jessops’ high street presence.

‘We are working closely with key suppliers and partners to agree a way forward and PJ Investment Group have confirmed that they stand ready to provide additional funding if a suitable agreement can be reach on sustainably supporting Jessops in the next stage of its development.’

Geoff Rowley, partner at specialist business advisory firm FRP, said: ‘Jessops is a long-established British brand, but like many others, it has faced growing online competition, as well as the challenges faced by all high street retailers in operating through the restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

‘We are working closely with PJ Investment Group and the wider Jessops management team to consider all options to secure a future for the retailer.’

A spokesperson for PJ Investment Group, said: ‘Since 2013 we’ve worked hard to support the Jessops brand, and returned the business to profitability in recent years through a complete restructuring and significant investment. However, the retail landscape has continued to evolve rapidly, and this process has been accelerated by the impact of the pandemic on the high street.

‘Over the last twelve months we have worked closely with Jessops management and assisted them in taking steps to manage the costs throughout the pandemic and have focused on servicing Jessops’ customers through our online store.’

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